Hou Chien Cheng
11 x 17,5 cm, 140 p, ills colour / b&w, paperback, English
design: Jurgen Maelfeyt
edition of 300 copies
“In June 2004, I was officially declared by the government of Belgium a vreemdeling – a stranger, an alien, a foreigner. I remember when I was in the fifth grade, we were encouraged to share with the class what we wanted to become when we grow up. Though it seemed like a simple question, we took our time. So by the end of the lesson, we had produced a long list of “occupations” – a baseball player, a comic drawer, a scientist, a businessman or a journalist. It kept going on and on. Anything children at that age could think of, we possibly wrote them all down. On the day I became a foreigner I tried to recall the list, and foreigner was not on it. I guess none of us thought of becoming one. For my residency at Be-Part, I have decided to work on a novel, or rather, a form of a novel. To me, as a visual artist, it is a stretched reality, translated from visual memories, that lives on paper. Brown is a work of fiction and at the same time an autobiographical collage that depicts a potential future self. Despite the immigrant background, Brown is not about racism. It’s about how people define and call a place home, and how people struggle when they’re socially disabled. If you are away from home, if you are going to be away from home, if you had been away from home, then Brown is a book for you.” Hou Chien Cheng
In collaboration with Be-Part Waregem.