TSE Ka-Man - Narrow Distances
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.
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?