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Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong Baptist University Library

Exhibition Online: 故,土 Thus, Soil


Venue: L3, Au Shue Hung Memorial Library
Date: 3 - 19 April, 2024
Opening event: 9 April, 2024, 2:30 - 3:30pm
*If you do not have access to the Library and wish to visit the exhibition, please contact us to make arrangement.
*Exhibition will be closed 30 minutes before the Library closes. Library opening hours here.
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About the Exhibition


“Thus, Soil”–is an art exhibition co-curated by Dr Emily Zong, an environmental humanities scholar, and David Sheil, a British-Hong Kong soil artist, with the support of Au Shue Hung Memorial Library, Hong Kong Baptist University. It presents a transdisciplinary dialogue by students, artists, poets, and educators on human-soil relations.

The art exhibition unfolds in three parts – (1) “Remapping: My Soil Story,” which features personal narratives and artworks connected to soil; (2) “Ecopoetics: Soil Poetry,” where ecology meets poetry; and (3) “Felt Texture: Soil Emotions,” an exploration of the emotions that soil evokes in the young generation.

The exhibition title, “Thus, Soil,” draws inspiration from the name of Buddha Tathāgata, 如來, which means “Thus come; Thus gone.” With “thus” meaning “in this way” and “cause and effect”, the exhibition appeals to ecological mindfulness. It composes an appreciation of soil as the abiding ground and eternal law for all life through our embodied experiences and relational becomings.

At the heart of the project lies a collaborative experiment between David Sheil and the environmental humanities students at HKBU: a map of Hong Kong. This unique map, painted with hand-ground pigments, displays the diverse colours of the region’s natural soils and geological sediments. Student artists have reinterpreted this map through “embodied soil stories” of personal meanings across multiple sites across Hong Kong and beyond. Through methods of urban foraging, place-based poetry, and felt work, the “Thus, Soil” exhibition aims to raise ecological awareness of the overlooked soil lifeworlds beneath our feet and how various facets of everyday lives are deeply rooted in the soil. Commoning in a rhizomatic fashion, the exhibition presents artworks that reimagine urban spaces as places for regrowth, repair, and environmental sustainability.

Virtual Exhibition

Exhibition Highlights

Thus-soil exhibition