Sharon Lee Cheuk Wun: The Crack of Dawn
In 2014, I became an outlander; when I was home again, I lost ‘ourselves’.
This loss became a crack between my peers and I. I tried to piece together the fainting landscape from our memories — a collective apparition of a time past. I became a flaneur of time, treading on these satellite maps and photographing a virtual Harcourt Road. Yet the fragmented street lamps only reminded me of the widening crack of our time and space. Today, this too shall not matter: a more expansive Harcourt Road now resides in all of us.
I ‘solarised’ the gelatin silver prints to project a nocturnal cityscape, blending a positive image with a negative. In darkness and gleam, I realise a window on Nathan Road, through which I mend the cracks in our memory, like a totem rooted in the present.
Through rephotograph, repetition and reposition, what was once touched by sunlight will only shine again.
Following the experimental display in Phase I, the work continues to develop and expand, in Phase II it makes its way sporadically through various sites and locations
Just as Nathan Road and many other streets in Hong Kong, ‘Harcourt Road’ once used to be just another main route through the central and western districts. Since the umbrella movement, these places of bloodshed, tears, and memories have all come to symbolise the city’s history.
“Surrealism lies at the heart of the photographic enterprise” – what Susan Sontag refers to is the ability of photography to create a duplicate reality and construct one of a ‘second degree’. But in the age of image overload, what is the purpose of reproduction in photography?
As a result of my absence at the 2014 movement, I tried to deal with this sense of memory loss and respond at the same time to ideas of constructed memories and hyperrealism in this digital era through a process of rephotographing, repeating and repositioning: recapturing public archival material such as the remaining street views of Harcourt Road from 2014 on Google Map, feeding digital images into traditional analogue processes such as film and solarisation, slicing a threshold for those lost and unseen to reemerge in a different form.
The exhibition continues with gelatin silver prints placed at various newspaper stands along Nathan Road, among a jumble of information, and the photographic images transforming into a black mirror, or hole.