IDENTITY

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Siu Wai Hang - InsideOutland

Siu Wai Hang Ha Pak Lai, it is located on the west coast of the New Territories, opposite to Shekou, Shenzhen. It was the safest landing point for illegal immigrants because of its' long coastline. Now people go there for leisure (e.g. hiking, fishing...) and the...
Siu Wai Hang Tsim Bei Tsui, another hotspot where illegal immigrants landed during the 50-80s. There was an iconic police lighthouse in the Hong Kong side which gave direction to illegal immigrants swimming from the Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay) side. Now, Tsim Bei Tsui is...
Siu Wai Hang Mong Tseng Wai, one of the remote places near the frontier. There were villages to hide and to seek help when illegal immigrants landed in Hong Kong.
Siu Wai Hang Nam Sang Wai, another place to hide and is located close to Yuen Long Town, where illegal immigrants can find their family members or find the way to Kowloon. Nowadays this place is well-known for bird watching and cycling.
Siu Wai Hang Ng Tung River, a river in the North East New Territories, which is a tributary of Shenzhen river and ends at Lo Wu. Between 1898 and 1949, there was no border patrol in Lo Wu area, as a result, people were free to travel between Hong Kong and China. In...
Siu Wai Hang Sha Tau Kok, a closed area since 1898 and a Control Point was set up in 1951 because of serious illegal immigration. Today, Shatoujiao (China side) is a highly developed area which benefited from the development during the Chinese economic reform, but Sha...
Siu Wai Hang Tung Ping Chau, a small island, is located at the North East of Hong Kong and next to Mirs Bay Shenzhen. It was a hotspot of illegal immigrants who swam from the east, however many people were killed half way either by the PLA or by sharks.

Biography

Siu Wai Hang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Media from The School of Creative Media, The City University of Hong Kong. He went on to obtain his Master of Fine Art from the Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2014, he won the WYNG Masters Award on the theme of “AIR”. In 2010, Siu presented a solo exhibition “Metropolis Chlorophyll” (K11 Art Mall, 2010) and in 2015 he presented “The Elusive” (Lumenvisum, 2015). He has also joined a number group exhibitions, including “780S” (Blindspot Gallery, 2014) , “WYNG Masters Award Finalists’ Exhibition – GASP” (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2014), “Pingyao International Photography Festival 2013” (Pingyao, 2013), “Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards 2012” (Hong Kong Museum of Art, 2013), “Hong Kong EYE” (Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, 2013), “Image on the Run” (City University of Hong Kong, 2013) and “Dine at Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate” (2009). His works are collected by The Legislative Council of Hong Kong, The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong and various private collections. He currently lives and works in Hong Kong and teaches at various art institutes and universities.

Project Statement

If history is totally related to the past, there would be no so-called contemporary problem or historical problem. However, many different contexts remain that are still affecting our lives. We cannot ignore historical problems, somehow we have to deal with them head on. People from every generation have their own problems as a result of history. As a “post-80s” man and a son of a stowaway, there is no doubt I identify myself as a Hong Konger. But in relation to China and identity, I find myself in a paradoxical situation. I often ponder on this issue even though it always confuses me.

Understanding my father’s experience of sneaking into Hong Kong has helped me to have a better grasp of my identity. However, I can only project based on his memories which are fragmented and indistinct, and other times based on his facial expressions and conversations.

Inevitably, the “past” is fading away, we cannot capture every moment of the past, but we can try to re-experience it and it might be the best method for me to rediscover my identity. From the personal history of my father to the collective memories of those stowaways interviewed by Bingan Chan, a Shenzhen journalist, my personal research does not only complement his but also allows my concerns to emerge at a personal level. I believe that part of forgotten history affects every stowaway and their descendants, and perhaps to an extent, the whole of Hong Kong. This is about identity, but more importantly, it determines what Hong Kong is, the core values that we often refer to.

This is an art project that is neither biographical nor documentary in nature. Perhaps currently it is a reflection of my father; but it could also be used to trace the origins of Hong Kong people or even linked to other things beyond my imagination.