Liquid Homes

水漾之家



1 July - 6 August 2022






Project Lead 總策劃:
Su Chang 蘇暢

Research Team 研究團隊:
Raven Tam Wing Huen 譚穎萱
Hon Ming Rou 韓旻柔
Julia Zhu Yalan 朱雅蘭
Isaac Ma Ho Ching 馬浩程

Curator 策展:
Yang Jiang

Exhibition Assistants 展覽助理:
Yoyo Kong Ling Yiu 江令瑤
Chloe Leung Man Wah 梁旻樺
Lesley Mao Yueyang 毛悅暘


*The project is supported by Design Trust 由信言設計大使贊助



RNH Space is honoured to present exhibition Liquid Homes: Building, Living and Other Stories of Hong Kong Fishing Villages, a research, curatorial, and design collaboration that explores the culture of Tanka people and their fluid state of living and building, presenting stories from a long overdue reading of the other Hong Kong.

The research focuses on three fishing villages, Tai O, Kat O and Po Toi O, and their sense of “liquid-ness” – physical yet elusive, subjected to constant changes. It denotes the condition of Hong Kong as an entity borne by water, as well as its people’s floating identity. However, the urge to conquer or devalue substances of “temporality”, a definition of flux and the lack of solidity, reflects the questionable need to dominate water whilst annihilating water, which resembles the power dynamics in any binary value systems.

Fishing village houses riding on the seams between land and water are referred to as “Amphibious Houses” in the research for their hybrid qualities. By government standard, these houses are called Squatter Structure, which were registered and documented in a territory-wide survey in 1982. These surveyed squatter structures are allowed to remain in existence on a “temporary” basis until they are cleared for development, safety or environmental reasons, or until they are phased out through natural wastage. In 2018, Hong Kong government launched an One-off Squatter Occupants Voluntary Registration Scheme and asked the residents to report on their squatter structures. The scheme categorised building materials into only two types: temporary or permanent, which would then be the deciding factor in compensatory arrangement, whereas spaces for the residents’ activities on water are not taken into account.

The exhibition presents narratives that would question the process of privileging permanence over temporality, land over water, exposing the problematic, biased dialectics within the current land-based value system. By revisiting historical government documents and inventing a new system to document the structures, the research injects life into the otherwise inanimate framework. Resurrecting the subject position of Tanka people and the “liquid-ness” of their identity, Liquid Homes reveals dynamics between the urban and the rural, the superstructure and the people, and fosters future conversations on the role of contemporary architects.


RNH Space榮幸宣布展覽「水漾之家:香港漁村故事」,通過設計、策展的視角挖掘香港漁村與疍家社群鮮為人知的故事,揭示流動變化的「家」的概念。展覽從被主流敘事遺忘的漁村視角重新觀察香港這座城市。

研究聚焦三個漁村:大澳、吉澳、布袋澳,嘗試從「水漾」的概念出發理解建築、人文與地理環境的關係。所謂「水漾」,即一種具有物理特性又難以捉摸的特質。而這種流動、無常之感,不但映射水是承載著香港的介質,更指向這個地方的人所擁有的一種「漂浮」的身份。與此同時,規劃政策制定的思路中對「臨時」建築材料的貶損,暗含了對沒有固定型態的不穩定因子的打壓;生殺予奪,水不可自主,亦未被納入與陸地平起平坐的重要日程,這種分割像極了各種以二元對立為基礎的價值體系。

在漁村裡,研究團隊並非著眼於成熟的建築形態或審美,而是在尋找一些帶有混合特質的住宅。這些在研究中被稱為「雙棲住宅」的結構,大多數能夠(且需要)同時適應陸地與水上的環境。以政府管制政策的標準來定義的話,這些住宅歸類為「寮屋」。房屋署「1982年寮屋登記」對這類構築物進行登記、記錄。已登記的寮屋獲「暫准」存在,直至因發展計劃、安全或環境理由而清拆,或直至自然流失而被取締。2018年起,地政處實施一次過「寮屋住戶自願登記計畫」,日後政府發展清拆行動時,為符合資格的住戶提供補償。但這些所謂的「資格」,基於一套簡陋、粗暴的標準,例如僅將建築物料分為兩類——即「臨時物料」或「永久物料」,亦無將漁民在水上的棲身之處考慮入補償範圍當中。

