Light

Winner

Ducky TSE Chi-tak Project Statement Biography
LAU Ching Ping Project Statement Biography
Suet-sum LAI
FUNG Caleb
Albert Bonsfills Project Statement Biography
Rufina Wu & Stefan Canham Project Statement Biography
Lo Lai Lai Natalie Project Statement Biography
Xyza Cruz BACANI Project Statement Biography
CHAN Wai Kwong Project Statement Biography
SHEK Chun Yin

Project Statement

If history is totally related to the past, there would be no so-called contemporary problem or historical problem. However, many different contexts remain that are still affecting our lives. We cannot ignore historical problems, somehow we have to deal with them head on. People from every generation have their own problems as a result of history. As a “post-80s” man and a son of a stowaway, there is no doubt I identify myself as a Hong Konger. But in relation to China and identity, I find myself in a paradoxical situation. I often ponder on this issue even though it always confuses me.

Understanding my father’s experience of sneaking into Hong Kong has helped me to have a better grasp of my identity. However, I can only project based on his memories which are fragmented and indistinct, and other times based on his facial expressions and conversations.

Inevitably, the “past” is fading away, we cannot capture every moment of the past, but we can try to re-experience it and it might be the best method for me to rediscover my identity. From the personal history of my father to the collective memories of those stowaways interviewed by Bingan Chan, a Shenzhen journalist, my personal research does not only complement his but also allows my concerns to emerge at a personal level. I believe that part of forgotten history affects every stowaway and their descendants, and perhaps to an extent, the whole of Hong Kong. This is about identity, but more importantly, it determines what Hong Kong is, the core values that we often refer to.

This is an art project that is neither biographical nor documentary in nature. Perhaps currently it is a reflection of my father; but it could also be used to trace the origins of Hong Kong people or even linked to other things beyond my imagination.

Biography

Siu Wai Hang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Media from The School of Creative Media, The City University of Hong Kong. He went on to obtain his Master of Fine Art from the Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2014, he won the WYNG Masters Award on the theme of “AIR”. In 2010, Siu presented a solo exhibition “Metropolis Chlorophyll” (K11 Art Mall, 2010) and in 2015 he presented “The Elusive” (Lumenvisum, 2015). He has also joined a number group exhibitions, including “780S” (Blindspot Gallery, 2014) , “WYNG Masters Award Finalists’ Exhibition – GASP” (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2014), “Pingyao International Photography Festival 2013” (Pingyao, 2013), “Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards 2012” (Hong Kong Museum of Art, 2013), “Hong Kong EYE” (Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, 2013), “Image on the Run” (City University of Hong Kong, 2013) and “Dine at Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate” (2009). His works are collected by The Legislative Council of Hong Kong, The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong and various private collections. He currently lives and works in Hong Kong and teaches at various art institutes and universities.

Project Statement

Computers, electronics and mobile phones pile up on the streets of Guiyu, a small town of not more than two hundred thousand people in southeastern China. In ten years, the town has gone from being green and leafy to becoming one of the most polluted towns in the world, as millions of tonnes of electronic waste from Western companies have arrived from Hong Kong’s port.

The overwhelming majority of the population of this small town spends the day dismantling outdated electronics in illegal workshops, usually located in the basement of their homes. Interestingly, most of these devices were manufactured in China and after passing through more prosperous countries and cities, they return here to be dismantled. Despite knowing the terrible consequences to the environment and personal health (e.g. drinking water must be brought in from 30 kilometers away), lead, gold and copper are extracted without any protection and in appalling conditions with lack of ventilation. And, after further treatment, these materials are readied to be sent on to make copper cables, printed circuit boards and batteries. The most valuable components such as electronic chips, capacitors and screws are resold on the black market managed by mafia organizations that enrich themselves at the expense of the poorest. Unscrupulous bosses are reluctant to show the reality of this recycling and will do anything to protect their business from possible leaks to the outside world.

Biography

Albert Bonsfills was born in Barcelona in 1982. He studied photography at the Institute of Photographic Studies of Catalonia (IEFC).

Currently living between China and Barcelona, Albert focuses his work on unique and intimate stories that often go unnoticed, aiming to show how society is through documentary photography, and using documentary as a tool for reflection and to support the struggle for human rights. In an effort to understand the people he photographs more deeply, as part of his approach, Albert tries to discern their dreams and the things that make them cling to life.

Albert was selected for the 4th Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism and was nominated for both Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund and the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2014. His work has been awarded the Premio Internazionale ON THE MOVE (2013) and the Renaissance Prize (2013). In 2011, he received a grant for young Catalan photojournalists to continue his work in Eastern China.

Albert’s works have been selected amongst the finalists in several contests and festivals and have been published, projected and exhibited in India, USA, Spain, Italy, Russia, France and the United Kingdom.

Project Statement

Facing skyrocketing property prices and rents in Hong Kong, most low-income families left out of the public-housing network can only afford to live in either 100 sq. ft. subdivided flats, 20 sq. ft. ‘caged homes’ and ‘coffin rooms’, or steaming-hot, illegal rooftop flats.

To pay for their substandard living environment, these underprivileged families – with average household income of less than HK$8,000 – must spend more than half their earnings on rent. Not only does this restrict their budget for food and toys for their children, these families also have to live with serious safety hazards such as potential fire threats cause by overloaded electricity wiring amongst subdivided units, blockage of rear fire escape staircases and poor hygienic conditions.

Biography

Ko Chung Ming is a Hong Kong-based photojournalist with 11 years experience. His focus is on photographic stories, profile interviews, and features. He has covered a specialist eye hospital in Columbia that helps slum-area children throughout the country, the devastating floods in Thailand that swept away auto and electronic factories near Bangkok in 2001, the rapid desertification of Inner Mongolia, China posing a severe threat to the livelihood of its various ethnic inhabitants, and the PM 2.5 air pollution monitoring controversy in Beijing.

Over the years, Ko Chung Ming has received a number of photojournalism awards, including 1st prize Hong Kong Press Photographers Association – Focus at the Frontline 2007, People category and 1st prize in the Focus at the Frontline 2002, Features category. He participated in ‘Art Chat on Harbour’, a exhibition featuring Hong Kong and China artists at the Cattle Depot in 2004.

Project Statement

There is no elevator. We walk up the eight flights of stairs, hesitating on the last one, looking at each other, out of breath: we have no right to be here.

The roof is a maze of corridors, narrow passageways between huts built of sheet metal, wood, brick and plastics. There are steps and ladders leading up to a second level of huts. We get lost. Our leaflets in hand, Rufina knocks on a door. There is an exchange in Cantonese. Stefan stands in the background, the foreigner, smiling, not understanding a word. They hear us out, smile back and invite us into their homes.

Later, we look down at the building from a higher one across the street. The roof is huge, like a village. There must be thirty or forty households on it. From the outside there is no way of knowing what is inside. Whether they have Internet or not. Whether they have a toilet. And there is no way of knowing their stories.

Who makes a picture of this? Who keeps a record? Sometimes a newspaper will print an article, or an NGO will launch a campaign. Various government departments keep files on so-called “unauthorized building works”, coding the huts with permanent markers and photographing them. The files are not on public record, but residents may look at them to learn why their homes are to be demolished. Very rarely do rooftop residents document their own spaces: the family pictures we saw were taken standing in a field of sunflowers, or in a village in the mainland, or down on the street beside someone else’s car, smiling.

We walk up the stairs again. We no longer get lost in the corridors. We learn how residents modify and maintain their homes. There are people who have been living on the roof for twenty or thirty years who have helped to build the city. The new immigrants from Mainland China, from Southeast Asia, from Pakistan, continue to do so. In the seventies, they built the underground, and now they are working on the new tower blocks. Hong Kong’s older districts are being redeveloped. Some buildings are crumbling because they were built with salt water concrete. Others have to make way for taller ones that yield higher profits. Few rooftop residents would mind living in the new towers, but they cannot afford it. All are afraid of being resettled to the remote satellite towns, where there may be few opportunities and limited social networks.

We walk up the stairs again. The rooftop settlements are an urban legacy, telling the story of Hong Kong, of political upheavals in Mainland China, of urban redevelopment, of people’s hopes and their needs in the city.

Biography

Rufina Wu was born in Hong Kong in 1980. She studied at the University of Waterloo in Canada where she completed degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture. She was a CCSEP Visiting Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China from 2005 to 2006. Beijing Underground, her graduate thesis, focuses on migrant housing found in Beijing’s underground air raid shelters. This body of research won an AIA Medal and was exhibited in Canada, United States, and Germany. From December 2007 to February 2008, she was artist-in-residence at Hong Kong’s Art and Culture Outreach, collaborating with Stefan Canham on Portraits from Above. The project won the 5th International Bauhaus Award 2008 and was published by Peperoni Books, Berlin, and MCCM Creations, Hong Kong. It has been exhibited in Asia, Europe, and North America, including solo exhibitions at Goethe–Institut and Lumenvisum Gallery (Hong Kong, 2009), Kunsthaus (Hamburg, 2009), and Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, 2010). Her research interest focuses on informal housing tactics associated with rapid urban development and population mobility. Rufina currently lives in Vancouver. Stefan Canham was born in England in 1968. He studied Film at Hamburg Academy of Fine Arts, Germany, and has been working free-lance on documentary photo and television projects since 1995. He is interested in the amazing and beautiful things people create even under adverse circumstances, and in their photographic representation. In 2003 he was artist-in-residence at the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Künstlerhaus in Eckernförde, Germany. His photographic record of the mobile squatter culture in Germany was short-listed for the 3rd International Bauhaus Award 2004 and published under the title Bauwagen / Mobile Squatters by Peperoni Books (Berlin) in 2006. He has exhibited in Germany and abroad and contributed to journals like An Architektur (Berlin), Critical Planning (Los Angeles), Sarai Reader (Delhi), MONU Magazine on Urbanism (Rotterdam) and Arhitext (Bucharest). From December 2007 to February 2008, he was artist-in-residence at Hong Kong’s Art and Culture Outreach, collaborating with Rufina Wu on Portraits from Above. The project won the 5th International Bauhaus Award 2008 and was published by Peperoni Books, Berlin, and MCCM Creations, Hong Kong. It has been exhibited in Asia, Europe, and North America, including solo exhibitions at Goethe–Institut and Lumenvisum Gallery (Hong Kong, 2009), Kunsthaus (Hamburg, 2009), and Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, 2010). Substantial parts of the project have been presented in themed exhibitions, including Informal Cities at the Coomaraswamy Hall, (Mumbai 2009), Breda Photo (Breda, 2010), High-Rise – Idea and Reality at Museum für Gestaltung (Zurich, 2010), Rapid Change at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts (Auckland, 2011), and The City that does not exist at Museum Ludwig Forum (Aachen, 2012). Numerous magazines have published excerpts of Portraits from Above, including European Photography

Project Statement

Vehicle emissions are a major source of air pollution at street level in Hong Kong — particularly in urban areas. Of specific concern are emissions from diesel commercial vehicles including trucks, buses and public light buses, which produce large amounts of particulates and nitrogen oxides. In a crowded urban environment with busy road traffic, like Hong Kong, pollutants can be trapped at street level.

The aim of this project is to photograph collected samples of roadside vegetation from several districts in Hong Kong located close to or in landfills, container yards, and urban areas. These include Lung Kwu Tan, Tseung Kwan O, Lau Fau Shan, Kwai Chung, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay. The plants were easily collected, because the roots and branches were weak and fragile due to the adverse conditions in which they lived. Dust, particles, and toxic gases block the sunlight, and stop photosynthesis, killing roadside vegetation. The same toxins that roadside vegetation absorb, is actually what we breathe on the streets everyday in Hong Kong. The death of vegetation is a reflection of Hong Kong’s abominable air quality.

Polluted plant specimens were photographed using a standardized typological photography methodology. Details of tiny particles and dust covering each sample of roadside vegetation are visible in each photo, emphasizing that vehicle emissions is a main culprit of air pollution in Hong Kong.

Biography

Siu Wai Hang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Media from The School of Creative Media, The City University of Hong Kong. He went on to obtain his Master of Fine Art from the Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2010, Siu presented a solo exhibition Metropolis Chlorophyll in K11 Art Mall Hong Kong. He has participated in various group exhibitions such as Pingyao International Photography Festival 2013, Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards 2012, Hong Kong EYE, Image on the Run and Dine at Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate. His works are represented in the collections of The Legislative Council of Hong Kong, The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong, and various private collections. Both Hong Kong and China cultural media have written about his artworks as well.

Project Statement

Young Mainland Chinese have been migrating to Hong Kong from across China, leaving their homes because of family business, or in search of better education and career prospects. They find themselves in majority Chinese yet increasingly tense environments, often confronting entrenched ideas regarding ‘Mainlanders’. Working with young professional or student Mainland Chinese in their twenties and early thirties who are reflective of the surge in this particular immigrant demographic in the last decade, through interactions that culminate in audio interviews and photography, Tay sought to move beyond the stereotypical binary of Hong Kong versus China.

Beginning with her own identity as a migrant in Hong Kong, Tay asks of how these movements affect how one conceives of one self – how national and family histories and narratives converge with one’s memory, how everyday relationships affect us, how contemporary conditions, be they social, economic or political, create a discordant interiority, and how all these shape us. The imagery and audio text are presented unlinked, in layers that create different contexts for looking and listening, and in this way consider the mutability of these identities in transition that underlie the complex relationship between Hong Kong and China.

Excerpts of voices in project:

(Translated from Cantonese) …after they have been here for long enough, they forget. In my opinion, I feel my uncle has forgotten, my mum too. So then they take an entirely different position from Mainland Chinese on everything, and this adds to the sense of distance Hong Kong feels from China. Even people who were previously intimately tied to China will think they are different from Mainland Chinese, assuming ‘I am not the same as them’—as if they are watching the fire from the other shore…

You could say, the city has returned, but the heart has not.

