17 July 2014
Architectural Association, London
‘Jīngjù-on-Sea’ is a Peking Opera that performs an act of consumerism on a planetary scale. Echoing the quantities and trajectories of the existing rare earth mineral supply chain, thousands of tonnes of earth are removed from the central Chinese landscape, and through the tools of the opera – as makeup, costume and set – are brought to London to be deposited in the Thames Estuary.
The project proposes that our connection with these landscapes is deeply intimate; we smear them on our faces, we use them for lighting our streets; they are in the technologies we love. A new conception of place, site and culture is atomised across the face of the earth as this Chinese earth is reformed as a new territory in cities around the world……
For me I think what I will remember from the day of the honours presentation is the help from the friends I have spent the last two years studying with. The morning after the most gruelling week of final tables, the Unknown Fields Division were working flat out putting together my presentation and forcing me to rehearse over and over – still keen to make last minute changes to my script and films, when by all rights they should have been anywhere else. The award itself means less to me than the help I got that morning and receiving the award goes to show that you are never going to make it alone.
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