These Koi Carp live in the garden pond of a hotel in downtown Guangzhou in China. I was there for the 6th Guangzhou triennial a few days before Christmas which was the last trip of a busy 2018. The buffet breakfast at the hotel was expansive and culturally varied and one could eat bacon and eggs or noodles and chicken or a combination of the both, if for some reason you wanted to. Every morning I would choose a different style of breakfast, grapple with the cantankerous coffee machine, and sit outside in the garden to watch the fish.
Guangzhou is a vast and dense city with outcrops of identical tower blocks that are regularly erected and sometimes knocked down again if they need to build higher capacity ones. The sound of traffic is constant as the heat and pollution collects and disperses with its own rhythm causing even the tallest buildings to appear and disappear in a slow magic trick.
Sitting in the garden watching these fish as they swam around gulping at the air made me aware that this was a tiny microcosm of calm and colour surrounded for miles by towers of glass and concrete and endless busy roads entwined and tangled between them.
I ended up using the video I shot for this photograph in a video art piece:
This photograph is also my mum’s favourite one.