(Translated from Mandarin) …it’s that they don’t really understand China. They don’t understand the level of vision and aptitude of our generation, which has undergone brainwashing but for whom it hasn’t worked. There isn’t enough interaction between us. Because of this, the two-way discrimination, added to the government’s own stupid on so many policies, there are fewer and fewer chances for interaction and understanding. If this is the case, then there isn’t much point in me staying here. When I came to Hong Kong, my goal was to become a global citizen. But I now realize that I’ve still ended up being a so-called citizen of the People’s Republic of China anyway…

(Translated from Cantonese) …I used to wonder—what am I doing here… What kind of person am I when I’m here in Hong Kong. All the interactions one has with the city—work, entertainment, friends, I had none of that. Besides having mum here, I lived like a solitary island. Back then, I struggled more with these issues, wondering whether I wanted to return to Hong Kong in the future. But later, perhaps as I grew up, I felt … it doesn’t really matter if I assimilate. As long as you have your own life, it’s fine; you don’t have to force yourself to become a “normal” Hong Konger…

(Translated from Mandarin) …My dad was in the army, so when I was born he wasn’t around… Initially, my mum was a government official in the township women’s department. She would go around to villages and give talks to raise women’s cultural awareness. Actually, I‘m not really sure—to me “women’s work” sounds rather abstract… When I still lived at home… I wasn’t so interested in family and marriage because I didn’t know what it was. But since I’ve left home, especially in Hong Kong, I’ve been able to slowly step out of my mum’s shadow. I can experience things and think about what I want, and feel things that are coming from me…

(Translated from Mandarin) …Since I was a child, I was taught in school not to participate in political debates, and to avoid all political activities. I felt that if I participated, something bad would happen. In time this has slowly become a kind of habit. I’ve become afraid…afraid of creating any negative outcomes for myself.

Although the state doesn’t explicitly say that if you speak out they will do something to you, in my heart there is a concern, and this worry creates a burden that wears my heart down, making me always uneasy…

(Translated from Mandarin) …The orientation camp was a very dark period for me. I really wanted to fit in, but it was very difficult, and it was very difficult to adjust psychologically also. So… After that, after learning Cantonese we could use that, with Mandarin and English, and we felt that we could communicate and do away with the misunderstandings and feelings of low self-esteem. But did we really assimilate, for example, into our Hong Kong classmates’ circles, I am not really sure…

(Translated from Cantonese) …I remember when I was in China, wearing the red scarf to school, studying patriotic things. When you learnt about Communism, it was all part of your studies, but it wasn’t something you needed to practice in your daily life, like the Communist spirit. It’s just a subject, like something you study for an exam. Perhaps it’s like Bible studies was. You don’t really practice what is said in the Bible everyday. It’s just like that. You still lead your life as a regular person; the Communist Party didn’t affect your life at all….

(Translated from Cantonese) …I know that many Hong Kongers don’t like certain behaviours of Mainlanders, so I feel that if I am with Hong Kongers, I hope I will not let them feel that I am different from them. At least, I will not be like their idea of an uncivilized Mainlander.

Biography

Working predominantly with photography, sound and video, Wei Leng Tay’s practice considers how socio-economics, history, family and the state intersect with memory and notions of displacement and self-identity. She has collaborated and exhibited with institutions and organisations such as the Australian National University CIW Gallery, National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum, Vasl Artists’ Collective, Pakistan, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, and ARTER Space for Art, Istanbul. Tay has been a recipient of awards such as the Poynter Fellowship through Yale School of Art and the National Arts Council Singapore’s Art Creation Fund. Her work forms part of public and private collections including those of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; Heritage Museum, Hong Kong, and Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan.

Project Statement

Wong Ka Chong (which means “the factory of the British colonial government” in Cantonese) was a cottage house district in which my father lived for many years. I followed the old address and found that it is now a six-storey Civil Servants’ Cooperative Building which has been left abandoned after all the properties were sold to a Chinese Investment Company in 2016. A high-rise luxury apartment will be developed here in the future.

As the door unlocked, my curiosity quickly turned into agitation as the space exposes the grim reality of the times: housing issues in Hong Kong. From illegal cottage houses built by bare hands in the 50s, to the establishment of the system of Cooperative Buildings, there was once hope that civilians could build their homes in Hong Kong. However, housing now brings only stabbing pain to the majority—with ever-surging property prices, one cannot imagine to afford a space called “home”. What now lies in front of me is a large empty apartment, so I can investigate time in Hong Kong as captured by these objects, and to imagine the texture of life of homeowners and the life of a well-off Hong Kong family during the colonial days.

Newspaper clippings of 4th June 1989 and a yellow umbrella wall strap; documents of the Cooperative Building Society and pieces of personal information; five-digit, six-digit, seven-digit, and eight-digit telephone numbers; postcards from overseas and wedding slides; and goddess statues in the living room and copies of pornography in the bedroom fill the space with fantasy — as though one were entering the backstage of history. Collected objects were unearthed and placed, naked, under the sun. These are not artefacts of ancient history but modernity, an arbitrary time capsule that uncovers the interwoven experiences of an individual, a family and life as it is now.  

What encouraged me to revisit the space for a photoshoot was the desire to remap the relationships between the objects and the people who once lived in there, but what I found were objects that had obviously been removed. The presence of randomly inverted boxes and loose items show that the objects had lost their owner, like a piece of history to which no one pays attention, a piece of history that can be freely manipulated, altered, deleted and defined. Does this not represent one nature of transition?  Photography provides a rational lens to observe this unlocked space. It helps capture fleeting emotions in the present. I gave up restoring the truth of the found objects, using instead images to construct a subjective timeline to analyse the seemingly important and unimportant traces marked on the objects, and leave a footnote for the Cooperative Building and its history.

Biography

Having graduated from the Fine Arts Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree, Sui-fong YIM works with images, writing and performative actions that engage people in a constructed situation. Drifting between fiction and history, embodied and emotional memories etc., YIM’s work often explores discrepancies, interpretation and tension that occur in the process of interpersonal communication by retelling one’s memory in connection to everyday life. Recent exhibitions in which YIM’s work has been showcased include Time Attendant (Oil Street Art Space, 2018); the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize 2017 (Blindspot Gallery, 2017); the Talkover/Handover 2.0 (1 a Space, 2017); and Mountain Sites: Views of Laoshan (Sifang Art Museum, 2016); YIM is a co-founder of Rooftop Institute; a core member of the artist collective, L sub, which will be participating in the Echigo-Tsunami Art Triennial 2020 at the Hong Kong House.

Project Statement

First combing, together all your lives

Second combing, harmony in your marriage

Third combing, blessed with many children and grandchildren

— The four blessings at the pre-wedding hair combing ceremony

Historically, women enjoyed little status in Chinese society. Daughters were often unwanted and were matched off in marriage at an early age. Women from poor families were often forced into arranged marriages and enslaved to her husband’s family, some ended up in abusive relationships with years of suffering.

Around the beginning of the Qin Dynasty (circa 1640s), in the Shunde area of South China, thanks to the booming silk trade, sectors of women became financially independent. Many would wear their hair in a long braid to symbolise their autonomy until their wedding, often having a say in who they would marry. Towards the end of the 19th century, as Imperial China began to crumble and instability spread, many women in the area took the initiative and performed the comb up ritual.

The comb up ceremony involved bathing with mulberry leaves and a fellow sister would braid their hair. From that day on, they could only wear a light colour tunic and dark trousers. They would take the chastity vow and have no further obligations towards their parents. They were free to travel and make their own living.

Being an early feminist was not without its drawbacks. Combed up women were not allowed to return home to die in their old age, and their relatives could choose to have nothing to do with the funeral arrangements. As a result, many sisterhood homes sprung up and the combed up women would look after each other, often considered sisters for life.

After the fall of the imperial empire in early 20th century, the silk trade was in great decline and most of the combed up women were out of work. Many travelled out of china across South East Asia and took on the jobs of nannies and domestic helpers.

This project centres around Mak Ngan Yuk (麥顏玉), an eighty seven year old woman who was my nanny and worked for my family for nearly 40 years.

She is the firstborn child in a poor rural family in south China. Denied schooling opportunities due to her gender, she became the main caregiver to her 3 year old brother and baby sister at the age of 8. She started work in the Mulberry fields from around the age of 15 but was often sent home due to her size, and she was considered too slow. Desperate to learn to read, She started paying for her own schooling with some of the money she earned; when her father found out, she was told that if she was going to spend the money on schooling, she should be paying for her younger brothers to attend instead of wasting it on herself.

In her early twenties, pressure began to mount on her to get married. As the eldest sister, she was expected to be married before her brothers could find a suitable bride. Not wanting to be forced into an arranged marriage, she performed the comb up service and left for Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper.

After several temporary jobs, she would work for only two families for the next 55 years. During which time; she kept her family alive through the great famine in 1950s, paid for all her nephews and nieces educations, built several houses in her home village for her aunts, brothers and nephews and supported several of her nephews businesses, one of which flourished into a very successful business employing over 350 workers. Yet through all this, she has retained a very simple lifestyle. After retiring ten years ago, she chose to live alone in a government studio flat instead of moving into a sisterhood house (姑婆屋) and still enjoys the autonomy of being her own person.

She is respected and loved by not only her blood relatives, whom she has sacrificed so much of her life for; but also the grown up children that she cared for over the years.

In every sense, she symbolises the last generation of comb-up women, hard working, selfless and independent.

This project combines new photographs, found photographs and several other mixed media pieces, including Chinese Ink work and two textile based work. They retrace the life of Mak’s so far and beyond. Both biographical and anthropological, her story will be the starting point to explore generations of comb up women, giving a voice to generations of unsung heroines who are might otherwise be ignored and forgotten.

Biography

Born in Hong Kong in 1977, Kurt Tong was originally trained as a health visitor at the University of Liverpool. He has worked and traveled extensively across Europe, the Americas and Asia. In 1999, Kurt co-founded Prema Vasam, a charitable home for disabled and disadvantaged children in Chennai, South India.

Kurt became a full-time photographer in 2003. He was the winner of the Luis Valtuena International Humanitarian Photography Award with his first picture story documenting the treatment of disabled children in India. He worked for many other NGOs and covered stories from Female Infanticide to ballroom dancers.

He gained his Masters in documentary photography at the London College of Communications in 2006 and began working on much more personal projects. He has since been chosen as the winner of Photograph.Book.Now competition, the Hey, Hot Shot! competition and the Jerwood Photography Award for his project People’s Park, a wistful exploration of the now deserted Communist era public spaces. “In Case it Rains in Heaven’ exploring the practice of Chinese funeral offerings, has been widely exhibited including a solo exhibition at Compton Verney and features in several public collections. A monograph of the work was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2011.

His more recent work, ‘The Queen, The Chairman and I’, a multilayered narrative picture book dealing with the story of Hong Kong of the last 100 years and the Asian Diaspora through the lives of his own family is presented as a Chinese teahouse. The project has been exhibited across 5 continents, most recently at the Victoria Museum in Liverpool, UK and Galleri Image in Denmark and Visual Art Center at the Chinese Cultural Foundation of San Francisco. The installation traveled Impressions Gallery in Bradford in 2016 and will continue to tour different venues across the UK.

Much of Kurt’s recent work, while remaining photographic in essence, has moved towards installation and sculptural based, pushing the boundaries of the medium. Echoed Visions, a series of installation question the medium of photography, made its debut at the Identity Art Gallery, Hong Kong in February 2014.

心.思.過. , a public participation project set within an classical Chinese garden in Zhongshan opened in August 2015 and will become a permanent feature within the park.

His latest work Sweet Water, Bitter Earth and Trust Little in Tomorrow made their debut at Unseen in Amsterdam, with planned exhibitions in 2017 both in the UK and US

He is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery in New York and The Photographer’s Gallery in London.

Project Statement

It begins with a worn-out photo.

Hiding in an album my grandmother left us after she passed away is a photo that tells an untold chapter of my family history: My grandparents used to run a small grocery store in Chai Wan in the 70s. Today, Man Lee Store, as it was called, has already morphed into a run-of-the-mill concrete wall structure facing an underground train station.

Our city never ceases to change. As I turn the found objects from grocery stores into specimens in concrete, the disappearing urban tales buried underneath the ever-taller high-rises are given new forms. The absence in space of the concrete boards makes a poignant remark, moulds after moulds, as a that-has-been — an uncanny presence against change. These half-moulds-half-specimens are then recast as negative images. The photographic impressions, with their light and shadow reversed, reflect the achingly quotidian life lost in the fabric of space and time. Their silence never ceases to speak to us, as a void lurking in our city that seems so close yet distant to us.

The stores and their stories may be remembered and disremembered. Never are they too far from our hearts, however. They are just around the corner of the street that we pass by every day. A once most familiar sight.

Biography

Sharon Lee (b. 1992, Hong Kong) graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts in 2016. She was selected as the New Light of the year by Lumenvisum and debuted her solo exhibition The Presence of Absence in Hong Kong in 2017. Lee participated in several art residencies and group exhibitions in Germany and Taiwan. Her photographic art practice derives from her sensitivity to materials and the mundane of everyday life.

Project Statement

Long for it. Pray for it. Thank the gods!Desire it. Lust for it. Say it is so!Milk it. Drain it. Let it rot—Revive it. Reanimate it. Let it flow.Neglect it. Regret it. Hope it fades…Stalk it. Leap at it. Watch it fly.Retrace it. Embrace it—but you’ve been played.Kill for it. Tackle it. Bleed it dry.Toy with it. Tear it down. Set it free!Ensnare it. Forget it. Let it drop.What can you do to an “Opportunity”—and what can it do for you?

