Wish You Well
polaroids, site-specific bronze text
location: Fountain, Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Hi! Flora, Fauna, 2021, Art Promotion Office, Lumenvisum, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble
In 1864, a fountain was built in the Public Garden. Here, it continues to stand after three major reconstructions.
“Public Garden” was the name used on old postcards to refer to what is now the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. Among the locals, however, it was more commonly known as “Bing Tau Fa Yuen”—literally the garden for the Commander-in-Chief—which alluded to its role at the time as the private garden for the British Governors of Hong Kong. The site’s dual role persists through time to this day as it doubles as the back garden for those in power and a communal park for the people.
The genesis of the art project, Wish You Well, was a chance encounter in the beginning of 2020 with a rainbow in the fountain, beyond which lies Hong Kong’s skyline. When the rainbow emerges, I invite people to make a wish in front of this water feature, thereby turning it into a collective wishing fountain. I use a Polaroid camera to record from behind every singular instant of such wish making. Here, I rethink not only the relational dynamic between the individual and the collective self, but also the spatial history and future of our city.
Here lies the rainbow for wishful thinkers.