IF A TREE FALLS IN A FOREST

Medium: Publications. A bilingual speculative fiction
Year: 2019
 

In future, on the last day before the end of the world, an art conservator from Hong Kong, alone in an European art museum, wanders among abandoned artworks and contemplates their meanings while all the stakeholders cease to exist. Inspired by the classic philosophical question “if a tree falls in a forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?”, this novella is a journey in search of an answer to an equally impossible question: what is art? Or rather, who gets the power to define art? Decolonial aesthetics plays an important role in this story because it is not only an explanation of how colonial forces shapes art, but is also a stragrey to fight: to build that parallel universe, where artists got the power to define art; or, at least to show the complexity of these forces, to make them explicit. 

Meanwhile, “the end”, for the protagonist, a Hongkonger, is a prolonged process of uncertainty that we are forever trapped in. The metaphor of paradigm shift has become a permanent state of temporary. In this borrowed time, borrowed place, we see our existence torn among the forces of colonialism, de-colonialism and neo-colonialism.