Royce Ng is an Australian artist based in Hong Kong. He often works with the anthropologist Daisy Bisenieks in the collective Zheng Mahler and is currently engaged in a project on the economic relationship between Asia and Africa for the Johann Jacobs Museum in Zurich, an institute for contemporary art and research focusing on transnational trade routes.


in collaboration with Daisy Bisenieks

2012, Sing the Fruits of Our Labour, performance

During the Gwangju Democratic Movement protests in 1980, the market sellers in Daein Market mobilized to provide rice balls, food and drinks to the student protesters who were being mercilessly targeted by the Korean military forces. They also provided refuge for many who ran into the market to escape from the soldiers by hiding them in their shops. Our performance is intended as a reciprocal act of giving food back to the market sellers as a gesture of thanks 30 years later as well as an acknowledgement of the role Daein Market played in the protests and in the history of Gwangju city. In our performance, a modified food cart, commonly used and seen in the market, symbolically incorporates the iconic shelter design of Daein market, as well as functioning as a mobile karaoke machine. Popular Korean songs, including a protest song heard often during the protests in 1980, are combined with film footage of Daein market and Gwangju to create the karaoke video for the songs as well as a larger emotional setting for the performance. Using ingredients sourced from the market,tea and rice ball snacks were prepared were handed out to the market sellers together with a Korean/English map charting the diverse businesses and activities of the market as an act of remembrance and recognition of the market’s social contributions, both past and present. We hope that this performance will have some direct benefits for the market in generating more interest and providing understanding and navigation of businesses, services and community activities for visitors with the help of the map.

Daein Market Map