You can solve all the world's problems in a garden.
― Geoff Lawton (2008)
Green living and sustainable development are the world’s important values that ACO also advocates. Sustainable development should imprint in our livelihood’s details. It needs not be overwhelming and can just be small changes brought about by small steps to be made by each human. Based on this idea, ACO develops her own ACO Garden at the rooftop of Foo Tak Building and her ACO Food project inside the space on 14/F of Foo Tak Building. Both projects are complementing each other. The harvest from the ACO Garden is to be provided to ACO Food for exhibition and consumption. Leftovers are decomposed into fertilizer thus forming a self-sustained cyclical system.
ACO Garden and ACO Food metamorphose from the former SLOW Experience. This happened in 2010 when there were all kinds of boiling demonstrations against the construction of the high-speed railway between Hong Kong and China and the eviction of the villagers from Choi Yuen Village. At the same time there were civil-minded people showing great concern towards Hong Kong’s sustainable development, and they were going into the Ma Shi Po Village in North East New Territories where had not gained any attention yet. They cooperated with several farmers whose ancestors had been farmers there already. They intended to reform Hong Kong’s local farming and build up community economy through the “coexistence of the urban and the rural”. SLOW Experience was initiated as a pioneer project in connection with such a vision. It transformed vegetables from the farmland to ‘This is Food!’ exhibition on the dining table. Leftovers were used as compost that fed the soil to nurture the plants, then the plants became the elements for food exhibition. The soil on the rooftop comes from the North East New Territories; some plants come from Choi Yuen Village; some seeds come from Wan Chai neighbourhood…Through the exchange of resources and energy between the urban and the rural, we see the significance and possibility of the co-sustenance between the two.
When green living has become trendy, and it has become easier than ever ordering high-carbon footprint materials online to grow herbs, ACO is still much concerned about sustainable development. She will try her best to establish all kinds of life cycles, to experiment all kinds of out-of-the-way tests, to explore the imagination for using our precious space and to inherit the traditional wisdom of the villagers in the New Territories.