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We make our decisions in our lives, how about after our death? Is it infelicitous to discuss death when we are still alive, or is it something to discuss with ease?

The HKDI DESIS Lab attempts to connect the theme of life and death to its design and organises design activities, in which elderlies are invited to share their opinions on ageing, death and after-death arrangements in a relaxed atmosphere. One of the activities organised is to design Living Diamond jewellery pieces for the participants. Living Diamond refers to the transformation of the deceased’s ashes to crystalline pieces through technology. Allowing the bereaved to wear jewellery pieces designed using these Living Diamonds becomes one of the options in after-death arrangements.

Katie, a designer in her early twenties, talks with many elderlies in the course of preparing the activities, in which she has learnt many stories of life. This time, she meets two sisters, Li-yun and Hing-yun. They take care of each other but at the same time live their own fulfilling lives. They both face death peacefully and such magnanimity further inspires Katie in her work of designing Living Diamond.

Living Diamond can be one of the options in after-death arrangements. Whatever your choice is, may be what matters most is allowing you to discuss with your families in advance and be prepared, thereby offering autonomy and relief.

Questioning the God of Death

Death is impartial, either to the poor or to the bigwigs, it is inescapable. Although everyone rationally understands that Death will come visit sooner or later, it is challenging in real life to live with no regrets and to die in peace. The busy working Hong Kong people in particular, have their energy all drained just to cope with their lives, leaving them with no mental power to dwell on the issue of death. In the end, people are usually overwhelmed at Death’s door. Regardless of the hectic lives of Hong Kong people, Death is never considerate of our schedules; yet, Death is not always formidable as He has witnessed all separations in life and partings at death, which fill Him with compassion and solicitude. If you are brave enough to ask, He is more than willing to answer all your questions on death. He will tell you, “The greatest loss in life is not death, but to live a life of mere existence.”

The nine episodes of “Questioning the Death” seek to break the taboos surrounding death, and to explore the culture of death, life and death education, hospice care, bereavement support, the practitioners in the funeral trade, etc. in Hong Kong and other Chinese societies, thereby provoking people to ponder over death, so as to understand life through death.
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