Living in Hong Kong
2013, single-channel video, 18’
I looked through all of the photo albums that I could find in my house, and noticed that I was unfamiliar with some of the scenes in the photos. I started to paint them. My act of painting these scenes aroused my father’s interest, because they were mostly about the moments when he was studying, working and traveling elsewhere. Every time he walked by my room, he would come in to give me some advice, and tell me the story behind the photo. I transcribed the recording of my conversations with Father, and showed the transcription to my mother along with the paintings. I suggested that we reenact these conversations, and that she played the role of my father to attempt to get a sense of his life. The foreign- funded enterprises in my hometown were mainly from Hong Kong, therefore my father’s life story is profoundly marked by Hong Kong. My mother mocked him, saying: “He was born in Wuchuan, lives in Hong Kong.”
A Journey of Achievement
My hometown, Wuchuan, is a southern coastal city in China. My father is a local government official there, responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). After nearly 30 years of service, he was about to retire this year, so I urged him to show me around these foreign-funded enterprises, that is, his “achievements” as an official of the FDI. I told him I would produce an oil painting for each of his “achievements.” At the same time, I made this video, A Journey of Achievement, to record our entire process. While investigating and filming these enterprises, I was curious about how the buildings of these foreign enterprises differed from local buildings, and how they shaped and influenced my hometown as well as my family.
Born 1988 in Wuchuan; lives and works in Guangzhou
Zhu Jianlin graduated from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2012 with a major in oil painting. He founded FongFo Magazine in 2013 with Fong Waiking and has, since 2014, worked as a project curator in Huangbian (HB) Station, an alternative art education platform based in Guangzhou.