Street shrines and altars, Hong Kong – A deep longing for the vibrant culture and language of Hong Kong. My fondest memories involve our Ancestor altars and festivals around ghosts, the fires, the festivals and the feasts, I miss that rich ancestor based tapestry guiding our lives. Researching altars to recreate my own altar for my piece.

Thinking about the many nights spend enraptured by the burning flames. Remembering my Grandmother teaching me how to fold funerary money with joss paper, the shape resembling gold ingots of time gone by. I remember the festival of Ghosts, the one I fondly called Ghost New Year, where we visited all the graves of our direct ancestors, cleaning their graves, feeding them and praying with them, and finally a feast with them.

Our final gravesite was in the hills covered by fruit trees and an old stone tomb with mottled and dark gray stone. The smell of joss sticks and candles burning mingling with the sweet smell of the fruit trees and the full smells of tangerines, rice wine and roasted pork. Perhaps my fascination as a child is because of the magic surrealism of folk tales, fables and old Chinese festivals mingled together to give me a fantastical childhood full of legends, Ancestors and learnings.

As I prepare this piece I think of all the beautiful moments of richness, sound and tapestry of colors, sounds and sights that filled my childhood.

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