Biography

LO Lai Lai Natalie  was born in 1983 in Hong Kong. She received her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the Department of Fine Arts of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2017. Formerly a travel journalist, LO currently focuses on artistic creations related to natural ecology. At present, she is learning agriculture at collective organic farm Sangwoodgoon (Hong Kong), while exploring the lifestyle of “Half-Farmer, Half-X”, a practice that prompts her to examine alternative lifestyles and the autonomy as both an artist and a Hong-Konger. LO’s research concerns issues such as food, farming, fermentation, surveillance and meditation. The media of her artworks include moving images, photography, mixed media and installation.Recently, LO is captivated by the mutual attraction, as well as the counterbalance of emotions and desires, between nature and mankind. She presented her solo exhibition ‘Down into the Abyss’ at Bonacon Gallery, Guangzhou, China (2018), ‘Slow-So TV – Ann Eilathan’s Gaze’ at Floating Projects, Hong Kong (2016) and ‘Souvenir and Gift’ at Observation Society, Guangzhou, China (2014). LO also participated in the following group exhibitions and projects: ‘The D-Tale, Video Art from the Pearl River Delta - EP-ISODE III: The Politics of the Self’ (Times Art Center, Berlin, Germany, 2018-2019); ‘Today Could Have Been a Happy Day’ (Taikang Space, Beijing, China, 2018); ‘The Fish Pond Sustainable Art Festival’ (Tai Sang Wai, Hong Kong, 2018); ‘Talkover/Handover 2.0’ (1a space, Hong Kong, 2017); ‘Oi! : Interlocutor - You Are Not Alone’ (Oi!, Hong Kong, 2017) and ‘The HK FARMers Almanac’ (Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, 2015). ‘Her moving image work Deep Flight’ was shortlisted in the 23rd ifva Awards, Hong Kong, and will be presented at the Biennale OSTRALE 019 in Germany in 2019.https://www.lolailai.com/

Project Statement

Transitions manifest before a turn. They are the in-between: the progression, the regression, the metamorphosis that transpire ahead of change. As intermissions, transitions are forgotten because they are so brief—neglected, because all eyes have shifted to what has transpired. As extended lulls, transitions offer space for rumination, guided by the transformation in sight. As indefinite pauses, they trap one in limbo, where the only constant is uncertainty.In literature, transitions signal change, bonding rows of text together as one. In science, they are the movement from one state of matter to another. In nature, transitions are the graduation from one stage in a life cycle to another; the cumulation of air, heat and moisture ahead of a storm; the moment before a child is born.Across the globe, diplomatic affiliations are shifting; governments are changing hands; energy systems are inching towards sustainability; alternate gender identities and sexualities are preparing for their time to shine. Meanwhile, the lives of millions of displaced individuals continue to be put on hold. In Hong Kong, a transition occurred when a fishing village morphed into a metropolis; when its sovereignty was transferred from Britain to China; when autonomy was brought into question. The transfer of sovereignty came with the promise to leave the city unchanged for five decades—but in a city of transition, any promise of changelessness could sound empty. For the rest of us, transitions simply mean the progression from one life stage to the next; waiting in one line after another, constantly transitioning, until we wander into the queue for a final resting place.We now invite you to capture the shift, the transformation, and experience the in-between—however fleeting, however endless, they may be.

Biography

LEE Kai-chung performs research on historical events, political systems, and ideology. His work addresses the lack of proper governance over the records and pending legislation for Archives Law. Through performance, documentation, and installation, LEE considers the individual gesture as a form of political and artistic transgression, which resonates with existing narratives of history.His ongoing research project Archive of the People addresses the political standing of documents and archives in the social setting. In 2016, LEE established the collective “Archive of the People”, which serves as an extension of his personal research, and engages artists, archivists, writers and specialists from other disciplines. LEE was awarded Master of Fine Arts from School of Creative Media, the City University of Hong Kong in 2014.

Project Statement

Mobility is freedom of movement – across oceans and continents, across cities, streets and neighbourhood, perhaps across race, religion or even gender.Hong Kong is a compact modern metropolis with a world class transport and logistics system, where people and goods are constantly on the move and commuters have their routes mapped out to the exact subway carriage number in order to save the most time getting to the exit on the other side.Mobility means circulation. Blood needs to flow, so does Chi. Blockage or leakage means disease. Babies learn to move at an early age, but mobility can be a major challenge for the elderly. Money and deals, traffic and even population needs to move smoothly, preferably in the right direction.Mobility is moving vertically up and down buildings, mountains and seas. It is human to aspire to move up the ladder, whether in the corporate, institutional or social. Hong Kong had always been the land of opportunity, where hard work might move one’s children, if not oneself, upwards.Parents still scheme to get their children the best chance in life in the education system. More and more social mobility is restricted, in one of the world’s most unequal community, where poverty is prevalent in the midst of plenty.Hong Kong is the so-called ‘borrowed place on borrowed time’, where people come to get rich and get out, and end up putting down roots in spite of themselves. Now we are caught in a dilemma. How do we build a future in a place where nothing stays still, or lasts?Can we all still get where we want to go? And when we arrive, are we ever allowed to stop? Are we moving? Or are we still? What happens if there is no mobility? And what happens if mobility is endless?

Biography

Xyza Cruz Bacani (b.1987) is a Filipina documentary photographer based in Hong Kong who uses her work to raise awareness about under-reported stories. Having worked as a second-generation domestic worker in Hong Kong for almost a decade, she is particularly interested in the intersection of migrant domestic workers and human rights. She is a Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow in 2015, has exhibited worldwide, and won awards in photography. She is also the recipient of a resolution (HR No.1969) that was passed by the Philippines House of Representatives in her honour. Xyza is one of Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders in 2018, the WMA Commission recipient (2016/17), a Pulitzer Center grantee, and an Open Society Moving Walls grantee in 2017. She is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016, and a FUJIFILM Ambassador.www.xyzacruzbacani.com

Project Statement

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else” – Margaret MeadCertain aspects of one’s individual identity such as race, gender, ancestry, genetic makeup and so on, come naturally at birth. One could however consciously choose other aspects such as nicknames, profession, religion, hairstyles, ways of life, gender expression, et cetera to make oneself more unique.Between choice and nature, there are aspects such as nationality, history, psyche, social roles, which influence our sense of identity. Identity could simply be personal disposition, or an unwilling imposition by the society at large. If identification of self makes the person, collective identity allows for mutual recognition—security as well as solidarity. Group attributes, though, could be real or virtual, lasting or ephemeral, like one’s profile on social media. Overemphasis of the collective, however, could result in alienation, prejudice, confrontation and even enmity. In the age of globalisation, a local majority could easily become a minority in the wider world. As global citizens, we hope for and embrace the belief that elastic and flexible identities can bring diversity and progress, rather than confrontation.If defining our collective identities in this city seems like an almost impossible pursuit, images could, perhaps, provide a platform to start.“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinion, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quottion” – Oscar Wilde

Biography

Ducky started to learn photography in 1980s. He worked as a photojournalist from the early 1990s to 2006, and was granted many photography awards. In 2005, he started to develop an interest in the visual arts and founded the Outfocus Group Workshop in 2008. In 2009, Ducky and a number of local photographers established the Hong Kong Photographic Culture Association. Serving as the managing director from 2010 to 2011, he assisted in organising the first Hong Kong International Photo Festival. Ducky’s early works featured photo stories from the streets and recorded changes in society. He even spent some time in Chinese factories to observe the lives of labourers there. After focusing on documentary photography for years, he started to adopt a poetic style in his works, which often carry religious and philosophical messages in it. He believes that no system can change the world—it is only through one’s kindness that things can be changed. Ducky has published over 10 photo albums of his works, many of which have been displayed in Germany, the United States, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, China, etc.ALL THAT. MATTERS - SOLO EXHIBITION OF DUCKY TSE CHI-TAK - Part 1Date: 28 January - 14 February 2018Time:(Mon-Fri) 13:00- 20:30(Sat-Sun) 11:00- 20:30Venue:Gallery L0, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)ALL THAT. DOESN'T -  SOLO EXHIBITION OF DUCKY TSE CHI-TAK - Part 2Date: 14 - 24 April 2018Time:14 April,  14:00- 20:0015 - 24 April,  10:00- 20:00Venue:Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong Central Library“All That. Matters” & “All That. Doesn’t” form a two-part exhibition about the evolving identities of Hongkongers over the past three decades, as explored by lens-based artist Ducky Tse Chi-Tak. Tse’s “Hong Kong Faces” series from the 1990s will debut in “All That. Matters”, articulating the restless perspectives of a young street photographer yearning to reproduce the faces and daily lives of Hongkongers living under colonial rule. “All That. Doesn’t” marks the milestone in Tse’s career: it uses the border as a motif to examine the paradox of common identity among Hongkongers since the change of sovereignty. The exhibition combines photography, videos, and installations to reconstruct personal and collective memories, and discourses on who we are in a time of transition. “All That. Doesn’t” is the second part of Ducky Tse Chi-tak’s solo exhibition, featuring a new body of work supported by WMA Commission in 2015/16. The two sets of works, together, explored the ‘identity’ of Hong Kong people over 20 odd years of transition. Whilst the older set of work was created via street photography to reappear the lives of the common people at the time of the sovereignty transition of Hong Kong, the new set of work used the physical border between Hong Kong and the Mainland China as the subject.  Through 26 images and five installations, Tse leads the audience to travel from the hustle and bustle of the city centre from “All That. Matters” to the neglected and remote regions of Hong Kong in “All That. Doesn’t”. Accordingly to the artist, the series  “All That. Doesn’t” will become end point or conclusion of his creative journey.”

Project Statement

Waste relates contextually to the way we behave in this materialistic, consumptive society, as well as to the material generated in the process. Effective and efficient waste management has become an important environmental justice issue. There is a growing market in the trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste from developed to developing countries, a result of the ‘not in my backyard’ attitude. Waste is a global problem making awareness building and education essential goals.A study released by the United Nations in 2013 predicted that by 2017 the number of electronic equipment and appliances being disposed of will triple. Meanwhile, our modern ‘Throw Away’ society has contributed to the creation of the world’s most well known marine landfill – the Pacific Trash Vortex. Here in Hong Kong over 6 million tonnes of municipal waste is disposed of each year – a 20% increase over the past 10 years. This increase has occurred much faster than anyone expected, placing Hong Kong’s landfills under enormous pressure. Its three landfills are expected to be full by the end of this decade, making it clear that Hong Kong needs a more sustainable waste management policy. There are many options available from prevention, re-using, recycling, energy recovery to disposal. It is time for Hong Kong to take ownership of its waste, for its people to alter their waste generation habits and effective solutions for waste disposal adopted.

Biography

TRES (Ilana Boltvinik + Rodrigo Viñas, Mexico City) is an art research collective that has focused on exploring the implications of public space and garbage through artistic practices that concentrate on the methodological intertwining and dialogue with science, anthropology, and archaeology among other disciplines. They recently were awarded the Robert Gardner Fellowship for Photography of the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. Their works have been presented in Abandon Normal Devices Festival 2015 (UK), Metropolis Biennale 2009 (Denmark), the public art section of the XV Festival of Mexico City FMCH (Mexico City), in the Amsterdam Global City #2:Mexico, WCA World Cinema (Netherlands), ViBGYOR International Film Festival (India), Festival Transitio MX_05 Bio mediations, and Cultural Center of Spain (Mexico City) among others. Individually their works have been shown in over 20 screenings and art exhibitions in Latin America and Europe.www.tresartcollective.com“Ubiquitous Trash” is a process of continual scavenging that depicts the social life of the strange abandoned objects we call trash. Starting with incessant walks and obsessive scavenging in Hong Kong, TRES has explored the signs and marks imprinted on trash collected from public spaces and from official waste sites. This scavenging activity, typical of the collective, was first transformed into a book, where the intertwining of public space and trash became the place where a multiplicity of relationships where explored, making clear the sociopolitical from an artistic perspective.Ubiquitous Trash - Hong Kong Edition Details:Date: July 2-11, 2016Venue: Connecting Space, G/F Wah Kin Mansion, 18-20 Fort Street, North PointArtist Talk - Interdisciplinarity as an art practice. Intertwining public space and garbageDate: July 6, 2016Venue: Para Site (22/F, Wing Wah Industrial Building, 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay)Time: 6:30pmThe production of most contemporary art is based on complex methodologies. For TRES, collective work, dialogue, displacement and translation are key elements in building an art project. As to explain each of these strategies used, we will address the artwork we have produced during the last seven years, where the main concern has been garbage in a material and conceptual sense.Roving ExhibitionDate: July 21 - September 10, 2016Venue: Puerta Roja (1/F soho 189 art lane, 189 Queens Road West, Sheung Wan)Date: Sept 12 - October 28, 2016Venue: Octavio Paz Gallery Consulate General of Mexico (2502 Caroline Centre, 28 Yun Ping Road, Wan Chai)

Project Statement

AIR pollution is one of the top public heath risks in Hong Kong. Levels of pollutants often exceed the limits set by the World Health Organization, Hong Kong lags well behind other urban centres like New York, London and Tokyo that have cleaned up their air. According to a University of Hong Kong study, air pollution has led to well over 3,000 premature deaths, more than 20,000 daily doctors’ visits and a monetary loss of 39 billion HKD a year. As Asia’s leading financial centre, Hong Kong’s position is under threat as businesses relocate to alternative countries — siting mounting health concerns as a primary reason. Hong Kong’s government recently announced initiatives to tackle the problem of its polluted air, with the Environmental Protection Department slated to spend 627 million HKD on managing air quality in the current financial year. The impact of these approaches will be closely watched in Hong Kong.

Biography

Lau Ching Ping lives in Hong Kong. Creative works on photography, design and education. Co-editor of Dislocation magazine. Committee member of the Hong Kong International Photo Festival. Part-time lecturer at The Chinese University Hong Kong and Hong Kong University SPACE. Curator of Gallery Z.www.postnphoto.blogspot.comProjectTo capture 'Air' the most take for granted substance of our lives,  undeniable of its existents, essential element to our lives, yet invisible to human eyes, unable to capture by camera lens of any kind. We take 'Air' upon our lives in different perspective, whether you considered it a solid scientific defined matter or, the spiritual existent of a city.Individuals, included photographers, cultural workers, visual artists...., were invited within a year’s time, each choose to participate in their week, to tell their tale of ‘Air ’Hong Kong in 7 images.

Project Statement

Poverty is a global issue. Over a decade ago, world leaders pledged to 'End poverty by 2015' at the UN Millennium Summit. With just three years left, they will miss their commitment. In Hong Kong t, poverty is a serious problem. Amidst great affluence, 18.1% of the population struggle to make ends meet. Images of the social and personal impact of poverty are everywhere. Supported by WYNG FOUNDATION - the WYNG MASTERS AWARD for Photography is a non-profit project to spark public interest and awareness in socially-relevant subjects. The intention is to stimulate discussion and encourage social responsibility on important issues in Hong Kong through PHOTOGRAPHY - the theme for 2012 is POVERTY.

