Missing Ivy (丟失了的埃華) is a series of works belonging to Root & Branch, a collaboration between Wales-based artist Linda Norris and Hong Kong-based artist Wai Kit Lam in 2021.
This series includes 14 postcards. Each postcard shows a map of Tai Kok Tsui, Hong Kong. In each postcard, one street is cut away. Each postcard has a different cutaway street. On the back of the postcard, the name of the missing street is written next to the cutaway.
The concept of Missing Ivy comes from the Tai Kok Tsui streets’ names with the names of British trees; they were named during colonial times by British officials.
The first one, next to the coast, was named Ivy Street, of which once there were ivy trees. As time went by, that area was reclaimed. The new streets were named Oak Street, Beech Street, Sycamore Street, Larch Street, Fir Street, Walnut Street, Ash Street, etc. But none of these streets had ever had any British trees. Furthermore, no more ivy trees at Ivy Street since then.
This historical naming provokes my perception of identity. What if an identity is forced to abolish or vanish by the passage of time? Moreover, identity may also be imposed, even if it is forever never an authentic self.
Wai Kit Lam