Ancestral Fortune

To Sweet Impossible Blossom, 2021, Jiajia Qi. Photo by Steven Maybury

Ancestral Fortune is a cosmic journey where past fuses into future. This exhibition invites you to let go of your human perception and step into the universe of the nonhuman that lives side by side with us. In this space, we respect those who can see without eyes, hear without ears and speak without mouths. Slowly and communally we observe the fluid patterns of nature and learn to understand their rhythmic changes.

Written language by Alice Sparkly Kat
Visual language by Wanwai Shum
Artworks by Jiajia Qi and Junghun Kim
Curated by Honey Kraiwee

MAMA Rotterdam, 2021

When I had the opportunity to propose a project to MAMA, I was interested in revisiting the Five Elements theory, which has elements of Feng shui, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, astrology and the almanac.

I got interested in the theory because I am of Chinese descent. I grew up in Bangkok, a westernised metropolis full of contrast between capitalism and animistic beliefs. My family practises rituals from the motherland, of which some have been banned in China ever since the Cultural Revolution because they are deemed illogical and do not help the country progress.

However, I often resort to this inexplicable information whenever logic can’t calm my mind. So, I thought that I would like to offer you another way of looking at ourselves and the world.

I hope you enjoy your visit and could grasp something. It doesn’t matter what it is. Most of all, I would love to convey to all of you, who come from a culture which has been made inferior to the dominant one, and those who are told to look up to the west, to look down on yourselves and follow western norms, that I hope this Five Elements theory could empower you to cherish the ancestral fortune that has been passed on to you.

– Honey Kraiwee
MAMA Programme maker: Ancestral Fortune

Images: Lotte