Chan Hau Chun x Luke Ching: A Shifting Distance —The Relationship Between the Photographic Maker and the Photographic Subject
How does an artist enter a community, approach a passing stranger, and turn them into a photographic subject/experience-sharer? How do Chan Hau Chun and Luke Ching navigate this relationship and distance? What is it that is transformed, and how is it transformed, in the artists’ work?
The discussion will be preceded by screenings of Cubicle and Searching for Lau Tit Man (preview) by Chan Hau Chun.
Chan Hau Chun:
“Having been in touch with those who are homeless, who are looking for a corner in the city to settle in, I’ve heard frequently that life in a partitioned flat is worse than that of living shelterless. After living in a subdivided flat for several years myself, I started to understand more about the housing problem in Hong Kong. I have always wanted to look into and document what “home” is like for different people and how living environments can affect a person.
I remember reading a news report a few years ago about a resident in a partitioned flat, who has to crawl to move around under the low roof of the mezzanine floor. The story left a huge impact on me: some of us are alive but live like animals. We believe housing to be a basic human right, yet in reality, people are forced to exhaust most of their income just for a living space that may not even be suitable but may end up spending half of their lives in.
To be frank, I’m not too optimistic about the effect or influence that a film can have on the real world. But, the idea of making one on partitioned flats still grew in me.
Hong Kong’s housing problem has been numerously covered and reported; even a primary school student probably knows what a “coffin cubicle” is. What do I really want to capture by filming it again? Stories such as these are always coupled with societal topics for discussion: land distribution, or housing policies, or the free market… but who are, and what of the people living in tandem with these issues? How can one visualize a person’s complicated situation and the confusion that comes with it? Carrying these questions with me, I began a year of visits and interviews and in conducting the shooting that comes after, to find and feel the authenticity and uniqueness of people through images.”