Biography

Chan Wai Kwong was born in Hong Kong in 1976. He left school at an early age and began to explore his creative side. To date Chan has self-published seven photography books including The Moment, Wanchai, Ah-1, Pingyao, Tokyo 1, Ting Ting and the Tenderness of a 19 yr Girl. In 2011, he held a pop-up solo exhibition in his home titled ‘Chan Wai Kwong Photo Exhibition', filling every wall in the flat with his black and white portraits and street photography. His solo exhibition ‘Tenderness of a 19 yr Girl' was held at 100 ft Park Hong Kong in 2012. Chan has participated in group exhibitions in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Pingyao, China.Very Tired Exhibition by Chan Wai KwongDate of Exhibition: May 5, 2014 - May 17 2014Venue: The Photocrafters 3rd Floor, Heng Fat Building, 140 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan

Finalists

Katherine Chan Sim-Kuen Project Statement Biography
Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong Project Statement Biography
Billy H.C. Kwok Project Statement Biography
SHEK Ming Fai Phil Project Statement Biography
Joseph, LEUNG Mong Sum Project Statement Biography
Saskia WESSELING Project Statement Biography
kwok yan lun alan
So Alan
Vincy Leung
Chang Hei Tung, Dan
Joseph Yim
cho man wai
Dholeeh Ann Hidalgo
Tsz Yan Yeung
Jacky Lui
King Wa Lam
Zion Cheng
Dick Tang
Cody Wong
Woody Luk
Chin Shun Ng
Phey Palma
Chi Kin Chan
Benny To
Ricky Kwok
Kam Chuen Hkavmode Dung
Leo Kwok
Jimmy Lam
ken lee
Dennis Chan
Seven Ng
Ka Kin Choi
Mathieu Leung
Micros Yip
Chan Chong Sun
Na Ru To O
Alvin Lai
Allex Chan
Kenzo Yp Cham
Chi Keung Wong
Carrie Ma
Mo Chi Wong
Rogerger NG
Tsz Hei Lo
Lcc Godlcc
Eddie Kwong
ken lee
Godfrey Ip
Na Ru To O
Leo Kwok
Chung Tam
Hill Chu
Gx Garnerings
Alman Li
Chi Keung Wong
Ching Chan
Hill Chu
Henry Leung
Rick Kwan
Leo Lin
Marco Yuen
Alvin Ku
Eagle Cheung
Kwok Yin Cheung
Stanley Yu
Leung Pan Fung
Philip Law
Isaac Wong
Huge Chong
Anthony Chan
AlLa
CHEUNG Siu Hoi
KOU Choi Sin
LO Yuen Ching
Beatrice WONG
Lau Ching Ping Project Statement Biography
anothermountainman (Stanley Wong) Project Statement Biography
Emmanuel Serna Project Statement Biography
Chan Wai Kwong Project Statement Biography
Billy H.C. Kwok Project Statement Biography
Ducky Tse Chi Tak Project Statement Biography
Frankie CHAN Kwok Chung Project Statement Biography
Nga Ling CHEUNG Project Statement Biography
Pierfrancesco CELADA Project Statement Biography
Ho Wing Ka
mui gary
Wong Pak Hang
wong dino
Tam Ming Keung
Ng Ting Leong
Tse hon ning
Lam Hiu Man
Wong Yik Chung
Dennis Soap
Man Ng
Xyza Cruz Bacani
Alvin Ku
Lai Yat Nam
Chin Shun Ng
Phey Palma
YanSing Cheung
Ricky Kwok
William Leung
Kam Chuen Hkavmode Dung
師 張
Daniel Kong
Dennis Chan
Daly Tai
Sarina Au Yeung
Luxifer Wu
Philip Law
Bona Liu
Chanchan Hoho
Na Ru To O
Koon Chichung
Wesley Wu
師 張
Lai Yat Nam
Keith Cbcc
Michael Choy
Angus Ho
Eunsoo Lee
Lam Yip
Phey Palma
Lam Yik Fei
Bona Liu
James Ho
Alman Li
Chan Long Pai
Gx Garnerings
Jessica Pui Sze Kong
Lui Cheuk Fung
Tony Cat
Sai Kin Chow
Amy Lau
荫椿 管
Priscilla Kwok
Zerohui YauTat
Kelvin Choi
John Luk
Carol Chow
Tony Wong
Micros Yip
Phey Palma
hang Koo
Manson Wong
Wong Hang
文 禮
Ric NG
Mono TUNG Chiu On
SIU Wai Hang
WONG Sanders

Project Statement

In Situ is a series depicting a private home filled with excess physical materials existing in a disordered manner. A personal inspection of unwanted objects, leads to a projection of, and reflection on, local living conditions and the larger societal environment. As titled, contents were photographed in their original position. They are a result of failed attempts to bring matters into order. Struggles of changing the system and condition in a home with parents is the same as struggles with authorities in the city. The underexposed atmosphere in the photographs conceals private belongings and the embarrassment in exposing an undesirable place to live, while conveying a dark and calm aesthetic intended to ease the anxiety of inhabiting such a space.

Biography

In past years, the focus of Lam Hoi Sin’s (b. 1986, Hong Kong) practice has been on Internet cultivation, generating attention and discussion around arts and ideological issues by means of themed blogs and online delivery of contextualised content. In addition to her virtual presence, Lam has participated in physical exhibitions including Shampoo Whatever #1, The A.lift (2014), Ten Million Rooms of Yearning. Sex in Hong Kong, Para Site (2014), The Personal and the Political, Experimenta (2013), The Crap Show, Hardneck.hk (2012), and Interpretation, Gallery Exit (2011).

Project Statement

The thin air, though invisible to our eyes, we know of its existence.

The air of a city, generally considered as the spirit of the city, is also invisible, but exists and is alive within us.<>Sixteen years has passed since the sovereignty rights over Hong Kong were returned to China. At that time, the people of Hong Kong, after coming through a centennial of adversities, felt that doomsday had arrived. From 1997 onward, principal officials’ accountability system, mother tongue tutoring, Asian financial crisis, SARS epidemic, 1st July rallies, Lehman brothers, 2008 financial tsunami, HSBC share price collapse, bird flu, moral and national education, air and light pollution…. to today, for the people of Hong Kong, the so-called ‘doomsday’, would certainly be the decay of the spirit of Hong Kong. Though invisible, it stays beside us, aloof.

If ever I have the chance to witness the last glimpse of piercing white light before the doom of Hong Kong, I hope that the people of Hong Kong, from every walk of life, with their limited days on earth, resolve with willfulness to live.

Say goodbye to the outermost city of South China.

Biography

Lau Ching Ping lives in Hong Kong. Creative works on photography, design and education. Co-editor of Dislocation magazine. Committee member of the Hong Kong International Photo Festival. Part-time lecturer at The Chinese University Hong Kong and Hong Kong University SPACE. Curator of Gallery Z. Personal blog:www.postnphoto.blogspot.com

Project Statement

These 10 unique prints are some of the first samples of the latest printing technology known as Kursaleté Print.

For over 100 years, photography has been based on photo sensitive chemicals reacting to lights. However, with the advance of digital imaging, photographic prints are now overwhelmingly inkjet. In 1991, Jack Duganne, a digital print maker in California came up with the name Giclée, a French verb meaning ‘that which is sprayed or squirted’ for his inkjet prints. Giclée prints are now regarded as the high-end inkjet prints within the fine art market.

With that in mind, Kurt Tong is developing the next generation of photo imaging. Moving on from ‘ink squirted onto paper’, Kurt will be utilising dirt. Different adhesives are applied onto traditional Giclée prints and left on various roadsides in order for air pollutants to organically bind to the prints. Hong Kong was chosen as the first test city since it has one of the worst air qualities in relation to GDP per capital in the world.

To give credibility to the technique, Saleté, French for ‘dirt’ has been chosen for its name. Future prints will also utilize burnt bugs in street lamps and reclaimed land dust. (The above statement was originally submitted into the WYNG Masters Award. Kurt Tong has employed a satire frame of the current fine art print market as a vehicle to examine current air quality issues in Hong Kong and to physically visualise existing air pollutants.)

Biography

Born in Hong Kong in 1977, Kurt Tong originally trained as a health visitor at the University of Liverpool. He has worked and traveled extensively across Europe, the Americas and Asia. In 1999, Kurt co-founded Prema Vasam, a charitable home for disabled and disadvantaged children in Chennai, South India.

Kurt became a full-time photographer in 2003. He was the winner of the Luis Valtuena International Humanitarian Photography Award with his first picture story documenting the treatment of disabled children in India. He has worked for many NGOs and covered stories from female infanticide to ballroom dancers.

He gained his Masters in documentary photography at the London College of Communications in 2006 and began working on more personal projects. He has since been chosen as the winner of Photograph.Book.Now competition, the Hey, Hot Shot! competition and the Jerwood Photography Award for his project People’s Park, a wistful exploration of the now deserted Communist era public spaces. In Case it Rains in Heaven, explores the practice of Chinese funeral offerings, has been widely exhibited and features in several public collections. A monograph of the work was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2011.

His more recent work, The Queen, The Chairman and I, a multilayered, narrative picture book that examines the story of Hong Kong of the last 100 years, and the Asian Diaspora, through the lives of his own family, is presented in the form of a Chinese teahouse installation where the story is shared. The project has been exhibited across 5 continents, most recently at the Victoria Museum in Liverpool, United Kingdom and Galleri Image in Denmark.

Much of Kurt’s recent work, while remaining photographic in essence, has moved towards installation and sculptural-based practice, pushing the boundaries of the medium. His new work will debut at the Identity Art Gallery, Hong Kong in February 2014.

Kurt is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery in New York, The Photographer’s Gallery in London and by Identity Art Gallery and Blindspot Gallery in Hong Kong.

Project Statement

Hong Kong

Total area: 1,104.43 square kilometres

Population: 7,234,800

With a huge population on a very scarce land mass, Hong Kong’s per capita living space is only about 15 square metres, far below that of Singapore at 30 square metres and the United Kingdom at 97.9 square metres. While people around the world may wonder how to gain more living space by trashing their old stuff, some people in Hong Kong struggle to make the best use of their 15 square metres to store their treasures, some of which may seem worthless. In fact, each piece of these worthless items has an indelible story and history behind it. So, are they trash or treasures? Should we keep them or throw them away? It all depends, you make the decision based on your heart or your head!

Biography

Au Fung Man Abby is a graphic designer who loves traveling, freedom and definitely photography. Abby finds photography fascinating, her works capture the nature of beauty and people. In 2011, she spent a year in Australia to search for, and find, incredible secret places. She used her camera to capture every moment, which stimulated her senses and nourished her growing passion for photography. The photos Abby made were used in campaigns to promote Australian tourism. In 2014, Abby joined IDEA Project, a non-profit organisation committed to designing and building schools for Cambodian children. During her time there, she used her camera to record the lives and faces of local Cambodians.

Project Statement

Hong Kong Soup (湯) is a recently completed, long term project depicting waste plastic collected from over thirty different beaches in Hong Kong. Over 1,826 tonnes of municipal waste plastic per day goes into landfill in Hong Kong, and each image reflects the diverse range of these products by highlighting recovered objects or groups having escaped recycling or landfill.

The images directly relate to the traditions, events, nature, and culture of Hong Kong, with the intention to connect with its people providing awareness about the crisis facing effective waste management. Objects include products from manufacturing, retail, household and medical waste alongside agricultural, shipping and fishing related debris.

Soup (湯) is a description given to plastic debris suspended in the sea and in this case with reference to the waste crisis in Hong Kong. The series aims to engage with the public by stimulating an emotional response, combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction with an awareness to encourage social responsibility.

All debris in this series has been collected over the past three years (since 2012). Photographed in Hong Kong and composed in the United Kingdom, it represents a wide-ranging collection of waste that has existed for varying amounts of time on Hong Kong’s own doorstep.

Statistic – The Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong. Waste Statistics for 2012.

Biography

Mandy Barker is an international, award-winning photographer and her work involving marine plastic debris has received global recognition. Her series SOUP has been published in over 20 countries including TIME Magazine USA, The Guardian Eyewitness, GEO, CNN, and The Explorers Journal. She has exhibited internationally and her work is currently touring the United States as part of exhibition Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, which began in 2013 at The Anchorage Museum, Alaska.

In 2012 Barker was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Environmental Bursary enabling her to join scientists aboard a Plastic Research Expedition sailing from Japan to Hawaii through the Tsunami Debris Field in the Pacific Ocean. This opportunity allowed her to create the series SHOAL, enabling her to see debris at source and providing a solid foundation for her ongoing work.

Barker speaks internationally about her work and in November 2013 was invited to speak at the Plastic Free Seas Youth Conference in Hong Kong. She has contributed to articles for CNN International concerning the relationship between the arts and the environment, and in the United States her work was featured on TIME Magazine’s Lightbox for Earth Day 2012. She has been nominated twice for the prestigious Prix Pictet award, the world’s leading photographic award in sustainability, and in 2014 received an award from Lens Culture for her series PENALTY, which involved the collection of 769 marine debris soccer balls from around the World. She was also selected as a finalist in the Critical Mass Top 50 of 2014.

Barker’s work aims to engage with, and stimulate, an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction and the subsequent message of awareness. The impact of oceanic waste is an area Barker is committed to pursuing through innovative visual interpretation, hoping it will ultimately lead to positive action in tackling this increasing global environmental problem.

Project Statement

We thought we were once the owners of this prosperous city. The sad truth is that the culture and lifestyle we used to be proud of has, over the last decade, become contaminated, imperceptibly covering our sanity, corroding our thoughts. What we are recklessly and ignorantly giving up today, rebounds on us out of turn. Nowhere is home now.

Biography

Hong Kong artist Remmus Ha graduated from Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (Advanced Diploma of Marketing) and University of Tasmania (Bachelor of Business), continuing his studies in photography at Hong Kong University School of Professional and Continuing Education. Currently Art Director of O’Yeaa Studio, Remmus has investigated multifarious fields, assuming positions as a hairstylist, chef, security guard, bank clerk, fundraiser, porter, publishing officer, PR event officer and designer. His aim is to experience and to decode, in greater depth, the complexity of this glamorous city; an attempt to dig for a reverse insight of this place. Recent works include Behind the Front, Eternal Trice and The Return.

Living in an economically driven society, we encounter people from all walks of life; every day they come and go with canned faces our minds are not quick enough to digest. By recording every voice and face through the lens, Remmus believes it can act as a bridge, linking up individuals with the world instantaneously. The entire universe is frozen, prolonged so that one can seek an alternative, balanced perspective from the subjective world. Textures and communications in the milieu are captured and reappear, without boundaries or barriers, exposing the egos through images, unrestrainedly.

Project Statement

As time goes by, the circle of life continues.

Life is full of joys and sorrows, comings and goings.

The works of nature have given value and meaning to everything in existence.

Glass debris after extravagance, falling petals, a halt to the song of splendor;

Forgotten esteem, world of the mortals, all shattered in this city of haze.

Their seemingly humble, yet dignified existence witnesses the joy and sorrow of the world.

All the hustle and bustle in this world is about profits.

All wild passion and obsessive desire vanish in the blink of an eye.

What did one own and by whom was one owned?

Who has spent one’s whole life taking possession of something? Yet lets desire slip to a fingertip like quicksand.

The incessant increase of weight and volume is due to human beings’

insatiable desire. 

It also registers a past which does not want to be mentioned, and a future which cannot be realized.

Origin arises and ends, so does every life in the world. It is the course of fate and nature.

