"Vestman in Matsudo" (2016)
The word “Vestman" from "Vestmannaeyjar”, the name of a small island in Southern Iceland, means "foreigners" (Westman) in Icelandic.
People who are not Icelanders once lived on this island. In the place where I grew up, Hong Kong, it is described to be “The Land of Good Fortune“.
This term was created after the 3.11 Tsunami catastrophe in Japan, and that it comes from the idea that Hong Kong is naturally being protected
from earthquakes and tsunamis by the surrounding islands (such as Taiwan and the Philippine archipelago) as natural barriers.
On the tenth day of my stay in Matsudo, I experienced an earthquake for the first time in my life.
The work is constructed of a mixture of unnamed photographs taken in Matsudo, Japan and Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland with a sense of gratitude.
Through this work, the relationship between Matsudo and its river, and the relationship between Vestmannaeyjar and its volcanoes are explored through the visual similarity of landscapes,
to diffuse the manmade concepts of national identity and geographical territory by the pure natural connection of the possibility for earthquakes,
the Earth shaking, which is same ground and soil all human beings stand upon.
Florence Lam © 2021