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Family Albums: the Private Memories and Social History

The next WMA Open Talk, titled ‘Family Albums: the Private Memories and Social History’ explores family albums, a kind of image archives that everybody would be familiar with. Family albums are personal memories filled with emotions. They are records of the daily lives of a family. However, they are also a reflection of a cultural identity and social history. Some may say that they are also a vehicle of the ideologies and power relations of different times.

In this talk, Hong Kong-based visual artists Wai Lau and Kurt Tong will share their creative processes that engage their family albums to examine the identity of Hong Kongers and the history of Hong Kong. Moderator Carol Chow has invited Gwen Lee, co-founder of DECK and Chair of the Singapore International Photography Festival who curated an exhibition in 2016 about visual archives as a respondent of the panel.

The talk will be conducted in English on our Facebook, with simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/K_gdxWS_eSk
Speakers (in alphabetical order)
Lau Wai
Born in Hong Kong, Wai currently lives and works in New York and Hong Kong. Her work utilizes photography, video, drawing and installation exploring the multilateral constructions of identity in relation to race, gender and the notion of belonging. She attempts to investigate how history, fiction, personal memory and virtually collided in the process of identity formation through personal and historical archives, cinematic imagery, popular culture and digital media.
Her works are in the permanent collections at M+ and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her works have been exhibited in Europe, Asia and the United States, including Kunstmuseum Brandts, Power Station of Art, Para Site, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Kuandu Biennale, Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Gwen Lee
Gwen Lee is the co-founder of the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF) and DECK, a non-profit institution for photography in Singapore. For more than a decade she has championed photography in Southeast Asia by initiating projects and platforms for emerging and mid-career photographers. Lee has been a curator and jury member at photo festivals and institutions throughout Asia and Europe. In 2010 Lee received the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Culture Award for her contribution to the art.
Kurt Tong
Kurt Tong graduated with a Master’s degree in documentary photography at the London College of Communication in 2006. Having grown up in the UK, his work revolves around exploring his Chinese roots, his upbringing and understanding of his motherland. Using multilayered narratives, his recent work has dealt with the Asian Diaspora, funeral practices and early Chinese feminists.
Much of Kurt’s work, whilst still deeply rooted in photography, has incorporated other mediums, performative elements and audience participations. Pushing the possibility of photography as a narrative tool.