Born into a fisherman’s family that regularly hosted and attended seafood banquets, fish has always been a mainstay in Fan Chon’s diet. In recent years, fish has also become a recurring motif in his practice. Foreign invasive species, such as the Tilapia fish, mythical creatures, such as the half-dragon half-fish Shachihoko ubiquitous in Japanese culture, and the dolphins on George Town’s municipal coat of arms regularly appear in his work. Fan Chon understands food consumption as a constant negotiation between nature and culture inflected by social norms. During the residency, he intends to research the plating aesthetic and the obsession with freshness, exemplified by aquarium displays of live fish, typical of Chinese culture. Specifically, he will explore banquet dining practices of diasporic Chinese communities in Finland and Finland’s own fish culture, consumptions habits, and industry. At the same time, he will also explore the host country with an open mind looking for accidental discoveries of cultural artefacts and practices that might appear foreign and yet familiar.
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