From living on the edge of the Blue Mountains National Park for many years, I relocated to Hong Kong in 2003. This disjuncture kick-started new directions in my art practice. Living and traveling in Asia for four years gave me the opportunity to investigate the ways in which nature collides, co-exists, and is incorporated into highly, densely populated, urban areas.
I became particularly interested in the points at which nature and culture intersected, and in ‘fake nature’, artifice and façade. I was attracted by the juxtaposition of objects that had found their way out of their usual environment and into other unexpected locations, such as the flotsam and jetsam found washed up along the coastline. This related to my own sense of dislocation living in a culture that was not my own.
I mapped my new environment by taking digital photographs. I was at first overwhelmed by the idea of populations living vertically in high-rise towers, as opposed to living spread out on the ground as in Australia. This interest in high density, vertical living led to concerns over environmental issues, especially mass consumption, waste disposal and water pollution.
Catherine Cloran 2009