Transitioning To Memory Land
Since a young boy I have been intrigued by the continuous transformation of objects and living creatures. I would think about time, memory and the mutability of material life. More than anything, I would reflect on mortality and how different societies deal with death.
When I was just eight-years-old – on the day of my birthday – I lost my grandfather because of a car accident. We mourned his loss the Brazilian Catholic way. It must have been around this time that I heard an intriguing story about an Amazonian tribe that would show sorrow and sadness when there were newborns, while they celebrated their tribesmen’s death with chants.
Ten years on – again on my birthday – my grandmother died. After a years-long fight with a painful bone cancer her death was received more as a relief, from now on she would rest in peace.
These sad events reinforced the importance of questions about loss, transformations, mourning, memory and death in my young life and how the world deals with it.
This project visually investigates the ways Hong Kong society deals with death and the transitory aspects of life, and afterlife.
In my current hometown, fire is an essential element in the burial and commemoration rituals. It transports the burning souls to heaven together with smoke, and it connects the living with the beloved ones that left. Space in Hong Kong is so limited, that spiritual and religious rituals have transformed. Bodies here most often get cremated and legal and illegal columbaria are spread among the Hong Kong mountains.
Everything changes all the time, transitioning constantly to something new.
[2017, ongoing project]