A Book of Trees
Ink and brush paintings on paper, VR short film, artist book
The exhibition combines two different stories for looking at trees. The first is a technical exploration of how a machine learning system struggles to produce the three-dimensional shape of a tree, and how observing this process can give us an opportunity to reflect upon new computational paradigms that are reshaping our future. The second is a reflection on the history of imported trees in Hong Kong and how an Australian artist finds himself surrounded by the trees of his childhood.
Videotage Hong Kong
17th September - 8th October
Opening Reception and Book Launch 25th September,3pm
Venue: Videotage | Unit 13, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, Ma Tau Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Current installation of VR short film and paintings at Videotage, Hong Kong
Advice for Feng Shui Forestry
Clear the trees from the mountain
and plant sacred forests around its base.
Cultivate bands of trees along the rover
to make sure that the ocean can't be seen from the Ancestral Hall.
Extend the bands down the ridge to the floodplain
so that you can bury your dead out of view.
If any houses are exposed to the North,
turn them in to face the ridge,
and plant Feng Shui trees behind you home
to protect you from poisonous air.
Advice for Picturesque Forestry
Naked of trees, the barren mountains
will bring disease,
and so must be improved.
If the surviving native trees are not enough,
look to Mauritius, Australia and India -
Eucalyptus Robusta, Melanuca Quinquinerva and the Norfolk Island Pine
can dry the putrid waters
that seep from the rotting granite
and unproductive rice paddies.
With botanical imports,
Nature can be restored,
and you can make a home.
Advice for Administrative Forestry
Give each tree a name and a number,
to catalogue and preserve the alien forest,
because trees can reduce stress and condition the air.
By the roadside, I can see the Melaluca that lined the lagoon
where I used to swim with my sister,
and walking up the hill I can smell the Eucalyptus forest
where I walked with my grandparents,
and where we buried their ashes.
Artist talk at Videotage Hong Kong, 2021