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 when I encountered a fortune cookie for the first time in a Chinese restaurant in New York. Everyone at my table thought fortune cookies were Chinese and were surprised that I had never seen them. This experience led to a self-questioning process reflecting on my own knowledge as a Chinese, and a Hongkongese. 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 with cultural ambiguity but also with cultural integrations. They embody both a sense of self-displacement as well as a sense of belonging. Each fortune cookie embraces a unique memory of being a "foreigner", a "newcomer" 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 lines 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?