The survivors of destruction weep for the changes in life.

 

Life goes on, while dignity is worn away slowly; but silent time and overflowing desires are eternal.

As the circle of the world continues, people are still seen wandering in the ruins of the city, constructing their dreams in the wasteland.

When shall we ever gain insight? Then we smile again.

Biography

Ringo Tang (b.1961-Hong Kong) – multimedia visual artist, photographer, TVC director. His acute awareness of the art scene is visible in his many faceted works. His reputation is of one who is always experimenting with new styles and pushing to the edge. Ringo has worked as a professional photographer since 1984 and began filmmaking in 1994. Ringo is also committed to the community, developing special cultural projects with the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Ringo has exhibited in numerous group shows including: Twin Peaks, Contemporary Hong Kong Photography, Hong Kong Heritage Museum (2014), Breathe Life, ArtisTree (2013), From City to City, ArtisTree (2012), Breathe Life, Siemens 798 Beijing (2011), Magnificent Seven, The OCT Art & Design Gallery (2010), Imaging Hong Kong Contemporary Photography 2009, Hong Kong (2009), Hong Kong Arts Festival, Berlin (1999), and solo shows Think Thing, City Contemporary Gallery Hong Kong (1991), Autonomous City, OP Gallery Toronto (2001), Release.Relief, Gallery Yamaki Fine Art Kobe Japan (2013), and And time future contained in time past, New Gallery on Old Bailey (2014).

Ringo is the recipient of many international and local awards, including D&AD Awards (2011), International ARC Awards (2003), Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (2002), Longyxi Awards (2000), New York Festivals Film & Video Awards (1999, 1998), Mobius Awards (1998), Photo District News Awards (1993), HK4A Best Photography & Creative Awards (1996), HKIPP Hasselblad Award (1995), Time Asia Pacific Advertising Awards, Communications Arts (1993), Art Director’s Club Awards of New York (1993) and HKDA Photography (1990).

Project Statement

The Big Mist project was launched in January 2013 at which time Beijing was shrouded in smog and Asia was in turn adversely affected by China’s worsening urban air pollution. The Big Mist seeks to create a global archive of ‘selfies’ that playfully engages our contemporary attitude to air pollution.

The art project took the form of an open call, through social media, for creative photographic submissions responding to the theme of environmental air pollution in Asia. Sites such as Facebook, Weibo and Douban were used. Several dozen submissions from around the world, from Beijing to Hong Kong, Kathmandu to Berlin, London to Madrid, were received. An aim of The Big Mist is for participants to use performance and humour in the photographic form as a challenge to over-industrialisation and the pollution it brings. It also acts as a collective silent cry.

The art project is ongoing and more photos will continue to be added. An independent magazine The Big Mist will be published in February 2014 to coincide with the first anniversary of this project.

The Big Mist Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/449960541741862/

The Big Mist Douban Album: http://www.douban.com/photos/album/87029203/

Biography

Gao Ling was born in Jiangsu, China in 1980 and currently lives between Beijing and London. Her inter-disciplinary approach encompasses diverse mediums of visual art, photography, installation and performance. Her work closely scrutinizes the ‘norms’ of daily life and creates surprising and often humorous interventions and re-appropriations that challenge our relationship with them. Her artworks have been featured in a number of exhibitions including in Get It Louder, Milan Design Week and e-flux project: Pawnshop.

In 2008, together with Chinese American artist Elaine W. Ho, Gao founded the arts group LING & COMMA whose primary interest is to investigate issues of female identity, body-politics, space and interaction with the everyday. Gao Ling’s prominent works include the widely exhibited and published Nv Quan. In 2009, she was invited as a visiting artist and photographer to PROGRAM Berlin and Kontemporar gallery to join the project PUBLIC Research. During that time she began the art project Let Out A Yawn. Two of her works Nv Quan and Hey! TTTTouch Me! are included in the traveling exhibition WOMEN我們 which premiered in Shanghai in 2011, traveled to San Francisco and is currently on view in Miami. n 2012, she collaborated with the NGO Shanghai Nvai to launch the performance/protest “Occupy Shanghai Subway: It’s A Dress, Not A Yes”.. Using Gao’s art piece in Hey! TTTTouch Me! the performance/protest provoked a national discussion, and was featured in international media such as the BBC and the Economist. Her work was reviewed in the contemporary arts journal Yishu in 2012. In 2013 she was interviewed by the Asia-Pacific Research Centre of the Tate Modern which is one of the leading centres for research in visual art and museum studies.

Project Statement

Considering the subject of poverty, I grew up in a poor family and therefore I have first-hand experience on how life is without money. Articles or objects that were considered extras, or that were left behind by other people, were treated as treasure by us. As I grew up, I developed an appreciation for the patience of cleaners. Their job is regarded by society as lowly, but it is a very, very important job. If it not were for those unsung heroes, it would be difficult to imagine what Hong Kong would be like. In my project, I want to understand more about the working poor’s jobs through their office spaces and in their rest areas in order to record the truth about their treatment. To illustrate how they are ignored by society, but worthy of respect. So that viewers will think about issues of giving and receiving, and reflect on treasuring what we have – respect and equality.

Biography

Katherine Chan Sim-Kuen received her Diploma in Design – Visual Communication at the Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute in 1995. She then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Photographic Design from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1998 and with a Master of Fine Arts in Media Design and Technology from the City University of Hong Kong in 2007. Katherine’s works have been showcased in the United Kingdom, Japan, China and Hong Kong, and she has participated in several exhibitions and screenings, including “APO – 12 Oil Street: Casting I Online Exhibition & ART HK12” (2012), “Young Portfolio – Photographs by the Next Generation” Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan (2003), “The Royal Photographic Society’s 146th International Print Exhibition” (2003-04), the public screening of the “19 Lives through 19 Eyes” documentaries (2004) and “The 2nd BBU International Student Film, Television & New Media Works Exhibition” Award Screening (2004). She has received the Silver Award at the Hong Kong Institute of Professional Photographers (HKIPP) Awards in 1999 and the Bronze Award in 2001. The Silver Medal given by the Royal Photographic Society in Britain (2003) and the Outstanding Documentary Award at the Second BBU – International Student Film, Television & New Media Works Exhibition in Beijing, China (2004). Katherine’s works are collected by the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and several private collectors.

Project Statement

Like many other districts in Hong Kong, North Point, the area that is the focus of this project, is experiencing rapid change and gentrification. Luxury apartments and new retail chain stores are sprouting up amid the decades-old buildings and traditional shops in what has been a predominantly working-class neighbourhood. Rising rents and constant redevelopment are pushing long-term residents out of places like Kai Yuen Lane, which was photographed for the project. North Point has always attracted migrants – affluent Shanghainese in the 1950s, Fujianese with ties to Southeast Asia from the ’60s onwards. It now attracts a range of new migrants from China, as well as expatriates. New arrivals, decades-long residents, the poor, blue collar workers, middle-class families and expatriates all live side-by-side in towering blocks like those we see all over urban Hong Kong. Like many older mixed-use neighbourhoods around the city — Causeway Bay, Mongkok or Sai Ying Pun — North Point is characterised by high-rise apartment blocks haphazardly built next to office towers and old walk-up buildings. The outside appearance of buildings doesn’t tell us much about what is inside. Changing economic realities mean blocks are constantly reconfigured into large multigenerational flats, smaller single-family flats, or subdivided cubicle flats. The project “North Point” examines this changing district, and its history of migration, through the personal lives and homes of its inhabitants. Looking at how family spaces, personal spaces, and communal spaces define and are defined by the economic and social environment, the work highlights how people deal with the increasing price and difficulties of living in Hong Kong.

Biography

Wei Leng Tay’s (b.1978, Singapore) practice examines how people’s relationships, priorities, and ways of life are shaped by the socio-political landscape of the places they live in. She has exhibited with organisations such as the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, the Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Indonesia, the National Museum of Singapore, Chulalongkorn University Art Center, Bangkok, and the NUS Museum, Singapore. She has also participated in festivals such as the Noorderlicht International Photography Festival, The Netherlands, the International Photography Festival of Rome, the F/Stop International Photography Festival in Leipzig, PhotoEspana and the Delhi Photo Festival. Her work is collected by museums such as the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum.

Project Statement

Reviewing photo images from the mass media, we contemplate the presence of all those unidentified minor figures or those who were accidentally captured for a grander narrative. But Roland Barthes’ noeme of photography suggests that anyone who was photographed, no matter how minor s/he was, must have been there. Although we don’t know them at all, they have already occupied a place in our past. By posing as those who appeared in the found images, we hope to challenge the authority of the grand narrative portrayed by the media on one hand; and also shed light on the poetics of photography through our own presence in the newly studio-shot photograph. The impossibility to identify an unidentified person in the past has become our romantic encounter with the history in a most humble but vivid way.

Biography

Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong’s collaboration started in 1992. Their previous work City Cookie was exhibited in Shanghai Biennale, Venice Biennale, as well as Queens Museum in the USA and Museum of Image and Sound in Brazil. In 2015, they had their solo exhibition at Blindspot Gallery in Hong Kong. Leung and Wong, both born in Hong Kong in 1968, graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and co-founded Para Site in 1996.

Individually, Leung had solo exhibitions at OCAT Shenzhen (2015), Rokeby London (2012) and ISCP New York (2013). He is currently Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media of the City University of Hong Kong. Wong’s recent exhibitions include a group show at Pearl Lam Gallery (2013) and a site-specific installation at the Oil Street Art Space (2013) in Hong Kong. Wong is also a practising landscape designer and currently a Senior Lecturer at the Hong Kong Design Institute.

Project Statement

picking them up bit by bit,

i just realized that I have been doing this for some years now.

i tried to pick up the beauty in them, the bits and pieces of the story that I’d never know.

 

i picked them up,

just because they were there.

 

i pick them up,

just because I believe that life is beautiful.

 

(anyone, anything should be respected when it exists, although they might be of no use in our material world.)

Biography

A graduate of the Hong Kong Technical Teachers’ College (Design & Technology), anothermountainman (Stanley Wong) is a renowned designer and contemporary artist.

Following five years as a graphic designer, Wong began his career in the advertising industry working as a Chief Executive and Creative Director for many international advertising companies. Fifteen years later, with his passion and enthusiasm for creative visuals, Wong became a film director for television commercials and established 84000 Communications in 2007, branching out his creative career.

Wong is the recipient of more than 600 Asian and international awards for his personal works, design, photography and advertising works. Many of his personal works have been exhibited overseas in international museums and are now part of their permanent collections. In May 2012, Wong was awarded the Artist of the Year 2011 (Visual Arts) from Hong Kong Arts Development Awards and the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards 2012 from the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Additionally, anothermountainman is very passionate in photography and various creative mediums with a strong focus on social issues. For over the past decade, Wong has gained an international audience with his red, white and blue collection, representing the positive spirit of Hong Kong. In addition, anothermountainman is heavily involved in the education of design and art, and travels around the world as a guest lecturer in major local and overseas institutions.

In recent years, anothermountainman had incorporated his studies of Buddhism into his creative works. It is his personal mission to spread dharma for the hope of world equality and harmony.

Project Statement

Thousands of millions of “I”s on the earth, “I” am the one and only.

But “I”, am more than just one –

“I” am a protester, also a counter-protester;

“I” am a man from the outside, a woman from the inside;

“I” am soft and hard-nosed; “I” am also gentle and cruel.

“I”, am blurring in the fast-paced world. Who has ever really known the every “I” inside us?

Are they just a fantasy, an expectation of self?

Are they the same and single id, or diversified egos?

“I”, am lights that never ever stop in the air without fail. Every kind of encounter and cognition is breathing light and shade. Wearing in and wearing out, “I” keep switching.

Between the whites and blacks, blacks and whites, colours of every “I”s leak from the cracks of light.

It is a self-dissection of every “I”, of which multiple “I”s constantly blending, molded into a subtle symphony on the prints.

Biography

Remmus Ha, Hong Kong artist, has investigated multifarious fields. His aim is to experience and to decode, in greater depth, the complexity of this glamorous city; in an attempt to dig up an alternative view of this city.

Living in an economically driven society, we encounter people from all walks of life; every day they come and go with straight faces, our minds are not quick enough to digest everything. By recording every voice and face through the lens, Remmus believes it can act as a bridge, linking up individuals with the world instantaneously. The entire universe is frozen, prolonged so that one can seek an alternative, balanced perspective from the subjective world. Feelings and expressions are captured and brought to life again, without boundaries or barriers, exposing the real self through images.

Project Statement

The plight of refugees in Hong Kong, is the consequence of a system that isolates and leaves them with an endless wait, out of sight from the rest of the population in unsanitary slums.

About 10,000 refugees live in Hong Kong, mostly originating from the Indian subcontinent, but also from Vietnam, Indonesia or the Horn of Africa. Most of them fled persecution in their country, hoping to find refuge in Hong Kong.

But the city isn’t the haven they were hoping for. Hong Kong has signed the Convention against Torture and cannot repatriate people at risk of torture back to their home countries. Yet, only a very small number of them obtain refugee status.

Upon their arrival in Hong Kong, refugees are registered as asylum seekers or as victims of torture and their passports are confiscated. Normally, it takes three years to process their applications, but some are still waiting after eight years and are not allowed to work.

Refugees have access only to tiny rooms in slums in the New Territories. Initially these slums were not made for housing, these were shacks, pig or chicken farms built or refurbished by unscrupulous owners.

Biography

Emmanuel Serna was born in Lunel, France in 1973. After graduating from a photography school in Paris, he spent time photographing in the Balkans mainly in Bosnia, Kosovo after the war and in Serbia, where he made a long-term project about the Serbian youth. Since then he has focused his work in China. Apart from his personal exhibitions, his photos have been exhibited in photo festivals in France. Some of his reports were published in the press and online media. He likes photographing individuals, their relationships with each other and with their environment. Since 2010, he has been living and working in Hong Kong as a freelance photographer.

Project Statement

Since the first barricades were erected as a form of neighborhood defense in the 1500s, these makeshift structures have maintained their significance as a powerful symbol of protest and uprising well into modern times, most recently in Hong Kong’s Occupy Movement, during which major intersections and roadways in the city were blocked off by protesters demanding universal suffrage. The impromptu barricades in Central were erected with great expediency and resolve as a response to forceful police action taken to disperse the crowds. Over the course of the occupation, their configurations were continuously reshaped like communal sculptural objects that are perpetually works in progress.

