Karin Weber Gallery

Artwork Details


Eric Fok


Back to Paradise 20




ink on paper


73 × 20cm


Framed size: 103 x 48cm






Looking through old letters from my family, I found that many were sent from or relayed through Hong Kong. The date on the letters made me curious about society at the time, allowing me to get a glimpse of the life of overseas Chinese and immigrants in the city in the past, and the reasons for its formation.

The Old Post Office was built in 1911 when the Republic of China was established. The Qing government was overthrown the following year. In. response to the turbulent political situation, a large number of Chinese went abroad, sowing Chinese seeds around the world. In the future, letters became an important way for overseas Chinese to connect with their families in China. Overlapping family letters pieced together the foreigners’ longing for their family, bloodline and homeland. Hundreds of years of Chinese migration history have formed a huge Chinese community around the world. Historic Chinatowns constructed around the world have left many traces of displacement.

The work paints the facade of a post office. The animals in the building symbolize the overseas groups in the early days of Hong Kong, such as Portugal – peacocks; India – tigers and elephants; Britain – foxes and deer; as well as other native animals from various places. Globalization and the introduction of foreign populations have enriched and diversified our local culture.

The entrance on the ground floor is painted with floating Hong Kong islands and ships, symbolizing different countries and industries in different eras, such as labour recruitment ships, opium ships, sailing ships and steamships. The skyline of Victoria Harbour is painted with a first-hand view of ships arriving or departing. Travelers’ expectations and farewells gather here.

Through the exchange of letters at the post office, family members and strangers from all over the world stayed connected. Their physical distance before the internet era increased nostalgia, but at the same time diluted emotions.

Memories gradually transform into an entity of recorded events, becoming the family letters and record of a generation.

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