Eric Fok
2047.7 - Antique Suitcase Lightbox
Ink on paper, vintage wooden case, LED light
20 x 31 x 49 cm

(text by artist)

我身本無鄉,心安是歸處」 白居易 《初出城留別》




‘I am not bound to where I was born. Home is where my heart is at peace.’  Bai Juyi

The reasons behind migration in human history vary, but it has always been an intrinsic yearning for a better life, and a search for a paradisal land. From the voyage by the travellers in the Age of Discovery to diasporas in modern history, humans held emotions of hope, grievance, and longing, no matter they migrated for desires or away from hardships. Their trajectories of life interweave at places, and create new places of belonging.

Suitcases are commonly used for long journeys. They carry different cultures and stories, transporting the desires, hopes, and anxieties for life. Human life is finite in the span of history and it is impossible for us to experience it all. Yet, old objects –– aged suitcases possess encounters that we don’t have. As I create on used objects and explore traces of past voyages, I converse with the long-gone era to backtrack the past and inspect the future.

Maps represent their concurrent times. They are the outcomes of human’s exploration and division of land, records of the advancement of civilisation and the hunger for power, and a blueprint to constructing an ideal world. My work references travel literature and maps by travellers from the west, adventurers, and missionaries. The historical East is reimagined based on their experiences to retrace the origins of colonies in the Age of Discovery, and examine urban issues such as development and population migration. As I pursue ephemeral subjects, I also behold the current society and introspect about my concept of utopia.