Room for A Book1

Room for A Book, Homecoming

Hon Lai-chu

── 韓麗珠,《回家》



展覽的其中的部份是作家對「家」不同概念的辯證。「舊居」對於韓麗珠是「所有道路和走廊,在我可以到達目的地之前,都會突然改變。」 ── 〈舊時居所〉。從一個地方搬到另一個地方,或者說搬家從來都是心煩事,過程中會因為各種狀況而要繞路。重訪故居,往昔的部份已隨搬家在位置空間的轉變而逝去,熟悉都變成陌生。


“Time has changed many things,
I have moved homes once and again, and people come and go.
Time tells the people, whatever they desire,
They are just always living in an illusion.”
From Homecoming by Hon Lai-chu

It is often said that “home” makes people feel at peace, but how does it feel to be at peace, and what kind of space is “home”? Some people can find peace from reading, and for them, books become their sanctuary of peace. “Room for a Book” is a series of exhibitions about homecoming and books. It also corresponds to a concept behind cities and the ages, as well as to an exploration about books and space. “In Hong Kong, not all families can have a bookshelf. The rate at which book lovers earn money cannot catch up with that they buy books, resulting in a tense relationship between the two,” said Tang Siu-wa, the curator, at the introduction to the exhibition.

Contributing authors and artists include Hon Lai-chu, Dorothy Tse, Cally Yu, Him Lo and Ho Sin-tung. Each exhibits a book which forms one session in the exhibition, with the exhibition space being turned into part of a reading process. The first book featured is Homecoming by Hon Lai-chu. “Hon Lai-chu compares home to skin and clothes, in which people live.” said Tang Siu-wa.  Paper perhaps is where words make their home. Even though most people no longer write with pen and paper, Hon insists on engaging in this traditional labor of writing. She first makes notes on random pieces of paper she can get her hands on, and then organizes them before transferring them to manuscript paper. Her words move homes over and over again. During the process, many thoughts come up in the author’s mind, and those patterns of whirlwind have been drawn on paper following her train of thoughts. These circling patterns seem to be changing unpredictably, and they are changes during the author’s thinking process. With the inner heart being its point of departure, Hon’s Homecoming turns its face to the city, closely connected people and objects, and ponders upon the root and changing nature of homes. Just like her writing process, on their way from paper random taken to manuscript, words undergo changes while moving “homes”.

Part of the exhibition involves authors’ examination of various concepts associated with “homes”. Regarding “old homes”, Hon Lai-chu thinks that “all the roads and corridors, before [she] reaches the destination, will suddenly change.” — “Old Residence”. Moving from one place to another, or moving homes, has always been troublesome, and during the process, one might need to make a detour due to various circumstances. During a revisit to an old home, the past has disappeared along with the move following the change of location and space. What was once familiar has now become strange.

Room for A Book5