Creative Writing | Artists Interview
Record the Development of Local Fisheries and Agriculture──Fiona Lee
Written by CHAN Hiu Tung Ada
More than ten years ago, Fiona studied sound art at the School of Creative Media. The subject has enabled her to re-understand the unnoticed sounds in different spaces. Since then, she has been developing installations, performances, and exhibition sound effects. Back in the "Fishpond Sustainable Art Festival" 2018, Fiona visited Tai Sang Wai and assisted the artist Lo Lai Lai Natalie, a participating artist that year, in recording her fishing sounds. The occasion shaped her destiny with Tai Sang Wai two years later.
When Fiona first visited the village, the birds' twitter gave her a strong impression. The birds' sounds around the fishponds in Tai Sang Wai distinct from those heard around Fairview Park. After communicating with the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society staff, Fiona learned that resident birds of Hong Kong are found around Fairview Park. In contrast, migratory birds are usually found around the fishponds. But the sounds of these birds are nonetheless rare in the city. To Fiona, learning different environments, creatures, and even the ways of living from sounds is fascinating. The time spent interacting with the villagers left a deep impression on Fiona as a participating artist of the festival for the first time, "Although Uncle Kan is over 90, this vigorous old man still perseveres in managing fish ponds well. When I came alone last time, I ran into two young strangers. They headed to Uncle Kan's home and had a chat with him. Uncle Kan immediately treated us dinner after knowing that I came to prepare for the festival." The kind of hospitality and willingness to share life with unfamiliar people moved Fiona.
Fiona prepares to put on a live performance for the current festival and let the audiences understand Tai Sang Wai through hearing. She observed the villagers' activities and works in the fishponds before devising the performance's content. "The changes in Hong Kong over the past few years have made me reflect on the fact that there are many precious resources in Hong Kong. I hope that someone will pay attention to Hong Kong's agriculture and fisheries so that agriculture and fisheries can be developed locally." Said Fiona. First-hand experiences give ones the most sincere feelings. When she recalled the movements and appearance of Uncle Kan at work, Fiona lost her words. "Savouring the food farmed and harvested industriously by farmers and fish farmers simply amazes me." Through her performance, Fiona hopes to make a note of the sweated labour of local fish farmers and farmers self-sufficed with local space and record the precious human touch on the verge of this city.