Transtopia is an ongoing project that started during my artist residency in Hong Kong. It is based on three propositions: What if the archivist's worst nightmare came true and all our paper-based archives suddenly vanished, the body of each document mercilessly eaten away by a strange virus or bug plague? What if all the layers that map and separate the real and the imagined city would suddenly collapse onto themselves? Our ecological odds are just as flimsy, what's the use in trying to encapsulate fauna and flora in a jar?
Transtopia implies the idea of transit: "Places that exist in the form of maps are inevitably fated to suffer transformation and transference and, as such, they are like comets that travel unceasingly, circling over and over again, forever in the act of transit, never arriving at their destinations. Transtopia is a place with transit itself as its destination. (. . . ) If maps can harbor secrets, I'd imagined that they would have to be excavated from fragmented, moth-eaten documents rather than from so-called scientifically rendered modern charts." (Dung Kai Cheung, Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City).
The first stage of my research had the support of Fundação Oriente and was possible through a partnership established between In-situ - Hong Kong Artist in Residency (Kowloon, Hong Kong) and V54 - Young Artist in Residency (Happy Valley, Hong Kong).
My sincere gratitude to:
César Jung-Harada, Cordelia Tam, Fundação Oriente (with a special thank you to Isabel Carvalho and Ana Paula Cleto), In-situ: Hong Kong Artist Residency - John Lui, Maria Lok Li, Martina Marie Manalo, MakerBay Hong Kong, Prof. António Sousa Dias, Prof. Mónica Mendes, Reynald Ventura de Guzman, Tim Chan, V54 (Dennis Chung and Mandy Chiu), Vincent Lee, Kurt Tong.