Documentary Photography x Archives

Exhibition Period
Jun 03, 2020
Exhibition date and time
Wed to Wed, 7pm - 9pm
Exhibition Place
Online live broadcast

All forms of photography are acts of archiving, yet not all archives are in the form of photography. When artists shuttle between factual documentation and subjective storytelling, when they transform archival records into creative works, in what ways do those two spectrums integrate?  How are the works constructed? And what derivative values do those works bring?  

When exploring archives and documentary photography in parallel, how will the notions of truth and history affect one’s treatment to photography?  And how will the subject of authorship be considered when interpreting archives?

In this talk, titled ‘Documentary Photography x Archives’,  photographers Billy H.C. Kwok and Lee Wing Ki will join Taiwan-based image scholar Kuo Li-Hsin to discuss these questions.  Using Kwok’s Magnum Foundation supported project Last Letters, A Photographic Investigation of Taiwan White Terror and Lee’s works Tsang’s Odyssey and Faded as departure points, the talk will explore mutual influences between Hong Kong and Taiwan in terms of archive images, historical memory and identity politics. The talk will be conducted in Chinese.



Kuo, Li-Hsin

Kuo, Li-Hsin received his PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths College, University of London.  He is currently Professor & Dean of College of Communication, National Chengchi University, Taiwan. His juror experiences for film competitions include Golden Horse Award, Taipei Film Festival, Chinese Documentary Festival, Fresh Wave Short Film Festival, Hong Kong. He is also a frequent juror for various photojournalist competitions. His publications include Writing Photography (1998), More Writings on Photography (2013), Interrogating Reality: politics and de-politicisation of documentary film (2014), and Manufacturing Meaning: discourse, power and cultural politics in realist photography (2018).


Billy H.C. Kwok

Billy H.C. Kwok is a Hong Kong-Taiwan based photographer who began his career as a newspaper journalist before pursuing his photographic career. He grew up in Hong Kong and witnessed its transition from the British to the Chinese regime. His works are inspired by The wealth of stories in the “Pan-Chinese” region and its extended areas. He was a Magnum Foundation Fellow in 2018, and a Magnum Foundation Fund Grantee in 2019 for his long-term project investigating Taiwan’s political taboos, hidden histories and memories. His works also cover his hometown’s contemporary conditions after the Handover, a legacy of deep-rooted power structures of Hong Kong-China relations.

Billy now splits his time between Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. Apart from making still images, he also create multimedia storytelling works both individually and collaboratively.​


Lee Wing Ki

Lee Wing Ki is an artist-researcher in photography based in Hong Kong. He read history of art at the University of Hong Kong and receives a MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, supported by a British Chevening Scholarship. His photography projects were exhibited in Austria, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Latvia, Taiwan and the UK. His artistic practice lies between documentary photography, artistic and archival research, and a contemporary take to analogue photographic practice. Major exhibitions include ‘Tsang’s Odyssey’ for WMA Masters 2017/18 and ‘Faded’ KG+ SELECT, Kyotographie 2019. His researches are published in museum monograph, gallery text, academic journal and etc. He is currently the Assistant Professor in photography cum Undergraduate Programme Director at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University and a curatorial member of 1a space, an independent art space in Hong Kong.


Image/ Ho Wing Ka, Trajectory from WMA Open archive