Photo by: Terence Leung Hiu Yin
A participatory art project exploring the topic of cultural ambiguity and identity displacement in Hong Kong.
The starting point of the project is inspired by my first cultural shock in which I encountered a fortune cookie for the first time in a Chinese restaurant in New York. Everyone at my table thought fortune cookies are Chinese and were surprised that I had never seen it. This experience lead to a self-questioning process reflecting on my own knowledge as a Chinese person, and a Hongkonger. Later on I found out that the origin of fortune cookies is very ambiguous, and is definitely not Chinese.
Part of the elements of this project is making personalised fortune cookies together with participants. Participants are invited to bring along an ingredient that recalls a moment relating to the different themes. They then share their stories with everyone and create their own version of fortune cookies by mixing in their own ingredients.
For me, fortune cookies are synonymous to cultural ambiguity but also to cultural integrations. They embody both a sense of self-displacements as well as a sense of belonging. Each fortune cookie embraces a unique memory of being a "foreigner", a "new comer" and so on, and how these experiences become part of our life journeys that lead to who we are today.
Life asks us to consistently shift along the line of finding a sense of belonging and embracing rejections. It requires us to constantly negotiate between the two ends. Is it possible to achieve a balance in our society? Or can we embrace both in harmony?