Wealthy as You Wish 富贵如意 (working title) is a video installation based on an ongoing artistic research about global rosewood trade. It is also the final project of my MFA study at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.
My mother lies alone every night in the corner of a king-size bed made of rosewood, a bed made of a material and in a design her husband chose for her. "富贵如意 (wealthy as you wish)" is the name of this bed. My mother's body wrapped by the rosewood bed has become a part of her image in my mind for a long time.
For many Chinese, rosewood furniture is a heritage of traditional Chinese culture and a symbol of power. And so it was for my father. Under the influence of today's capitalist logic in China, the purchase of rosewood furniture has also become an investment for the middle class because of the rare and non-renewable raw materials. These logged trees waited in warehouses for many years before being made into furniture and sold at high prices.
Most rosewood trees grow in tropical regions, which means that most people in China, the world's largest market for rosewood furniture, never see these trees alive for their whole lives. After many years away from home, I finally visited them on a trip to the Thai-Cambodian border. I went under the trees, took a short nap....