Right after we entered Tung Pang’s studio, I saw a table full of possibilities. Books, sketches and notes lying on the table brought me back to the time when I was a visual art student in secondary school, brainstorming new projects till midnight, the most painful yet sweetest time in life.
It is not just the scene of artistic process that gave me a sense of familiarity, but also the content of these items. The image of yamanba (山姥) is no stranger to me who read Japanese manga, while Danny Chan’s voice still echoes in my ears whenever I think of my childhood.
What came along with the familiarity is unfamiliarity. Apart from the fact that either Japanese mythical figure or Danny Chan are distant from me, geographically or temporally, I also recognised the distance between me and Hong Kong on the table of ideas. From Sha Tin rice to Wong Uk, they are my neighbours who I have never talked to or even met with.
Such intertwinement of familiarity and unfamiliarity of the Half-Steps House project is profoundly stimulating, especially when the blend of homely/exotic feeling is what I identify as the charm of Japanese literature. Hopefully this connection that I felt could help me discover something intriguing in the literary works to contribute to the development of Tung Pang’s proposal.