These provisional, adaptive structures are viewed as a type of vernacular expression arising from protest culture, representing the material and metaphorical emblems of an anonymous, ideological collective.

Set against a backdrop of Government buildings and monolithic office towers, this somewhat nostalgic mode of resistance created a singular “privatized public” space, underscoring the dialectical relationship between traditional power structures and their subversive counterparts.

Biography

Johnny Gin is a Hong Kong-based copywriter who has embarked on a second career as a photographer. As a member of the first intake at SCAD HK, he has been working part-time towards an MFA in photography since 2010. He is expected to complete the program and hold his thesis exhibition in June 2016.

His photographic interest lies in the examination of urban spaces and vernacular environments and the ways in which these spaces inform us about the culture and identity of a city. His work has been exhibited in Hong Kong and in the US, and is part of SCAD’s permanent collection. The Architecture of Insurgency, completed in 2014, was selected for inclusion in a showcase of 18 Hong Kong and Taiwanese photographers in the Angkor Photo Festival 2015.

Project Statement

This body of work explores a simple question: What does it mean to be poor?

It is not an emotional statement. It is an examination of the choices one faces living at the poverty line. I work with an economist, Lin Hui-Yi, to ensure factual and statistical consistency. We have documented this project in 16 countries – including Hong Kong – across six continents. We are not trying to compare different countries’ poverty, but rather to have a starting point to understand poverty within a country’s context. For developed countries, where there is relatively updated household consumption data, we focus on the average daily amount that a person at the poverty line would spend on food.

One frame. One person. One day.

Everything else is left up to interpretation.

HKD $44.96 (USD $5.77, EUR£4.01) for food. This is based on a per capita per-day basis of a poverty indicator for Hong Kong (half of the median average household income), and low-income household food expenditure. Hong Kong currently does not have an official poverty line, but this is expected to come into place under the Commission on Poverty which was newly re-established in December 2012. There is presently, however, an official poverty analysis framework uses a multi-dimensional approach to monitor 24 poverty indicators, which includes educational and child social support rates in addition to income indicators. Poverty indicator statistics are mainly collected by the Census and Statistics Department through the General Household Survey and the Social Welfare Department. Poverty and social welfare issues are monitored and championed by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which is the overall coordinating body for social service NGOs in Hong Kong. Note: Latest available standards and exchange rates were taken as of July 2011, when the photography was undertaken.

Biography

Grateful to be a witness through his camera, Stefen is a photographer with an unique eye and effervescent personality.

The Poverty Line project, done in conjunction with economist Lin Hui-Yi, won the grand prize at the Arles Photography Open Salon, and was awarded an artist residency during the Les Rencontres d’Arles. The photographic project has since been exhibited at the Three Shadows Photography Art Center in Beijing, and various galleries in Penang, Singapore and Cologne. It has been featured in numerous media transcending conventional photography-based media, including NPR, Foreign Policy, Xinhua and Singapore Business Times. The project was also presented at [email protected], a global talent search by TED in 2012.

Stefen’s work has been recognized with awards by PDN, Billboard, International Photo Awards, Photographie de la Paris. He, himself, is one of the judges for the Tokyo-based Nikon Photo Contest. His clients include The Smithsonian, Time Magazine, Geo Germany, The Guardian, and various commercial companies.

At the age of 25, Stefen climbed to the summit of Mount Everest; he is a member of the Explorers Club,

Stefen currently lives between Beijing and Singapore.

Project Statement

If the use of the word ‘poverty’ is meant to be understood as ‘absolute poverty’, then there may not be that many ‘poor people’ in Hong Kong. This kind of narrow interpretation differs from the social reality of Hong Kong today. To understand Hong Kong’s ‘poverty problem’, first we must clarify the definition of poverty.

The Gini index in Hong Kong is amongst the top five in the world, which means there is a serious gap between the rich and the poor. All shades of unfair social phenomena – such as educational favouritism, monopolies, real estate hegemony, difficulties facing the elderly and new immigrants, etc. – all contribute to the growth of poverty.

‘Poverty’ as a social phenomenon, and as an issue, is difficult to summarize in a few photos. In this age of ‘knowledge economy’, good education is the key to helping our next generation ‘move upward’ and escape poverty. To fundamentally address and solve the problem of poverty in Hong Kong, the government must focus on reforming the existing educational system. Hence, in this series I consider, reflect and focus on the problems in the educational system.

Hong Kong has been promoting ‘elitism’, turning quality education into talent education. The government’s main focus is on the high- reputation schools and the graduating elite. The emergence of private schools has created an atmosphere of discrimination and segregation amongst schools and students. The government has forgotten that education is fundamentally democratic – for every student. Each student, whether elite or ordinary, rich or poor, should be treated equally.

Government authorities have launched, numerous times, large scale poverty relief measures, but have never addressed poverty alleviation through education. For children of poor families, education is a way to help them get out of the poverty cycle. The government should conduct a comprehensive review of the current outdated educational system, break away from elitism and a single directional teaching model, so that all children can receive quality education.

This work is ongoing as I consider other contributory social problems in order to create a more complete series of photographs that explore poverty in Hong Kong.

Biography

M.C. (Michael Chan) is a local born Hong Kong artist. He began his career as a professional photographer and photographic artist in 2005. M.C. received a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) in Photography at Hong Kong Art School / RMIT University. In 2011, he had a solo exhibition ‘Life and Living’ at the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China. M.C.’s series ‘Elite’ was presented by the Hong Kong Arts School at the International Education Forum & Expo 2011. In 2013, M.C. is one of the finalists of the Hasselblad Masters 2014 and Three Shadows Photography Award 2013.

“The things I want to express are so beautiful and pure.” — Maurits Cornelis Escher.

Based on this belief, I started my life in photography. My works are a reflection of my opinions and my feelings towards this society.

Project Statement

“To record” is fundamental to a photographer. I’m merely recording things around me. As far as the intent, content or connotation of the photograph is concerned, it shall be interpreted by the viewer.

Biography

Chan Wai Kwong was born in Hong Kong in 1976. He left school at an early age and began to explore his creative side. To date Chan has self-published seven photography books including ‘The Moment’, ‘Wanchai’, ‘Ah~’, ‘Pingyao’, ‘Tokyo 1’, ‘Ting Ting’ and ‘Tenderness of a 19 yr Girl’. In 2011, he held a pop-up solo exhibition in his home titled ‘ Chan Wai Kwong Photo Exhibition’, filling every wall in the flat with his black and white portrait and street photography. His solo exhibition ‘Tenderness of a 19 yr Girl’ was held at 100ft. Park Hong Kong in 2012. Chan has participated in group exhibitions in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Pingyao, China.

Project Statement

Hong Kong’s air pollution is mainly caused by motor vehicles. There are about 306 licensed vehicles* for every kilometer of road and they produce large amounts of particles and nitrogen dioxide which cause burning spasms; swelling of the throat; reduced oxygen intake and a larger buildup of fluids in the lungs — and in some cases death. You find people using such materials as facial masks, newspapers and tissue paper to cover their mouths and noses in order not to breathe in those harmful pollutants. We know that we cannot get rid of all the vehicles in the short run nor stay indoors forever.

But wait! Let’s forget all the bad news for a while. Can we try to confront this issue positively and express the need to protect ourselves in a creative and fashionable way?

In my Fashion Cover-up project, I invited five people with very different characters and occupations and created five unique outfits for them. The outfits serve both to protect and beautify the wearers. Instead of showing the sad and ugly side of air pollution, which everyone knows, I prefer to address this social issue in an alternative way, one that will arouse our government’s attention.

* Data from Transport Department http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/environment/air/airquality.htm

Biography

Leo Kwok completed his education at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design, with commendation. After university he worked in 4A’s advertising agencies. Later, he founded his own graphic design company, it has been running for over 15 years. His design works were recognized with awards from the Hong Kong Designer Association Awards, Design for Asia Award, IdN Design Awards and Gilbert Golden Quill Awards.

Leo is an enthusiastic photographer who tries to connect with people more deeply with photographs. In 2012, he started a photo studio, mainly focused on portrait and reportage photography. His photos are featured in Leica Fotografie International Master Shots Gallery and Lens Folio Asia Exhibition. Awards include Nat Geo Hong Kong Photo Competition 2013 (Champion and finalist) and Final 100 of The Other Hundred Photobook Project 2013. He is also a finalist of WMA Open Photo Contest 2013.

In October 2013, Leo went to Yunnan Province, China and did a personal photo project called Beautiful Strangers for Habitat for Humanity China. In 2014, he plans to do more photo projects for different charity organizations.

Project Statement

Can you imagine what would happen to you if you lived in a bottle? The lack of fresh air would result in dizziness, difficulty breathing and eventually death. This is happening in Hong Kong where air pollution is increasingly at a serious level. The air is essentially invisible to the eye, however once mixed with pollutant particles, it manifests in the form of smoke and haze.

I used the idea of putting Hong Kong in a bottle with smoke emitting from it to communicate the idea that we are trapped in middle of a concrete jungle, walking in street canyons where the wind doesn’t blow. We are actually living in a bottle but we just have not realized it yet.

Biography

Tommy Fung was born in Hong Kong in 1979. At the age of ten, he moved with his family to Maracaibo, Venezuela. There he studied Graphic Design at La Universidad del Zulia, where he obtained his degree in 2005. Soon after his graduation, he started his own business as a freelance graphic designer. After some time Tommy found his passion in photography. Since then he has been applying the theories of design to photography.

Currently Tommy is a working photojournalist at two Venezuelan schools — Colegio Bellas Artes and Colegio Mater Salvatoris — where he documents every significant activity and event and compiles a digital yearbook for each, fully designed and produced by him. As a professional photographer he has worked on social events, portrait shoots, weddings and underwater projects. In 2013 Tommy sat on the jury of II Concurso de Fotografía CBA 2013, a photography contest in Venezuela . He visits Hong Kong once a year so he still feels Hong Kong is his homeland.

Project Statement

The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) in Hong Kong sees people from all walks of life passing through everyday. With each train that pulls up at the stations, these passengers will hear the familiar announcement to “Please mind the gap” echo across. This was the inspiration that turned into a compilation of photographs documenting the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong through the narrow gaps between trains and platform doors, aptly named, Please Mind The Gap.

Biography

Born in Penang, Malaysia, Weilun Chong was educated in Singapore and graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. He first picked up his father’s camera when he was eight, but was more of a hobbyist at first, experimenting and collecting cameras rather than taking photographs. He became more serious about it after learning about street and documentary photography. He holds a day job as an advertising art director and pursues photography during his daily commute and in his personal time.

Project Statement

This project unfolds the social landscapes of refugees’ mobility and relationships during their transit period in Hong Kong to their final destination, as an ongoing inquiry into the contradictions within one of the most developed metropolitan cities in the world.

Every year, thousands of asylum seekers escape their countries in the hope of receiving state support as refugees. Fleeing from their homelands, some transit through the glittering metropolitan city – Hong Kong, to reach their final destinations, such as the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.

As a check point, however, as Hong Kong has no domestic legislation to grant refugees temporary or permanent status nor to resettle them. Most of the people strive to establish new lives in a transitory locale, end up stranded in Hong Kong for years on end, and some of them are still waiting to move to begin their new lives. Their mobility is challenged by their stranded condition, but remains active, however restricted.

Biography

Billy H.C. Kwok (b. 1989, Hong Kong) is an independent photographer. Graduated from City University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Media and Communication, Kwok started his career as a journalist in the print media before picking up a camera to pursue a photography career. He now splits his time for assignments between Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and South East Asia, among others.

Kwok has been working on a long-term project documenting the social landscapes of refugees’ mobility and relationships in Hong Kong: From Transit to New Lives, and at the same time conducting a project on male prostitutes in China’s Pearl River Delta: Sister Chang’e. His work has been published on international newspapers and magazines.

Kwok is highly observant and adaptable to cultural and environmental diversity. Apart from generating still images, he works both individually and collaboratively for multimedia storytelling.

Project Statement

The movements across this 37-km border between Hong Kong and China have never ceased. In the 1950s to 1980s, millions mainlanders risked their lives to reach Hong Kong, the then British colony. Despite recent protests seen from Hong Kong’s opposition lawmakers on the construction of a high-speed rail linking the city to Shenzhen and Guangzhou, Hong Kong’s future has been increasingly dependent on China’s megacities across the border. Also known for being the global hub for China, Hong Kong’s economic role in the region faces further challenges as its neighbouring mainland cities continue to grow. Last year the disappearance of a Hong Kong bookseller, followed by his reappearance on the mainland, has caused concerns that security officers from mainland China had taken him across the border, which would have violated the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement since the return of Hong Kong on 1997.

Biography

Lam Yik Fei is the Founder of ATUM Images and RA Production. Before starting his own business, he was the Director of Photography at Initium Media in Hong Kong.Lam also works on assignment for various international media. His works are distributed worldwide via Getty Images and Bloomberg News Photos. They appear on The New York Times, The Guardian, Financial Times, and other leading publications.After gaining solid experience in local media, Lam established himself as an independent photojournalist and explored the international arena in May 2011. His works strive to bring visual awareness to social, environmental and human related issues. He documented the refugees’ lives in Thai-Burmese border, and accessed the Fukushima evacuation zone during Japan’s nuclear crisis.Lam received several awards in locally and internationally acclaimed photo contests, including the Award of Excellence in News Photography in The SOPA 2015 Awards for Editorial Excellence by The Society of Publishers in Asia.Apart from still images, Lam also tells stories with multimedia.

Project Statement

Suburbanites from the North East New Territories are comprised of farmers, gardening enthusiasts, conservation docents and people who have live there as their ancestors had for generations. They are blessed with homes, fields and fresh air. In the project We Gift the Urbanites with Fresh Breeze, suburbanites gave their fresh air-grown plants to Hong Kongers living in areas affected by serious air pollution. Through this gesture, their hope is to share with the urbanites the idyllic atmosphere of their environment and their love for nature, and to remind them that plants are critical to air purification. The urbanites, in return, created a ‘sunny doll’ – a tradition adopted from rural Japan in which a handmade doll is hung in the window of one’s home representing a wish for sunshine and a blessing for the peoples of the countryside for the continued health of their plants and their future.

If development merely means building more big cities and converting green belt areas into urban ones, destroying suburbanite life and culture, such development can only bring temporary solutions in the form of a seemingly more comfortable life, more efficient consumption and easier planning. However, we are, indeed, over-drafting for resources that should be for future generations, leaving instead environmental damage that is irreversible. Spiritual development, therefore, is more important. It is achieved through learning to care for and bless each other.

