• Issue
  • Jun 28, 2024

Floating Signifiers: Lap-See Lam

LAP-SEE LAM with dragon head made by LU GUANGZHENG. Photo by Mattias Lindback/Moderna Museet.

“We were appealing from the Dreamers’ Quay: for protection, for our dreams to see the light. I am praying through dawn and night: lead me home through the waters of the maternal ancestor!” implored the performer Ivan Cheng, wearing a blue-and-orange, fish-adorned robe, his face awash in peachy-rose makeup. He then mounted a giant lattice of bamboo scaffolding. The two characters of “we” are Past Lo Ting (played by pop singer Bruno Hibombo) and Future Lo Ting (Cheng), based on the mythical half-human, half-fish creature of Pearl River Delta lore. As Past Lo Ting longs for his sea culture and language lost, the “maternal ancestor” (the Sea Mother, Ma-Zhou) assists him in returning to the Fragrant Harbour (the literal meaning of Hong Kong) on a giant dragon ship. Future Lo Ting hopes to steer his other self away from the tragic temptations of nostalgia.

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