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the fields in the shadow of the lowered eyelids

Multichannel Video and photography mixed media installation, 2023 

by Wong Winsome Dumalagan 黃慧心
2023.12.07 - 2024.01.07
Diana Cheung Experimental Gallery, 3/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre 

More information:

Dogs guarding the village entrance - overlooking from a mountain the wall drawing the border at the other side of the mountain - the mountain roads under constructions - the fields - the people around the fields - the cattle and goats enveloped by the mountains : memories blurred the territorial boundaries and intertwined the places. These remote places in various countries and cities, once being passed by, become a peculiar and sharp, and at the same time blending and overlapping landscape.

Through illustrating the fields and the journey to these fields in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hong Kong, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘥𝘴 contemplates how some places away from the centers demonstrate different or similar modes of urbanization and the dynamic in preserving the initial ways of living. This exhibition attempts to link up scattered places under different sovereignties, serving as a field to exercise pondering on and imagining our ways of living.

守在村口的犬;由一座山瞭望對面山上劃分邊界的城牆;正被修築的山路;田 、 圍繞着田的人;被山包裹着的牛羊——記憶模糊了地域邊界串連了地方,這些在不同國家城市經過的偏遠地方成為了獨特銳利卻同時相融交疊的地境。



Notes - an Exercise Field for Once

Just like the lines engraved on the acrylic board that come into view hazily in the center of the space, the forms of the tree branches, and even the landscape of the roads, are all like veins that could grow and extend. This space is like a mind map/note to me, and could be expanded and altered over time. While I was traveling, often would I feel that some places seemed familiar, obscurely connected to some faraway places. Sometimes it is about the physical places, and sometimes it is about the connections themselves. As to why one place is connected to another, sometimes it does not necessarily involve rational and concrete information, but certain inexplicable feelings, creating a distinct unparalleled field. 

The name of this show is inspired by a segment from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities - “Perhaps this garden exists only in the shadow of your lowered eyelids, and we have never stopped: you, from raising dust on the fields of battle; and I, from bargaining for sacks of pepper in distant bazaars. But each time we half-close our eyes, in the midst of the din and the throng, we are allowed to withdraw here, dressed in silk kimonos, to ponder what we are seeing and living, to draw conclusions, to contemplate from the distance.” (Though I wouldn’t hope we would be pondering that exquisitely in silk kimonos), after connecting these places in our own ways, what can we bring back to our own lives or ways of perception? How can we open up a little more imagination about places, open up/re-understand a little more the borders that divide us? And to imagine possible common/different pasts/futures while retaining critical thinking/understanding of our own way of knowing is an exercise I would like to try out this time.

I was born in the Philippines, and came to Hong Kong a few years later. While I have no memory or knowledge of my birthplace, there are some feelings that are vaguely familiar to me. My parents would take us to hike or visit the farms when we were kids. Although we probably didn’t go there many times, these memories and feelings were seeds planted and buried that I hope to attempt to search for once again. And these are not for rational analysis, but in the fields of memories, feelings and associations, I feel like some boundaries could be cracked to certain extent, and turn into unique meanings to oneselves, and these meanings could be one’s personal feelings, while they could also go as far as how we understand the places we are situated at. 

In the mountains of Vietnam, one border apart from Yunnan, the ways of living with farming and raising cattles could be lying on the timeline of history where the place we are situated now once had gone through. Before this place was stuffed with ever changing highrises and machines, perhaps we also once had similar ways of living and sceneries as that of the mountains in Vietnam. Yet at the same time, at this moment we are having similar reclamation machines and are also faced with development and construction. And the development of the place I traveled to in the Philippines, seems to be somewhere in the middle of the timeline, lying in between having to rely on the soil and climate to survive and going through urbanization. A timeline like this seems to suggest how a current place came into being. But at the same time, from another perspective, the place in the Philippines could also be as “contemporary” as the place in Vietnam, and are lying at the same present moment in timeline as Hong Kong.  When we look back at the historical flow of people and borders, the actual connection between these places and us may not be as far away as the borders and distances drawn on the map. When we are situated at the same point in time, apart from recognising the differences in cultures and perspectives, how can we practice pondering on, or imagining the ways of living we can have, and while that might possibly be able to connect and intertwine with one another (or might not ).

Since the epidemic, I began to try to find places away from strict housing estate management to live in. In these places, one could see creatures, routines of creatures, and the ways in which people interact with places, such as fields, that are difficult to be seen in housing estate management. Fields perhaps could be a relatively easy and direct entry point to see the connections between the inhabitants and the land, their understanding over the environment and soil, and their control over their own production/ways of living. The fields are like an intersection point in this exhibition, connecting these places that I have once passed through. The environment surrounding this intersection and how the process before and after can be extended to more associations are also equally crucial. 




