CARROT ROSE (HOLLAND - 荷蘭)
Carrot Rose is a project that consists of several works that I made and collected over the years.
The starting point for this project were photographs I made of my parents in 2010. In the photographs
my parents wear an orange t-shirt that says 'HOLLAND' at its back. My parents wear this typical
t-shirt every year for King's day, the national holiday of the Netherlands.
A few years ago my parents pointed to a family photo album. Inside were photographs of carrots shapen into animals, flowers, and human figures. In his younger years my father had a skilled colleague with whom he made these objects out of carrots.
The carrot rose is a well known garnish in Chinese dishes in the Netherlands. My parents, who owned a Chinese restaurant in the 90's, served these handmade roses as a garnish to their dishes in the restuarant. For me it was very logic to ask my father to transform a piece of carrot into a rose while I would film the process.
Due to circumstances my parents were unable to teach me their culture, language and skills. I don't posses the skills to turn a superficial carrot into a nice object. Instead I copied a carrot rose of my father and turned it into a permanent object that became the sculpture Shape and Colour.
For one of my other projects (Nr. 39 with Rice) I visit regularly Chinese restaurants where I order dishes to photograph and eat. Not very often do these dishes come with a carrot rose but when they do I am always surprised by the variation in shape, size and complexity. The photographs of dishes with a carrot rose are turned into puzzles which I assemble personally to play again with the notion of creating.
As a bonus of my restaurants visits I collect the takeaway menu. They come in different shape and colour and together they give an insight in the visualization and development of Chinese menu design. For Carrot Rose I grouped together the menus that depict a Chinese junk to say that something is dissapearing.
The project Carrot Rose is closely linked to the project In Search of Perfect Orange and Chin. Ind. Rest.
A. HOLLAND - 荷蘭
Holland - or 荷蘭 (‘Ho Laán’) in Cantonese - embodies my parent's commitment to their second home country. The portraits were taken shortly at the end of their working day.