Jes Fan: Sites of Wounding, 18 Mar 2023 — 06 May 2023

Jes Fan: Sites of Wounding

For Sites of Wounding, Fan returns to Hong Kong to research native species that generate precious materials through processes of contamination, penetration, and incorporation.

Empty Gallery, 18th & 19th Floor, Grand Marine Center 3 Yue Fung Street Tin Wan, Hong Kong

In a series of new works, he explores the affective resonance of these woundings as they relate to both the generative potential and the psychosomatic trauma of colonial subjectivity. The first chapter of Fan’s project takes the Pinctada fucata oyster, a species native to Hong Kong and key to several historical local industries, as its point of departure. Pearl formation might be thought of as an essentially defensive mechanism which only coincidentally happens to produce the valuable byproducts we consume as luxury goods. Occurring when a foreign object lodges itself inside the oyster’s vulnerable body, the host slowly secretes layers of nacre, neutralizing the foreign matter and absorbing it into its own body.

Fascinated by this quasi-alchemical transformation— the transmutation of the grotesque and threatening into a fraught type of hybridized beauty— Fan began to conceptualize pearl formation as an extended metaphor for colonial subject formation in Hong Kong— finding a kind of poetry in the linkage to the island’s pre-colonial pearl farming industries and it’s anglo-imperial moniker “Pearl of the Orient” [東方之珠].

Contacts & Details
Tue – Sat 11am – 7pm

Sunday, Monday

T: +852 2563 3396

Empty Gallery, 18th & 19th Floor, Grand Marine Center 3 Yue Fung Street Tin Wan, Hong Kong

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