How do we place ourselves in HK?
I am a stranger but also familiar with the city, because part of my family is living there. I find myself inbetween being a foreigner and a visitor, a guest.
Dreams and emotions are mostly always the same for people all over the world. But the way they are expressed is totally different and these distinctions, no matter how tiny, are something that interest me a lot.
How do I connect with other people?
I like to observe people and look at them for a while. How do they behave? What clothes do they wear? How do they talk with other people?
The way people live tells me a lot about their character.
What kind of furniture do they have? Do they have paintings on their walls? Are they clean, messy or super organised?
From the moment I meet a person I try to connect with them and collect as much information about them as possible.
A lot of this process happens automatically, it is like an implemented system, like a computer program: I scan other people. I do not always like that, but nobody can free himself from this process. Everybody takes decisions through and due to his cultural, biographical and ethnical knowledge.
What kind of people do we want to connect to?
As many diverse people as possible who make their living in Hong Kong: on the range ofdishwasher to millionaire. The contrast in HK is really big.
What does it mean to me to be in HK?
On the one hand it is familiar, because this is my second trip to Hong Kong and a part of my family is from HK. I experience HK from their perspective and it feels familiar in that way. But I also feel the differences of being a European in HK.
If I leave the door and exit the `European compound` I become a stranger, because I do not understand the language and a lot of things that I see, I experience them differently than things that I know and I am used to. But I enjoy this situation a lot, because my senses are much more open. I feel like a child, seeing, smelling things for the first time.Through this situation of being a stranger I am confronted with my own perception, my values and my limitations. I see myself mirrored in other people that I pass on the street.
Hong Kong is a melting pot of different cultures and contrasts: mainland chinese people/Hong Kong residents, nature versus mega city, rich/poor, educated/no school knowledge, sea/land, up up up-a city of diversity of every kind.
What is feels strange and different for you in Hong Kong?
Sometimes I feel strange, because I am stranger in HK. The people here look and behavedifferent and that already creates a distance.
In chinese culture and in Hong Kong a lot of things work in another way. For example for me as a vegetarian it is really strange that nearly every animal can be a meal like turtles, snakes, dogs and ducks etc.
Some people look at me and my daughter as if we are from an other planet. Others do not care, I become one of them. I find that quite interesting, because I can become an alien inbetween all the people. It is a strange feeling to stand out with ones appearance . And on the other hand sometimes being just one of million other people.
Do you miss your homeland?
At the moment I do not, because I am also not living in my home country Germany. Living in Switzerland I am also a foreigner. I only miss some family and friends, in my case people define home for me.
What does `homeland` mean to you?
My homeland is where I grew up. Germany feels familiar to me, I know the people, culture and rules. But there are other very interesting places in the world which can be familiar as well. Home is what we make out of it.
How do you work as an artist?
Be open, see, observe, take time, leave space for experiments. Trust your senses, be brave, risk something and stay who you are. Connect yourself with people, never try to solve every problem only by yourself. Ask for advice if necessary and let yourself go. Inspiration needs time, to dare to go deeper. Question yourself. Be patient!
What are your dreams ?
I live for the moment and I try to be modest with my wishes and dreams. It is my personal secret!