Rash is a project focusing on tropical plants cultivated in foreign countries and their interactions with urban landscape. It comes from my interest in exploring how the imaginaries of contemporary lifestyle can be shaped by botanical history during the colonial period since 16th century.
The botanical garden is a perfect example of European colonial conquest; it showcases a great variety of plants collected from around the world during the colonial period. In botanical gardens, cacti can be grown under the same roof as orchids, ignoring the fact that their origins stretch from Asia to South America. I grew up in Taiwan, a sub-tropical country and a former colony. To witness bamboo being planted besides palm trees in Kew Gardens is unsettling. I also observe specific tropical plants are favored internationally as aesthetic houseplants. My empathy for tropical plants away from home informs my work on this project, as I seek to explore their situation through my images.