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The Birth of Julung-julung: The Aquatic Dragon (2019-21)   Installation at Para Site
HD video with sound, 24’52”
Percussion instrument made of metal and wood, 43.3 x 13.5 x 6 inches
Petrified Sea: Aquatic Dragon, air-drying clay, epoxy resin, CD case fragments, earplug, bamboo leaf, Pink Dawn viburnum bud, watercolour, 10 x 1 x 7.5 inches, steel stand    
Rolling Eyes, air-drying clay, pigment, 5.5 x 1 x 3 inches, steel stand
Liquid Ground. 14/08/21-14/11/21. Para Site, Hong Kong. Photo: Samson Cheung Choi Sang
In this travelogue-cum-video essay, artist and fisherman Yi Xin Tong travels to Dinawan Island in Malaysia, a popular tourist destination, where his encounter with a fish locally referred to as Julung-julung leads to a series of investigations and his eventual crafting and gifting of a lucky charm to the island. The phonetic resemblance between the fish — a major source of nutrition for the local fishermen — and jiaolong, an aquatic dragon in Chinese mythology, becomes the departure point from which Tong ruminates on the changing ecology and spirit world of Southeast Asia. Rather than taking the conventional route, which is to research whether the dragon indeed travelled across the waters from China, the artist builds a percussion instrument made of metal and wood in the shape of Julung-julung, which now overlooks the sea with an unsympathetic gaze akin to the shots of human eye-rolling that recur throughout the film, and juxtaposed with the sculpture Rolling Eyes on view. … The work invites viewers to consider the practice of reciprocal exchange — fundamental to human society — as also crucial to restoring the broken equilibrium between humanity and nature.  
– Curators Alvin Li and Junyuan Feng  
This project is generously supported by the Offshore Artist-in-Residency.  
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