Frankie CHAN Kwok Chung - Vanishing into Things
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.
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?