展覽質疑各種將「永久」視作高於「臨時」、將陸地視作高於水域的行動,揭示以陸地為本的價值體系中,問題層出不窮、有失偏頗的辯證與定論。研究重讀歷史政府文件,並創造一套新系統以記錄寮屋構築,嘗試改造這一領域衰頹又冷漠的記錄框架。而基於此研究內容,「水漾之家」以疍家社群的視角與身份重構敘事,在都市與鄉村交錯、上層建築與普通市民分隔之處落腳,展開對歷史、經濟和環境議題的新討論。



About the Research Team 關於研究團隊

Su Chang is Principal of Su Chang Design Research Office, currently teaching at the University of Hong Kong. The work brings together design, research, and action toward an architecture that embraces multiple temporalities in contemporary life. His design method puts particular care into architecture's relationship with the ground, emphasizing the intersection between architecture and landscape to create spaces for new public life.

Raven Tam, Hon Ming Rou, Julia Zhu and Isaac Ma are currently studying architecture at the University of Hong Kong. Their current work rethinks our state of living during the pandemics in Hong Kong, and looks for new design opportunities at the periphery of the city through cartography, drawings, photography and film.


蘇暢,蘇暢設計研究室主持建築師,香港大學建築學系客席助理教授。通過建築設計、研究和建造,呈現當代生活的多重時間維度,將建築視作靈活的基建空間,以適應未來的使用與變化,強調空間的可持續性、多樣性與參與性。設計方法關注建築與大地的關係,在建築與地景之間塑造新的公共生活空間。作為註冊建築師,蘇暢畢業於哈佛大學設計研究院,獲建築學碩士,並獲香港大學建築學文學士。

韓旻柔、馬浩程、譚穎萱、朱雅蘭,香港大學建築學生,設計研究關注疫症下香港的生活狀態,通過製圖與影像從城市邊緣尋找新的設計機遇。



Public Programmes

Online Seminar: Meaning, History and Metaphor of the Waters
Speakers: Qu Chang, Law Yuk-mui and Su Chang
Moderator: Yang Jiang


Liquid Homes is organising a series of programmes throughout the exhibition period to create a community of artists, designers and scholars dedicated to the waters and places of our territory. The seminar “Meaning, History and Metaphor of the Waters” will be in dialogue with the research and curating projects by Qu Chang, Law Yuk-mui and Su Chang, tracing their historical and theoretical background, and opening up more space for cross-disciplinary discussion. 

In this seminar, curator, writer and scholar Qu Chang will discuss her curatorial projects which delved into Hong Kong local history from the perspectives of multiple origins, concerning sea-land dynamics and migrations; artist Law Yuk-mui will unpack her on-going research project spanning two exhibitions to reimagine migrants and refugees’ dispersion journey at sea in the history and geographical space of Hong Kong and beyond; architect and educator Su Chang will introduce his architectural research on Hong Kong fishing villages to draw attention to the notion of “Home” in the liquid state of mind for Hong Kong’s sea dwellers.




Online Seminar: Flowing Methods – Artistic/Creative Research and Practice on the Waters
Speakers: Lee Kai Chung, Tan Yue, Xiaoshi Qin and Tamotsu Ito
Moderator: Yang Jiang and Su Chang


As the second seminar organised along exhibition Liquid Homes, “Flowing Methods – Artistic/Creative Research and Practice on the Waters” looks into research methodology in art and design, and its significance in unravelling forgotten or untold stories around the waters and beyond. By gathering historic, mythic, sociological and architectural readings of our territory and its flow pattern, Lee Kai Chung, Tan Yue, Xiaoshi Qin and Tamotsu Ito will discuss the interplay between their research and practice.

In this seminar, artist Lee Kai Chung will introduce his research project about reclamation, source of sand for The Lantau Tomorrow Vision, and his recent personal experience of 'smuggling' through islands in Southern Hong Kong; curator Tan Yue will delve into the world of islands as cosmology diverse from current civilisation of anthropocene and terracentrism, unveiling the universal experiences, tension and grey area between human, civilisation and nature constantly shaping each other through researching on islands and archipelagos in the Indo-Pacific; artist Xiaoshi Qin will share her projects focusing on the South China Pirates and legends from the mouth of Pearl River, and how people without a home on land are able to build their own on the water; architect and educator Tamotsu Ito will depart from the geographic definition of the waters to arrive at discussions through the lens of "material flow" and "reinterpretation" as what is resonant with the ideology and his projects under the term “re-structuring”.






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