A multimedia presentation exploring slow traveling and serendipitous communication in this world of accelerated transportation and instantaneous connections.


In October 2013 my wife and I crossed the Pacific Ocean on a container ship. 35 days without phone and internet were conducive to contemplation. Life on board the ship, the sky, and the sea, the interactions with officers and crew, were recorded photographically. A time-lapse presentation of the view from the porthole in our room shows the changes of the environment and container configurations with the passage of time.

Before embarkation, I invited artists and friends to participate in the ‘Message in a Bottle’ project, which involved messages being inserted into bottles, one per day, and thrown into the Pacific Ocean. The idea is to explore the possibility of chance connections. There were 32 bottles in all. The date, time and GPS location of each launch, recorded on video, are exhibited simultaneously juxtaposed on the wall with 32 TV monitors as an exploration of the deviations in time and space for similar actions.

Miraculously two of the bottles had been picked up, one by a marine biologist in Vancouver and the other by a Panamanian in Thailand. Their replies completed the ‘send and ‘receive’ cycle. The meetings between us and the two retrievers, one in Vancouver and one in Hong Kong, are shown as videos.


The second section of our travels focused on connecting with the communities in Latin American countries including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Cuba. Travelling as independent tourists, we had the freedom to see what we wanted to, and in the process we acquired new insights and serendipitous experiences.

Thus, photographs displayed in the exhibition are not mere depictions of tourist sights, but observations on cultures both local and universal. The photographs were presented in the exhibition as a “photo-maze on a plateau” to encourage visitors to linger and explore.

I believe that people all around the world are pretty much alike. They have similar aspirations. But their lives are influenced by their different cultures and environments. That’s what makes life interesting.

What I want to show is – what is the difference in this sameness, and what is the sameness in this difference.


  • Artmap (Chinese)
    “Although I was trapped in a tin can, I still wanted to know, what was the difference between today and yesterday, and what would be different tomorrow?”
    May , 2016
  • Parole (French & Chinese version only)
    Elle est retrouvée. Quoi ? - L’éternité. C’est la mer allée Avec le soleil. A. Rimbaud
    Jun , 2016
  • SCMP (English version only)
    "Each day for 32 days during a journey to Colombia on a container ship, Leong Ka Tai and his wife threw a message in a bottle into the sea – and one of them was discovered in July 2015 off Canada’s Pacific coast"
    Apr 4, 2016