CONGEE (2022)
SET Lewisham, London
In collaboration with F.A.T. Studio

Exhibition Text:


Open Daily: 9AM-4PM
Wednesday 16 – Monday 21 November
SET Lewisham

Private View: 16 November 6-8.30PM

CONGEE is an installation by artist Alastair Kwan and F.A.T. Studio, which will transform SET Lewisham project space into a canteen serving Hong Kong style congee. The canteen will be open for five days between 9am-4pm, where Alastair will be cooking and serving Hong-Kong style congee: a savoury rice porridge dish widely eaten across East Asia. CONGEE will also play host to a programme of events from other artists and local organisations, which can be booked via eventbrite (link on our website). Through CONGEE, the space will become a meeting point, engaging the local community in Lewisham, East South-East Asian diaspora, and celebrating the amazing diversity of London’s neighbourhoods.

This project brings together research and art around congee inspired by Alastair's own experiences and memories of growing up British Born Chinese. It draws on the cultural importance of food within immigrant communities, and how small restaurants and businesses become a focal point for the diaspora community. Congee shows the best characteristics of Cantonese food; simple, resourceful, warm, cheap, back-to-essentials and tasty. For some people congee will be a familiar dish; they might have had it growing up, and have struggled to find it in London. For others, congee will be a new experience.


Private View – Wednesday 16 Nov 6–8:30PM
The Sisterhood Health Event with BAME women's group The Sisterhood – Thursday 17 Nov 6:30–8:30PM
Co-working Lunch Club with Creative Network OKR – Friday 18 Nov 12:30–2PM
Game Party: Congee Playtesting with games designer William Wong – Saturday 19 Nov 5–7PM
Scent from Memories: Corsage Arranging Workshop with artists Polam Chan and Janice Lam – Sunday 20 Nov 4–5:30PM
Arts Freelancer Breakfast Club with (LEAN) Lewisham Educational Arts Network – Monday 21 Nov 9:30–11AM



© Alastair Kwan 2023