The project began during the outburst of COVID in March 2020. I found myself no longer able to go around freely to take photos, cooking at home became an important part of my daily living. One day as I was preparing dinner, the open eggshell in my hand caught my attention. I was fascinated by the beauty of its form and started to question, “how much recyclable food scraps do we throw out each day?”
As of 2018, the amount of food waste accounts for 31% of the municipal solid waste in Hong Kong. According to the statistics published by the Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong generates approximately 3,565 tonnes of food waste each day. Two-thirds comes from households accounting for 0.32kg/person/day, equivalent to around 4 apples or 6 eggs or one and a half pieces of steak disposed per person per day.
Since then, I began collecting food scraps. I staged them on a spoon to make up a classic Chinese homemade dish, and then photographed it as one bite of a dish. While I create each photo at the corner of my flat, my husband, who is an enthusiastic home cook, would make suggestions for the next “photo dish”. Together we created a variety of “photo dishes” and noted the weight of each “dish”.
In 2021, this series was shortlisted for The Ballarat International Foto Biennale The Fineman New Photography Award (Australia).
Our collaboration evolved further later on, using food scraps to create gourmets instead of composting them, exploring Zhuangzi’s concept of “usefulness in the uselessness”. This work was recently published as a Chapter in Grandma Grandpa Cook 2 Wastenot Gourmet.