the ocean’s refusal to stop kissing the shore
       
     
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  Part ll.   Along the water’s edge,   I inscribe – in chalk – a continuous litany of names of submerged/submerging lands, in the contour of Atlantis superimposed onto the city of Venice. This textual outline is gradually worn away by footfall.
       
     
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  Part lll.   Researching the demise of lands lost to encroaching  oceans, as well as the lands at risk of submerging – such as Venice, and  London where I live – made me think about the Buddhist/Taoist Hungry  Ghost Festival that is observed in many parts of Asia. The belief is  that during the Hungry Ghost Festival, the dead return to visit. And we,  the living, venerate them by burning incense and joss paper, and  offering them food and entertainment. Finally, we see them off back to  the underworld with floating lanterns shaped like lotus flowers.  Variations of this practice of putting candle-lit offerings to sea – as a  way to commune with the spirit world – are found all over Asia: from  China to India, Japan to Cambodia, and from Myanmar to Thailand.  Participants create a floating offering to the sea, using  flower/vulva-shaped vessels fashioned from rice paper. They include  candles, incense, joss paper, flowers, rice, salt, seeds, and/or herbs.  If participants had a personal demon to exorcise/put to death, they  included a hair clipping to symbolise letting it go. And if they had a  wish, they wrote it on a piece of joss paper and added it to their  offering.
       
     
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 All offerings were set afloat in a nocturnal ritual.
       
     
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the ocean’s refusal to stop kissing the shore
       
     
the ocean’s refusal to stop kissing the shore

PASAR (Post-Asian School of Alternative Rites) at “The Palace of Ritual"; Palazzo Dona Brusa; Venice, Italy. 2019

Curator Annie Jael Kwan writes of this three-part project:

“… (it) recalls mythical vanished lands including Atlantis, Hyperborea, Thule, Mu, Rutas and Lemuria, and scientifically confirmed ones such as Zealandia, Dvārakā, Kerguelen Plateau, and Maui Nui. Sited at the fragile yet resilient island of Venice – slowly tilting and sinking since the 5th century – old and reinvented rituals memorialise the eventful reconfigurations of land pay tribute to the rising waters.”

Part l. At dawn along the sinking eastern edge of Venice, I inscribe – using a brush and brine – the names of submerged and submerging land masses. As the sun grows hotter and evaporates the water, these names materialize in salt crystals. As the city awakens, pedestrian footfall gradually wears away the crystalline calligraphy.

Part ll. Along the water’s edge, I inscribe – in chalk – a continuous litany of names of submerged/submerging lands, in the contour of Atlantis superimposed onto the city of Venice. This textual outline is gradually worn away by footfall.

Part lll. Researching the demise of lands lost to encroaching oceans, as well as the lands at risk of submerging – such as Venice, and London where I live – made me think about the Buddhist/Taoist Hungry Ghost Festival that is observed in many parts of Asia. The belief is that during the Hungry Ghost Festival, the dead return to visit. And we, the living, venerate them by burning incense and joss paper, and offering them food and entertainment. Finally, we see them off back to the underworld with floating lanterns shaped like lotus flowers. Variations of this practice of putting candle-lit offerings to sea – as a way to commune with the spirit world – are found all over Asia: from China to India, Japan to Cambodia, and from Myanmar to Thailand. Participants create a floating offering to the sea, using flower/vulva-shaped vessels fashioned from rice paper. They include candles, incense, joss paper, flowers, rice, salt, seeds, and/or herbs. If participants had a personal demon to exorcise/put to death, they included a hair clipping to symbolise letting it go. And if they had a wish, they wrote it on a piece of joss paper and added it to their offering. All offerings were set afloat in a nocturnal ritual.

*The title of this work references Point B by diaspora poet Sarah Kay.

photos by: Annie Jael Kwan.

brine 2.jpg
       
     
brine 3.jpg
       
     
brine 4.jpg
       
     
brine 5.jpg
       
     
Venice brine.jpg
       
     
Kiribati crystals.jpg
       
     
  Part ll.   Along the water’s edge,   I inscribe – in chalk – a continuous litany of names of submerged/submerging lands, in the contour of Atlantis superimposed onto the city of Venice. This textual outline is gradually worn away by footfall.
       
     

Part ll. Along the water’s edge, I inscribe – in chalk – a continuous litany of names of submerged/submerging lands, in the contour of Atlantis superimposed onto the city of Venice. This textual outline is gradually worn away by footfall.

chalk 2.jpg
       
     
chalk 3.jpg
       
     
chalk 4.jpg
       
     
  Part lll.   Researching the demise of lands lost to encroaching  oceans, as well as the lands at risk of submerging – such as Venice, and  London where I live – made me think about the Buddhist/Taoist Hungry  Ghost Festival that is observed in many parts of Asia. The belief is  that during the Hungry Ghost Festival, the dead return to visit. And we,  the living, venerate them by burning incense and joss paper, and  offering them food and entertainment. Finally, we see them off back to  the underworld with floating lanterns shaped like lotus flowers.  Variations of this practice of putting candle-lit offerings to sea – as a  way to commune with the spirit world – are found all over Asia: from  China to India, Japan to Cambodia, and from Myanmar to Thailand.  Participants create a floating offering to the sea, using  flower/vulva-shaped vessels fashioned from rice paper. They include  candles, incense, joss paper, flowers, rice, salt, seeds, and/or herbs.  If participants had a personal demon to exorcise/put to death, they  included a hair clipping to symbolise letting it go. And if they had a  wish, they wrote it on a piece of joss paper and added it to their  offering.
       
     

Part lll. Researching the demise of lands lost to encroaching oceans, as well as the lands at risk of submerging – such as Venice, and London where I live – made me think about the Buddhist/Taoist Hungry Ghost Festival that is observed in many parts of Asia. The belief is that during the Hungry Ghost Festival, the dead return to visit. And we, the living, venerate them by burning incense and joss paper, and offering them food and entertainment. Finally, we see them off back to the underworld with floating lanterns shaped like lotus flowers. Variations of this practice of putting candle-lit offerings to sea – as a way to commune with the spirit world – are found all over Asia: from China to India, Japan to Cambodia, and from Myanmar to Thailand. Participants create a floating offering to the sea, using flower/vulva-shaped vessels fashioned from rice paper. They include candles, incense, joss paper, flowers, rice, salt, seeds, and/or herbs. If participants had a personal demon to exorcise/put to death, they included a hair clipping to symbolise letting it go. And if they had a wish, they wrote it on a piece of joss paper and added it to their offering.

workshop 2.jpg
       
     
workshop 1.jpg
       
     
workshop 4.jpg
       
     
krathong launch 1.jpg
       
     
 All offerings were set afloat in a nocturnal ritual.
       
     

All offerings were set afloat in a nocturnal ritual.

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krathong launch 10.jpg