Biography

Ducky Tse Chi Tak was born and lives in Hong Kong. Early in his career he worked as a professional photojournalist for over 15 years. Currently, he is an independent photographer and visual artist. For many years, his main focus in photography is to record environmental and spatial changes in Hong Kong.

Ducky participated in and organised the first Hong Kong International Photo Festival in 2009. He has been the recipient of many awards including being a winner in multiple years of The Society of Publishers in Asia – Excellence in Feature Photography. His work has been presented in various exhibitions in Hong Kong, Japan and France and has been acquired by private collections and by museums.

Project Statement

Hong Kong was promised “50 years of changelessness”—a transformative and unique indicator for its transition. Every day since the handover, society has been infiltrated with minute changes that cannot expressed, ranging from the development of hardware, to the rise and fall of ideologies. Instead of outlining history, this work aims to document transitions in different facets of society, from singing “God Save the Queen” (the national anthem of British Hong Kong) to humming “people are slaves no more” (lyrics from the Chinese national anthem); from being old migrants to becoming new Hongkongers; and from making money as property agents to gaining power as rural landlords. This body of work is created to portray a wandering status of Hong Kong—referencing Beijing, and the ghosts of uncertainty that haunt the journey ahead.

Biography

Billy H.C. KWOK (b. 1989, Hong Kong) is an independent photographer. With a BA degree in Media and Communication from City University of Hong Kong, Kwok began his career as a newspaper journalist before pursuing his photographic career. In his journey, images became a more intuitive and engaging medium for him to tell stories beyond syntax. His works focus on human rights in modern-day migration, and contemporary conditions deeply-rooted in power structures among Asian countries.

His work has been published on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Libération, The Globe and MailUSA Today, National Post among others.

Kwok is highly observant and adaptable to cultural and environmental diversity. Apart from generating still images, he works both individually and collaboratively for multimedia storytelling.

Project Statement

 The idea of the “Wish” series is to try to present in a plain way the various perceptions and desires of Hong Kong from the perspective of common mainland Chinese people. The series has been edited such that an 86-year-old farmer marks its beginning and a 7-year-old girl marks the end. Such a sequence depicts the passage from past to future, as well as the transition of time. 

Biography

Forty-eight-year-old GONG He graduated from the Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (formerly the Zhejiang Silk Industrial College – Fashion Design). He is a freelance photographer and a dealer of a furniture brand. He is also the chairman of the Youth Photography Art Society of Suining, Sichuan Province (a non-government organisation).  

Project Statement

Once upon a time, a cat that wants to obtain wisdom and knowledge puts her head into a History bookshelf. She got stuck and died.

Medium: Digital flat copies of laser printouts

Biography

Phil SHEK is a photographic artist who focuses on the documentary attribute. He enjoys exploring photography as a medium from traditional aesthetics to digital immersive technology. He believes that the highest form of a photographic moment is an evidence, which marks the second that a person awakens from the illusion of reality. He is now an instructor of photography and visual communication in School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. He has received the Photography Award at the Contemporary Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition and his work was collected by Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

Project Statement

Build. Renovate. Demolish. These are common themes within this bustling and ever mutating city. As occupants, we rarely dwell on the incomplete and put aside thoughts of what lies beneath the shroud of construction. Occasionally, along the monotonous borders of metal fencing and tarpaulin, one is exposed to moments that catch the attention. The bizarre. The poignant. The humorous. Something familiar and yet undecipherable. ‘Tales from the Common Space’ is part of a larger ongoing anthropological project that explores the urban landscape for signs of creation, decay, life and death while unveiling the effects of mankind on the landscape.

Biography

Berton Chang is a Hong Kong native and freelance photographer. He studied Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). His work has been published in domestic and international publications. Although his primary image making tool is photography, Chang has been experimenting with video and destructive techniques to blur the lines between the real and the artificial.

Project Statement

My hands were stained with ink when I read the newspaper. The ink would seep into my fingerprints, like traces of culture. Reading the news is a way to understand the world. I read the newspaper every day during the period of March 2017, during which the headlines were all about the Chief Executive election in Hong Kong. John Tsang, Carrie Lam, Woo Kwok-hing were highlighted daily in headlines. Politics is inseparable from our lives. The role of the media, the relationships between politicians and the media, how is the image of a candidate shaped by the media? One must rely on their own wisdom to judge.

I chose some news articles, cut them into shapes of petals and rearranged them into flowers to record parts of Hong Kong’s history as an art form. My photography work “Ink Dips on Petals” is an attempt to break the usual reading habit of people and urge them to treasure-hunt through the “petals”.  Fragmented articles and images are reconstructed to encourage people to think more about the news. The blooming flowers also represent the hope a new Chief Executive may bring to Hong Kong. But is such “hope” presented through public opinion and media real? Is there a discrepancy between the election platforms and policy implementation?

Biography

Chan Suk On graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a Bachelor degree in Photographic Design. She gained her Masters of Arts in Fine Arts degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. On is an editor, photographer and artist. Inspired by social issues, she likes to create images, videos, installations and write. Her practice is developing from documentary photography to conceptual art.

Project Statement

In traditional Hong Kong, there is a belief in the existence of life after death, where the dead await the approval of a new life by an institution in the afterworld. The deceased continue to exist in the afterworld in temporary lodging as they wait in transit.

Descendants of the dead buy and burn their late ancestors’ favourite necessities and paper-made offerings, such as clothes, shoes, food, cars, houses, currency, and so on. It is believed that these offerings, after being set on fire, can be transferred to afterworld as real clothes, shoes, food, cars, houses, currency etc. People are convinced that the deceased will then possess sufficient necessities for daily life, living well and wealthily. This work is about the transition from birth to death, from death to the afterlife, and the transferring of all kinds of offerings to the deceased, while abstract things of ancestors enter their descendants’ minds.

I tried to capture the flow of smoke in each scene, then combined three photos into the whole picture, where the smoke vanishes into things. Smoke is intangible, which is like the phenomena with the human mind in which abstract things emerge. Is seeing is believing? Or is believing is seeing?

Biography

Frankie CHAN Kwok-chung started to engage in graphic design and photo imaging while studying for a Design Certificate at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education in 2004. He specialised in book design, pattern design, 3D lenticular and 3D circle lens picture production.

In 2013, he founded the design company, KISSIGN, in Hong Kong, and started working as a freelancer to explore his personal project, “Six sensations notebook”. In 2014, he was awarded The Award Scheme for Learning Experiences approved by Industry Training Advisory Committees (Printing and Publishing Industry), and was invited to participate in a visual communication exhibition in Germany to learn the latest graphic and photographic skills.

In recent years, he attempted to combine photography in his work to explore social issues and social culture.

In early 2016, his “Comfort Food” series won the Excellent Award (Series Category) in the “Photoeat” Photo Competition held by the Hong Kong International Photo Festival and he was invited to participate in the festival’s “1,000 Families” Exhibition, where he exhibited a series of “Pets’ Human Families” photographs.

Project Statement

From September 2014 onwards, I could no longer see clearly. I could no longer see clearly what was in front of me; as if I am in the middle of a grey storm; blown against by a rapid wave of wind. My vision is confused with anxiety and fear. Through this series of works, I wish to depict the underlying emotions and agitation in Hong Kong through photographic representations, while meditating on this society’s transition, and social and political instability.

The series captures small, yet radical gestures of the flag of Hong Kong. While waving in wind, the flag was documented using photography and presented as visual abstractions. In its sculptural shapes and forms, the flag metaphorically resembles human gestures that are indicative of complex and intense emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, and weariness. The visual purpose of a flag is to connote the existence of a group; similarly, the gestures of the flag in these images also physically and symbolically depict the underlying emotions of such a group: the emotions of Hong Kong citizens when facing the instability and transition of society.

Through constructing an alternate visual reality in photography, this series questions how reality is represented in photography, as well as points towards how a constructed reality reflects the actual state of Hong Kong and its people. By condensing a wave of wind into ten frozen moments in time, the series allows the audience to contemplate with each discrete gesture of the flag. Through photography, the once-dynamic flag is decisively frozen and divided into individual forms and figures. Despite the individuality of each frozen moment in the series, the body of work also functions as a sequence when being viewed as a unit: while every image presents a unique gestural form, they all share a sequential relationship when viewed together. As a sequence, the images poetically reconstruct the movement of the wind blowing through, reenacting the flow of the wind. While one can never truly see the wind, its presence is evoked through the movement of the flag, vividly manifesting the flow in transition.

Overall, The Flag of Hong Kong, Waving in the Wind explores an alternate photographic reality while simultaneously reflecting the actuality of Hong Kong and the perplexing emotions of its people. Underneath the physical instability of the flag lies a convoluted stream of emotions and agitation of the people in Hong Kong, one that originates from insecurity, anxiety, and fear regarding the uncertain transition into future. As a part of Hong Kong, I share the same deep emotions and agitation when I see the current turmoil in society, and feel disturbed when thinking of the future. I do not know the answers to my queries towards the future, nor the way out of the chaos, yet it is in this special moment in time when we are truly honest towards our own emotions, exposed and laid bare before the unknown future.

Biography

b. 1995, Hong Kong

Joseph LEUNG Mong-sum is a Hong Kong-based artist who graduated from the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong with first class honours, and went on an exchange programme at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the Syracuse University in New York.

LEUNG is interested in exploring the relationship between daily sentiments and the environment. He is currently producing research in the form of photo poetry and conceptual photography for the Master of Fine Arts programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was recently awarded the “Julian Lee Asia One Photographic Awards  2016/17” and chosen as a finalist in the “First Smash 4 Art Project”. His works had previously been shown in the United States, India, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Project Statement

These photographs (2012 to present) are made in Hong Kong as an investigation of place, subject-hood, and community. My photographs address a desire to negotiate multiple and diasporic identities, to reconcile public and private moments, and establish a sense of agency in the context of a contingent, post-colonial, pre-2047 Hong Kong that is in constant flux and transition. The project combines interviews, collaborative portraits of members of the LGBTQ community and of my family, and images of the landscape — employing construction, subtraction, density, compression and liminal spaces as metaphors. The portraits centre those who are often marginalised and invisibilised, taking care of Hong Kong, each other and their own communities which they have built.  Occupying and queering space, time, and gesture: clear or coded, holds possibility. In the spaces of contingency, building and renewal, subtraction and redevelopment, a city is in transition; a body and one’s identity are in transition. This reflects the need to be fluid, agile, plural. Port city and hub, it is a site of migration and dislocation, for many families including my own. Who can claim ownership; who can love or belong; who retains a memory; what does a future look like and who does it include? Is an interregnum possible?

Biography

Ka-Man TSE is a photographer and educator. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in 2009, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bard College in 2003. She has exhibited her work at the Lianzhou Foto Festival in Guangdong, China, Para Site and Lumenvisum in Hong Kong, the 2016 Hong Kong Contemporary Film Festival in Hong Kong and New York, and Videotage’s Both Sides Now III – Final Frontiers in Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai, and the United Kingdom. Shows in the United States include the Museum of Chinese in America in New York, the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, the Palm Springs Art Museum in California, the New York Public Library, Cornell University, Capricious Gallery in New York, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Gallery 339 in Philadelphia, the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA, and Eighth Veil in Los Angeles. She was a SPARC Artist-in-Residence through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and completed the Artist in the Marketplace Program through the Bronx Museum of Arts. She is the recipient of the 2014-2015 Robert Giard Fellowship. Her work has been featured in Papersafe Magazine and GR-09022017 published by Skreid in Oslo, Norway. She teaches at Yale University and at the Parsons School of Design. Recently, her photographs are featured in Queering Space at Alfred University. She is co-curating a show alongside Matthew Jensen entitled Daybreak: New Affirmations in Queer Photography at the Leslie-Lohman Museum, opening in June 2018.  

Project Statement

Tsang’s Odyssey is a story about an old man I met whom designed spaceship and traversed in worlds where we would have been at some points in our lives.

Inspired by a news picture of the HMS Ark Royal (R07) on its way to the Persian Gulf for the Iraq War in 2003, that he tore out from a UK Chinese newspaper, Tsang began a journey in spaceship design. Making sketch and drafting contract on his armoured fighting vehicles collection became a routine, or a ritual, in his life. Thousand of sketches filled up his desk drawers, a perplexed space. The sketches were covered by his thoughts and trace of living, and revealed his state of mind.

Tsang, 83 years of age, was a Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong and resided in an elderly residential home in North London. He arrived at Liverpool in 1967. Like most Chinese immigrants of his generation, he started a catering business, married twice, had four children. His family visited him on a non-regular basis. Sometimes weeks, sometimes years. Who knows? At least, he did not know.

Aging population and gentrification are social issues that we all face in the twentieth-first century. Welfare states and their governments work hard to ensure there will be adequate food and home for all. Tsang had been living in this elderly home in North London in the past twelve years. He stayed in the same bedsit, with pretty much the same breath of air, and the very predictable weekly menu.

I visited him and his space weekly over two months and I hoped to know him more. He repeatedly reminded me he would be dying at the age of 85. It is the nature of life. Before that moment arrived, he hoped the world would recognise his design – with hundreds of construction and engineering drawings of spaceship. Irrational proportion; unconvincing calculation; and yet with the most faithful intention – to fly away. By selling the copyright of his design to various world powers, that is worth GBP 96,000,000 in total, he could have money to save his prodigal son, a gambling addict, that I was told. On one occasion, he offered me 31 sheets (62 pages) of his sketches and hoped that I could help him spreading out his idea. From there, my journey of Tsang’s Odyssey began. The more I visited him, the more I observed a ‘dual realities’ of Tsang – a ‘reality’ that contained him; a ‘reality’ he constructed and confronted the world (or to live and believe). I became intrigued to unfold his worlds layer by layer, from what I could see by my naked eyes, to where I used my intuition to feel and contemplate. Behind the lens, I see the hugeness and expansive quality of the mundane.

62 pages of sketches, including drawing, user manual, conceptualisation, cost management and contract, present Tsang’s state of mind in its most tangible form. The actuality and presence of sketches inarguably are ‘proofs of being once lived.’ 28 photographic images were created to visualise my perception to and interpretation of his worlds, and some of his unfulfilled dreams. In this exhibition, I present 5 diptychs of photographic images and 4 documents to construct this moving yet immobile existence. I could not help but wondering, what and where will I (or you) be when we were 83 years of age? How much travels one experience in order to get settled down? Will we colonise Mars in the future? Could I travel to the Moon with Tsang’s design?

