Liquid Homes


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。




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.



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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