“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
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.「萬念 . 歸寂」To the people of Hong Kong, their identity is a volatile mixture of conflicting matters, an out-turn of the 155-year- long colonial rule as well as its missing place in the course of its handover. Under national chauvinism, Hong Kong people are Chinese, period. But deep-seated social conflicts and large-scale anti-government movements would not have burgeoned if things were this simple. Hong Kong and China have gone onto separate paths culturally, religiously, ideologically, politically and economically because of past borders. The ceremonial handover has done nothing more than recolonising the colonised other into the other’s-other. This project reconstructs a dialogue that transcends time. Images of texts, portraits and historical moments from the past are projected onto the border that is vanishing.