“Plastic, plastic, every where,
All the fish are bereft;
Plastic, plastic, every where,
Not a soul is left.”
Plastic plastic, every where! portrays a dystopian future where a frenzy of human plastic
consumption (e.g., life saver donuts, telephone hotdogs) leads us past the point of no return. This global craze originates from the 2084 annual meeting of the Great Five Industrial Nations. At this meeting, the representative from the imaginary country of Contradictoria (in the form of a pig) proposes that if animals can learn to eat plastic, why can’t children? Plastic becomes an instant hit.
Everyone wants a piece of plastic. In fact, everyone is having a piece of plastic! Miss Dodo, an heiress-cum-teacher, meets a hundred-year-old sea turtle (possibly the last one on earth) on her saga to seek a world with no plastic.
The work is dark, poetic and empathetic. Devoid of dialogue or narration, the narrative could be hard, if not impossible to follow. A linear narrative gives way to a complete immersion of one visual moment after another. The emotions, however, are easily understood by a poignant tenderness and musical cues such as Massenet’s Meditation.
Fung’s first creative endeavour involving moving images, the video is comprised of hundreds of images, each meticulously hand-drawn, cut out and scanned before being compiled digitally. Fung rejects calling her work animation. Oblivious to animation history and convention, her work is firmly grounded in the tradition of drawing, much like that of William Kentridge.
The closing event will kick off with the artist’s translated English reading of an excerpt from her new book Tin Hong Gaau Jyu (Joint Publishing, 2017), then proceeds to an outdoor screening of the video and follow by Q&A. The illustrated book is an extended version of the same narrative and will be on view at the exhibition.
This event is made possible by the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program, and Hong Kong Arts Development Council.