Wai Ching Chan
What can I give you in return…
Wai Ching Chan is an artist based in Auckland. She recently graduated with an Honours degree from the Elam School of Fine Arts, and is currently an invigilator at Artspace NZ.
‘What can I give you in return… (長長久久)’ (Mop string, cotton fibre from Whangateau, cotton seed from Whangateau; photographed by Sam Harnett) was a part of the exhibition The River Remains; ake tonu atu at Artspace in 2018. Reflecting on the relationship she has with Aotearoa and tāngata whenua as a tauiwi, the exhibited works are ‘letters’ written with the hope to strengthen the bonds with the history of Aotearoa, the people and the land. This work uses the symbolic meaning of traditional Chinese knots as the narrative device, a kind of language which connects time and space. There are three types of knots that are used: ‘The Button Knot’ symbolises holding what was separated together, ‘The Caisson Knot’ establishes connection to the ‘world’ and us and ‘The Endless Knot’ is typically seen as the ‘Good Luck Knot’: ultimate, eternal blessings, friendship and connection.