when I first arrived Melbourne, I started to wonder around the city and get to know the city. One day I was grocery shopping and I was in a rush, when I walk pass Bourke Street, I step over someone’s drawings on the ground which I didn’t notice, and the person shouted at me making me notice all these small paintings on Melbourne CBD’s ground. I started to observe different people creating their artworks on the street. One day I met a lady drawing a long neck turtle, with her writings next to it, I got to chat with her a little bit, Marcy is an aboriginal and her paintings was about the Yarra river and dreamtime and totems. Which I have heard from some Australian art house movie but not very familiar about of course. At the same time, I started to receive RMIT emails because of my academic studies, from different departments and of course lecturers, I notice the acknowledgement every where, in fact there is a whole web page on RMIT about the acknowledgement of Kulin Nations and their unceded lands. And all these “Womindjeka !” around different sights of Melbourne, including the signature one in Melbourne University .
I visited Bourke Street again and again mainly because of running errands, but I also started to observe the traces or marks of the different drawings left behind by the artist. I found Marcy’s faded work the day after along with lots of others, one even say “coronavirus” in front of the central station. I saw poster saying Lets fully welcome refugees on the St Pauls Cathedral, a nostalgic 1895 photograph of Swanston Street displayed by the Commonwealth bank, and Kim Kardashian’s Diet AD on the Yarra Tram. And on top of all that, I am overwhelmed by the amount of Chinese Restaurants, Asian Market, and bubble tea shops across Melbourne city.
I had an idea, I copied the acknowledgement from the RMIT website and translated it into Chinese, I got some coloured chalk from the Japanese Daiso Shop and I wrote my own statement, of course on Bourke Street, I started to record the people passing around, and there are all kinds of people, very diverse I would say, most people wouldn’t read the statement, some will try to avoid stepping on it, some will walk pass it. I was trying to make a acknowledgement but to create my own “territory”, because of the inspiration from the person who shouted at me, I guess artists get to occupy or claim their own “land” when the drew on certain space, Where I saw an artist recreating huge renaissance paintings using chalk, and he uses cones and buckets to create a fence of his gigantic painting , to protect from people stepping over his work. I thought why not just let my acknowledgment to the pedestrians, the residents of Melbourne decide, how it's going to fade. And it was quite interesting to observe people passing over my “land of work”. And I was quite surprised that one person actually stopped and read my acknowledgement during the 3 hours of observation, an older asian man that obviously understand Chinese, which he could be Chinese Australian , or any countries that has Chinese speaking citizens. My work faded by about 50 percent after some hours, and I finished my observation.
Take some with you, 2020
documentation photos print size variable.