Two Dollars

Excerpt from Inward Gazes: Documentaries of Chinese Performance Art 2012, The Macao Museum of Art, Macau S.A.R., 2012, p. 125: 'The penny coin has a low monetary value in Hong Kong, and is a token of poverty and hard-earned money. In the era of electronic payment and internet banking, even retail shops and eateries gradually refuse to accept pennies for payment, and money seems to have become a virtual numerical game. The penny seems to have passed its expiry date, and has become an outdated item that is at odds with our economics. But on the other hand, it does imply the perseverance, painstaking, and striving spirit of Hong Kong people in yesteryear.

Walking around the alleys in Kowloon District, I turned myself into a manually-operated living coin exchanger, asking people for change. During the process of exchanging coins, I used my physical labour work of gradually collecting them into 'pounds' (weight) to pay tribute to the spirit of the old generations in Hong Kong who were hardworking, hard saving, as well as hard striving. I then polished each of the 10-cent, 20-cent, and 50-cent coins I have collected, and placed them on the floor of the exhibition venue so as to create a scene of 'gold coins everywhere'.

While the Hong Kong people have created a glorious epoch — and listening to the melody of 'Under the Lion Rock' is an indication of their united spirit — do they understand the essence behind the saying, 'the water that bears the boat is the same that devours it'?'

The performance took place in Kowloon, Hong Kong S.A.R., China.

Alternative title

Shi Zi Shan Xia De Er Yuan

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Hong Kong



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artwork documentation

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Two Dollars, 獅子山下的二元