Fish Out of Water
When I first moved to the UK I found living in a new and – to me – alien culture extremely difficult. Two years later, I have started to accept those differences. And now I come to regard this culture as my home. However, sometimes I still feel like a fish out of water.
— Sunsun Liu
In the ancient Chinese Literature The Dream of Red Mansion, the author wrote: woman’s bones are made from water. This means women are soft and easy to shape. We can almost adapt like water to anything, any area, like moving from one place to another, or adapting to a different life. However us, women can adapt to the new ways and live within that culture yet still struggle to feel a part of it like fish out of water which is both a Chinese and English saying.
Fish Out of Water is about cultural differences and social barriers. It charts the self-consciousness each Chinese woman feels as she moves from China to the UK, where she is obliged to adjust to a new social and cultural environment. We are like fish out of water until we find a new home.
The work consists of two parts. Part One is a multi-screens video, a recording of a goldfish dropping into water in extreme slow motion with sound effects. Part Two consists of 8 portraits of Chinese women with their stories – underwater.
Sunsun Liu is a Chinese photographer and visual artist who lives and works in London. Her work often focuses on the diasporic nature of modern life especially from a female viewpoint. She often uses water and builds a narrative within her photographs.
Part One: “女人是水做的骨肉”，这意味着我们善于适应和改变。所以我们努力地将自己捶圆搓扁，捏成灵魂里想要的形状，希望借此有所归属。最终得到如鱼得水的生活也如人饮水冷暖自知。于是我在水里拍下这些如我一样挣扎过的她们的故事。多年之后，他乡和故乡融成一片，是我们挥之不去的双重乡愁。
Part Two：3’50’’ 三通道影片，《如鱼“得”水》
刘桑， 摄影师，制作人。定居伦敦。Flash Forward摄影大奖英国区获奖者。作品曾在美国，加拿大，英国多地展出。作品通过女性视角探讨现实生活的无所归属。 ShowMeMagicFilms Ltd 创办人之一。