Liverpool Biennial 2016:
Hondo Chinese Supermarket.

"You are not the only remarkable thing on this earth, Jack. Consider the jellyfish. The species turritopsis nutricula is considered to be immortal. Its cells undergo a process called transdifferentiation. Quite simply, it can revert to a younger state and grow old again. And then repeat. Without limit. It’s possible there are individual jellyfish on this planet that have existed for thousands and thousands of years."
-- Olivia, "Torchwood's Miracle Day: End of the Road"
Art In an early incarnation, back in the 60s, the building which now houses the Hondo was the offices and warehouse for a wholesale company where my mother worked, something she'd tell me stories about growing up each time we headed up Upper Duke Street.  Although the supermarket has been in place for many years now, the remnants of its former uses remain in its shell.  The warehouse at the back is still a warehouse.

Part of the Chinatown episodes, obviously, there are two pieces inside.  Sitting on a shelf in amongst the merchandise and next to a screen displaying footage from a security camera, a flat screen television plays Ian Chang's Something Thinking of You, which utilises algorithms and artificial intelligence to show a creature evolving of their own accord within a digital forest environment, a polygonal snake resembling a dragon.

Unfortunately when I visited it didn't seem to be doing much, just rolling around the landscape, which resembles an alien rainforest, creating rendering glitches in its wake.  Eventually it stopped dead underneath a tree and remained there for minutes.  I stood patiently waiting, dodging now and then to allow people to leave the supermarket (the screen is opposite one of the counters and near the exit) but nothing much else happened.

Available to take away from the counter is a colourful free sheet containing another of Lu Pingyuan's charming stories, The Two-Sided Lake which appears in English and Chinese on reverse.  Or Chinese and English on reverse if you will.  A short story about a diver who emerges unexpectedly from a lake in near a small village in China, it somehow manages to inadvertently reference Torchwood's Miracle Day although we can be pretty sure that wasn't the artist's intention.

Next Destination:
Exhibition Research Lab

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