Biography

LEE Wing Ki (b. 1981) is a photographer born and based in Hong Kong. He read history of art at the University of Hong Kong and received postgraduate training in documentary photography and photojournalism at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, supported by a British Chevening Scholarship. His photography exhibited in Austria, Germany, Hong Kong, Latvia and the UK. Lee’s works concern ‘humanity’, and the social, cultural and political conditions that ‘we’ may overlook. Lee is also a researcher, editor and writer on history of photography and visual culture. His writings and editorial projects appear in museum and gallery exhibition catalogues and arts and cultural magazine in Hong Kong, as well as international academic journals. Lee is currently a lecturer in photography at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University.

Project Statement

The Mother of All Journeys by Dinu Li, takes it’s inspiration from the memories of the artist’s own mother. Originally told as bed-time stories, his mother’s memories have since become Li’s memories. In 2001, Li worked in collaboration with her, using each other’s recollections as starting points. Embarking on many journeys together, they have attempted to exact the sites of her history. Comparing the actual with figments of their imagination, identifying old haunts transformed in time and the potential of discovering what remain fixed.

Dinu Li’s colour photographs teases out fragmented moments in time, charting rural traditions in a 1920’s China and of communist ideologies during the late 1940’s. Spanning two decades from the mid 50’s, Li turns his attention to a Hong Kong at a stage of transition, morphing from fishing villages into the beginnings of an urban metropolis. Under British administration, it was a time of sweatshops and western influences. And finally, Li focuses on Britain, from a family resettlement in the 70’s era of strikes and de-industrialisation, through to the start of the millennium, of multiculturalism and globalisation.

Aided by family snapshots and Li’s mother’s narration, The Mother of All Journeys triggers a sense of repetition and nostalgia, invoking glimpses of the times we live in. At the core of Li’s work, is a voyage into time, revealing what we remember of a place and what a place might remind us of. It is a sum of the many influences that shape our existence and how identities are formed. Sites loaded with life experiences, lying dormant, waiting to be excavated, examined and reclaimed.

Biography

Dinu Li is a British based multi-discipline artist working across photography, video, installation, archives, found objects and performance. Throughout his practice, Li places himself in a variety of circumstances, responding to his immediate surroundings in an attempt to understand the many cultures he encounters. Li’s output offers a visceral reaction to the world around us within the context of the times we live in. He explores the nuances of the everyday – its many rituals, routines and patterns, in relation to local and global concerns. Recent works have been situated between modes of representation, the vernacular, specific geographic and historical contexts and the intersection between the personal and the political.

Li’s work has been exhibited internationally, including: the 53rd Venice Biennale; the 3rd Bucharest Biennale; the 2015 DongGang International Photography Festival, South Korea; Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Germany; Alternative Space Loop, Seoul, South Korea; Danielle Arnaud, London; Chalk Horse, Sydney through Para/Site Hong Kong; Petra Rietz Salon, Berlin; SVA, New York through Artprojx; Rivington Place, London; White Space 798, Beijing and Christian Roellin, Zurich.

He has undertaken residencies with OCAT in Shenzhen, China; ArtSway Production Residency in Hampshire and Chengdu, China; and a Cornerhouse and Space Artists Exchange Residency in Central Asia. His work has been included in publications such as ‘The Photobook: A History Volume III by Phaidon in 2014; The Chinese Art Book in 2013, also by Phaidon; whilst in 2007, his own monograph The Mother of All Journeys was voted in The Sunday Times by Martin Parr as one of ten most important international photography books that year. He has been a guest speaker for Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Museum and is Senior Lecturer of Photography at Falmouth University in the UK.

Project Statement

In recent years, housing prices and inflation have been going up in Hong Kong. Not only do HongKongers struggle with the stresses of everyday life, but they are also frustrated about their inability to buy a home. The sense of confidence that used to define HongKongers is long gone; what remains is just a shifting shadow. In this self-proclaimed modern metropolis, all people want in life is a stable job, counterfeit goods (to satisfy their vanity), or to win the Mark Six so that they can buy a house. Hong Kong is known to be a land of opportunity… but perhaps it is just some kind of an irony.

Biography

Born in Hong Kong in 1962. Graduated from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux – Arts in Paris, France in 1990. Awards and honours included: the Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s ‘Artist-in-Residence’ programme in Bundanon Art Centre, Australia in 2000; Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, USA as part of the Freeman Foundation’s ‘Artist-in-Residence’ programme in 2005; shortlisted for the Art Promotion Office’s ‘Public Art Scheme’ in 2006; shortlisted for the Hong Kong Art Prize in 2013; and shortlisted for the UOB Art in Ink Awards in 2018.

Selected solo exhibitions:

2014 ‘Luxuriant Materialism’ at Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong

2013 ‘Bruce in the Sky with Water’ at Hong Kong Fringe Club Gallery

2010 ‘Heaven And Man As One’ at Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Hong Kong

2008 ‘Desire/Disappearance’ at Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong

2007 ‘Ten Years Remembering & Dreaming’ at Olympian City Gallery, Hong Kong

2007 ‘Footnotes To Oil Street’ at 1a Space, Cattle Depot Artists Village, Hong Kong

2006 ‘Unity’ at 1a Space, Cattle Depot Artists Village, Hong Kong

2005 ‘Senses’ at Graduate House, The University of Hong Kong,

2005 ‘Senses’ at Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong

2005 ‘Sensing’ at Vermont Studio Center, USA

2001 ‘Colour Value’ at Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s Gallery, Hong Kong

Engaged in painting and photography. Art works collected by private collectors, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Annie Wong Art Foundation, Deutsche Bank and other organisations.

Project Statement

For as long as I can remember, my mother’s friends have been telling me how much I look like her. As my mother’s ‘mini-me’, I want to be connected with her youth through being photographed in the clothes she used to wear, and in the same places she once went to.

Biography

Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts), Hong Kong Baptist University

Project Statement

As a Dutch artist based in Hong Kong and who used to live in China, I am at once an insider and outsider.

As a mother residing in Asia I am closely exposed to, and to a certain extent even part of the famous – or perhaps infamous – ‘Tiger Mom’ scene.

Living with school-aged children in Hong Kong, it is impossible not to be emotionally affected by the stories of suicides in schools.

I take a balanced view and I am also well aware of the incredible academic performance of children in Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China compared to children globally.

At the same time, some statistics are terrifying. Some children in primary schools in Hong Kong are given less outdoor time for exercise than prisoners. Fifty percent of secondary school pupils show signs of depression. The school systems in Asia have been consistently referred to a pressure cooker.

What is wrong and what is right? There is the constant fear that by not exhibiting some of the ambitious qualities of a Tiger Mom, we will disadvantage our children.

My work shares a feeling of collective helplessness, as no child, family or school can step out on their own.

I fear an encroaching world in which individuality is no longer seen in children, a world where students become anonymous, judged only by their knowledge and their results. I am scared of a world where pupils are not experiencing the joy of education but only the pressure of passing tests and getting high marks.

This visual manifesto, Time to tame the tigers?, aims to inspire us to collectively re-consider the roles of our schools and parents. Do we have the ambition for our children to be ready for the rapidly changing world we live in, or do we only educate them to be accepted at an Ivy League University?

Biography

December 2018
‘This Art fair’, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam

November 2018
International Urban Image Festival (IUIF), Shenzhen, China
Exhibited multimedia artwork Time to tame the tigers?

October 2018
Hong Kong International Photo Festival
Exhibited Silence of the Sky

September 2018
Fine Art Asia, Hong Kong
Exhibited Silence of the Sky

June 2018
Publication in Field & Stations – a magazine about travels and places

May 2018
Finalist of ‘Discovery’ photography prize, Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong

May 2018
Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre
Group exhibition: ‘Asia, Light, Hope and Dynamism’

April 2018
Exhibition and artist talk: ‘Unleash the Passion of Wong Chuk Hang’

March 2018
Shenzhen, China
Beginning of a 6-month Magnum photography multimedia mentorship programme

December 2017
South China Morning Post
Photo essay – Barbers in back streets of HK

November 2017
Solo Exhibition: ‘Glamour in Unglamorous Places’

November 2017
National Geographic Traveler
(Publication of photos taken in Yunnan)

Project Statement

‘Life is full of opportunities, the problem is to recognise them when they present themselves.’ Tiziano Terzani

Every day, on our way to school, to work or back to home, thousands of people are constantly forced through an archipelago of privately owned properties, shopping centres and transportation hubs, mutually interconnected by a maze of underground tunnels and covered footbridges.

In the Mall-Densest city, where there is one mall per square mile, the Mall offers an unlimited source of opportunities to Hong Kong citizens. This is a place where people create collective memories, socialise, build a sense of community and, during the hot summer months, have a breath of fresh air.

The Mall is not only the core of Hong Kong’s retail-based economy; it is where one can find accommodation, food supplies, entertainment and the chance to interact.

We could live our entire life without ever having to leave these modern fortresses; the basic units of Hong Kong contemporary urbanism, and perhaps a glimpse into the futuristic city.

The Mall offers the same opportunities of the more traditional public square; a contemporary agora where interconnections are made but where, inevitably, it will never rain.

Biography

Pierfrancesco Celada (b. 1979) completed a PhD in Biomechanics in 2010, and has since been working on a series of long-term studies investigating contemporary living.

He has recently been selected to take part in the EPEA03 – European Photo Exhibition Award with his project ‘Milano, Fuorinovanta’, putting on exhibitions in Paris, Viareggio, Hamburg and Oslo.

Among Celada’s awards were: the Happiness ONTHEMOVE Award (2017), the Photolux Leica Award (2014), and the Ideastap and Magnum Photos Photographic Award (2011).

He interned at Magnum Photos, London in 2011 and his work has been exhibited and published internationally in publications including Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Lightbox, i-D, LaRepubblica, Vogue, Amica, D-Repubblica, and Leap.

He has been based in Hong Kong since 2014.

Project Statement

I created this self-portrait series to celebrate my entry into the battlefield against depression and anxiety. During a very low point in my life, when my body was filled with drugs, alcohol and powder, I randomly came across Francis Bacon’s Wikipedia page, and I started brainstorming.

Biography

Beatrice Wong is a transgender outsider artist with a lifelong struggle with mental issues. She is currently a research assistant on transgender studies, and on the side, she expresses her dilemmas in life through personal creative projects and mediums including stand-up comedy, writing, a short documentary screened at various LGBTQIA film festivals, and recently, photography. She was a WMA Open finalist and now stepping up to also being a finalist at the prestigious WMA Masters.

Project Statement

In an age of overwhelming, hyper-digitised, cell-phone photography, the time we spend taking photos and looking at them has dwindled to a bare minimum. Since our eyes are always on the screen, how we read an image is increasingly important. The meaning of an image doesn’t lie in the image itself, but in how the ‘reality’ and relationships between images are being interpreted and understood. Sometimes the discovery of the unintentional nuances of human nature hidden in images might require efforts of gathering, organising, and synthesising photographic information.

 

Since early 2014, I have been collecting criminal reportage from newspapers. The image of suspects, always hooded, during an arrest or in an investigation often appears in the reports. There is a sharp contrast between the circumstances of an arrest and the casual tees the suspects are wearing. What people wear in everyday situations, which may or may not intentionally express certain messages, creates an embarrassing tension. The symbols in these images are real; the text is real too. But when they come together, the sum is ambivalent. This is where confusion arises: our actual reality is paradoxical and invisible.

Biography

Mixed media artist Yip Kin Bon (b. 1989) was born and bred in Hong Kong. He received his BA degree from the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University in 2013. His works feature a variety of approaches that include collecting, reading, sorting and integrating, which are often presented in forms of collage. He rearranges the context of incidents, objects and time to reflect the absurdity of this world. He currently lives and works in Hong Kong.


Special Mention

Ho Yan Pun Nicole Project Statement Biography

Project Statement

I lived in Hong Kong until I was 11 years old, when my mother sent me to a boarding school in a small town in Northern Ireland. She had no idea how far it was from Hong Kong until 3 years later she came to visit. When she arrived at the school gate after 15 hours on a plane and 3 hours by train, she cried. She blamed herself for sending me so far. Later in my life I had 2 spinal surgeries. She sees my scar but she has no idea how much pain I feel, just like she could not imagine distance until she experienced it.

Biography

Irving Cheung is currently studying Master of Fine Art in the RMIT University in Hong Kong. She has been working in the film industry as an art director for over 10 years, she was nominated for the best art director for the movie Rigor Mortis in 2014 Hong Kong Film Awards. Irving returned to Hong Kong after studying in Northern Ireland, London and Berlin in 2005 when she graduated in Chelsea College of Art in London for a Fine Art Degree. She is also a founder of an art direction company “Everyone is lost until they are found”.

Project Statement

The words “In” and “Out” are always put in binary opposition. Are you in or are you out? In or out? Are you coming into my body or out of my body? Yet between “In” and “Out”, there is a third space in the middle, shared by the two poles. Partially visible and partially exposed, this “In & Out” place offers me the possibilities to explore sexuality.

Through the “In & Out” project, I want to give a voice to lesbians and let them explore their fantasies with their gestures. For the past few months, I interviewed over forty self-identified lesbians about their sexuality, ranging from 20 to 60 years old. Given minimal instructions, they imagined their partners’ bodies and restaged how they have sex with the other females using their hands.

This act of exposure is personal and political. On the one hand, each photograph is a unique portrait that reveals each lesbian’s sexual desire. On the other hand, the phallus-like gestures act as a space that subverts the patriarchal hierarchy.

Under the rule of the British administration, Hong Kong once had an ordinance prohibiting male-to-male anal sex, which involves the insertion of the penis. Penis insertion is such a strong factor to determine if one engaged in sexual intercourse. Nowadays, male homosexual activity has been decriminalized in Hong Kong and in China, yet lesbian visibility still comes into question.

I began to trace to the history and questioned the so-called definition of sex when defined as penis insertion. My investigation centered around this question: So how do two females have sex? The In & Out project unfolds this question.

Through abstracting their performance of sexual activity from an intimate private space to a public space, the question of lesbian sexuality and visibility is brought to light. With the act of exposing this intimate gesture through photography, the performers become a community whose participation in this project helps to recontextualize lesbian sex.

Biography

Ho Yan Pun Nicole is a Hong Kong artist using photography, video and performance to explore queer identity and desire. Her work involves collaborations with strangers. She is a curious person so she reveals hers or others’ darkest secrets through her lens.

She received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2014. Her work has been exhibited in Circus Gallery in Los Angeles; Avenue 50 Studio in Los Angeles; SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco; McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga and JCCAC in Hong Kong.