Conducted under Sand Helsel, Studio Hong Kong (2014)
"Illegal Architecture is a kind of self - constructed building related to the sense of existence" - Wang Shu
When asked to locate a phenomena in Melbourne’s Chinatown, I considered the most overlooked and normalised item of Melbourne’s inner city laneways – the sharps unit.Due to an ongoing fascination with and evaluation of its uses and users, it was only natural that an installation was born.
By combining the performative paw of the maneki neko cat with the yellow pedestal of the sharps unit, I was able to assess the accessibility and usage of Chinatown’s network of laneways. Upon each return, a maneki neko would be gone, forcing one’s mind to wonder about its new home…the box’s user? The intoxicated university student? The envious merchant? The possibilities were endless.
As the project went on, the impermanence of the maneki neko’s evolved into the impermanence of the sharp’s disposal unit user, as i discovered a small shrine in memory of a deceased young man behind a bin. The project then drew from ongoing issues of politics, governance, health, philosophy and a concept for Melbourne’s first safe injecting clinic was born.
FAD Gallery Carpark, Chinatown Melbourne
The Howard Government's approach to drug use in the CBD