Ride The Dykma
Dykma = old Fuzhounese word for 'play horse' in which children use a stick as a prop.
This was made as part of a larger body of research on Fuzhounese history and the Minjiang river. Dykma is an old Fuzhounese word for 'play horse' in which children used a bamboo stick as a prop. There is a a popular local children's poem called 'Moonlight' in which a lady waits for a man to return on his bamboo horse (a 'bamboo horse', or zhu zi ma, is a name given to a type of raft made of bamboo sticks) She does not know when he will come. For centuries, the boat people are - or were - very much considered the gypsies of the sea around the south coast of China. In recent times many moved onto land, through a mixture of modernisation, restrictions, and incentives. A lost culture - for all it's persecutions, and questionable behaviours - can become mythologised, or commodified. But it is the imagination for other ways of being that is truly lost. I spent a day learning about longboats from local boatmakers. I was interested in the tribalistic designs for each boat, typified by 'power animals' like the tiger, or dragon and I wanted to make a mythology of the bamboo horse.
These horses here can be rode, much like the rocking horse; but from side-to-side, as if on a boat. In the adjacent room one is captured in a net, it's bamboo stripped away. While opposite, the other waits for its master under spotlight. When will he return?