就像在空間中央隱約看到刻在在亞加力板上的紋路、樹枝的形態、甚至路的面貌,都像是脈絡般的延伸 – 這個空間對我來說像是一個腦圖/筆記,可以流動着隨時間思考拓展改動。旅途中常常會覺得某些地方似曾相識,隱約連繫一些很遙遠的地方,這有時候關於那個實在的地方,有時候是關於那個連繫本身。為什麼一個地方會連上另一個地方,未必關於一些理性實在的資訊,有時候是某種難以以言語解釋的感受,產生了內在獨一無二的場域。

展覽的名字來自卡爾維諾《看不見的城市》中的一段:「也許,這個花園只存在我們下垂的眼皮陰影裡,而我們從未停步:你一直在戰場上掀起塵土;而我在遙遠的市集上講價。但是,每當我們半閉着眼時,即使身處喧嘩和群眾之中,我們總是能夠抽身來到這裡,穿着絲製的寬鬆和服,思考我們的所見與生活,歸引結論,從遠處看沉思默想」,(雖然我並不希望我們穿着絲製的和服這樣優雅的思考),在把這些地方用自己的方式連線過後,我們又有什麼可以帶回自己的生活或感知的方式 – 如何可以打開多一點對地方的想像、打開/重新理解那個劃分我們的邊界多一點點,去想像能夠有的共同/不同的過去/未來,同時保留對自己認知方式的批判和理解,是這一次我想嘗試的練習。




Drifting Maps:Image Fragments from the Philippines and Cambodia

日期 Date : 4.1.2024 

時間 Time : 8pm-9:30pm

地點 Venue : 香港藝術中心古天樂電影院 Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre

Free Entry 免費入場

Drifting Maps: Image Fragments from the Philippines and Cambodia, as a public event of the fields in the shadow of the lowered eyelids, will be screening Winsome Wong’s video work Vi de O about Cambodia, as well as four young Filipino video artists, Chi Pepito, Norvin de los Santos, Giah De los Reyes,Gino Javier’s video works. Drifting Maps serves as expanded perspectives, expanding from Wong's personal perspective presented in the exhibition the fields in the shadow of the lowered eyelids, to the perspectives of young artists living in the Philippines and children in Cambodia. 


Vi de O is Wong’s work created in 2017. The images of the work were taken by her students while volunteering as a teacher. They were shot in the summer of 2015 and 2016, and were later edited by Wong, showing the perceptions of children which would be difficult for grown-ups and travelers to experience. Now, eight years later, the children captured have grown up, and the place has been developing rapidly, moments captured can only remain within the images. The works of Filipino artists illustrated various visages of the place depending on where they are and their mobility, including the situation faced by local indigenous people, urban and rural development, and their hopes and struggles for their own land.


An online discussion would be held with the Filipino artists at the cinema after the screening.


《流動拼圖:來自菲律賓、柬埔寨的影像碎片》作爲《下垂眼皮的陰影裏有些田》的公衆活動,將會放映黃慧心一個有關柬埔寨的錄像作品 《Vi de O》,以及四位菲律賓年輕藝術家Chi Pepito、Norvin de los Santos、Giah De los Reyes、Gino Javier的錄像作品。《流動拼圖》將會作爲一個拓展的視點,從《下垂眼皮的陰影裏有些田》展覽中呈現黃慧心個人的視點,擴濶到住在菲律賓的年輕藝術家、以及柬埔寨的孩子的視野。


《Vi de O》為黃慧心2017年的作品,作品的影像由當時她義教的學生所拍,拍攝於2015和2016年的夏天,後來由黃慧心剪輯,呈現了大人以及旅人難以觸及的孩子的視點。而八年後的今天,孩子已經長大,當地發展迅速,很多畫面也只能停留於影像之内。菲律賓藝術家們的作品則隨著他們身處的地方和流動呈現了當地不同的面貌,包括當地原住民面臨的處境、城市與鄉郊發展,以及對自己的土地的期許和掙扎。



2023 the fields in the shadow of the lowered eyelids 下垂眼皮的陰影裏有些田, Diana Cheung Experimental Gallery, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

key visual by sickcarl
set up by Okdio, Masahiro Nakamura, Thomas Yau, Ng Kai Fung
special thanks Dennis, Kel, Bonnie

Photos by Wong Pak Hang


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