Looking Back to the Future

Diamond Dream 鑽石夢

Li Kuei Pi

2020, 8m 58s

In 1906 the Marseille Colonial Exhibition invited the Royal Ballet of Cambodia to perform, whereby the figure of the Apsara entered Western imagination to become fixed as an entity, while traditionally the concept had constantly undergone transmutations across the Asian region, being imagined in multiple forms and powers. Subsequently in 20th century Cambodia, the Apsara became synonymous with colonial plundering. The cyclical nature of time and history became manifest in Phnom Phnem’s artificial settlement, Diamond Island, a manifestation of aspirations for urbanity, laying the foundations of its future, caught between a largely impoverished population and rapid industrialization by means of Chinese investment. Here, a replica of the French city, named after the "Élysée Palace", the official residence of the French president exists where the artist reimagines the neocolonial legacy in the same form.


Li Kuei Pi: Born, 1991 in Taiwan. Lives and works in Taipei.
李奎壁: 1991年出生於臺灣,現在生活和工作於臺北。