Mark your calendars and watch this space for HKIPF 2021 updates
Hong Kong International Photo Festival returns this fall with Photography Cinema as main programme, and the third edition of Satellite Exhibitions. Presenting 49 works from South and Southeast Asia, Photography Cinema explores the multitude of forms and narrativity between ‘still’ and ‘moving’, while this year’s Satellite Exhibitions gather 16 exhibitions, 11 venue partners and 5 collaborators, to continue experimenting with common venues and various spaces in the city to create new photographic encounters for audiences of different ages and background.
‘Moving still’, ‘still moving’, and everything in between
In previous editions of HKIPF, the elaborate exhibition production process of artwork framing, transportation, display, insurance, and administration needed significant time and resources. This year, we have elected to channel our resources into exploring the multitude forms, concepts and narrativity of images. We reached out to six neighbours and invited them on as Curatorial Partners to introduce recent works in the region and gather new starting points for contemplating the mutual transformative influences photography and our modes of living have on each other; for etching out and reflecting on the minute details of a multifaceted contemporary society.
Our curatorial partners are Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, Chobi Mela Festival of Photography, Jakarta International Photo Festival, Lightbox Photo Library from Taiwan, PhotoBangkok, and Singapore International Photo Festival. Through the use of screening as an alternative to the more familiar forms of exhibition output and display, we can still witness different places and people in our global emergency, witness each other’s very existence, and recognise each other’s voices from (screens) afar.
Image makers in Focus
Born in Taichung, Taiwan, CHANG Chien-chi developed his career in the United States and now lives in Austria. He once wrote, ‘Immigration is propelled by suffering’. He believes to witness the shifting patterns of populations is to see the world in all its exigencies—war, natural disasters, repression, famine, poverty and persecution. But there is a rainbow at the bottom of that Pandora’s box of troubles; hope, too, propels immigrants to settle in strange lands. He knows this as an immigrant himself. The first ethnically Chinese photographer to be elected to join the prestigious Magnum Photos, this globe-trotter has continued to expose extraordinary matters in life through acutely layered works. For this year’s Festival and our Hong Kong audience, he has handpicked three of his works: China Town (1992–2011), that submerges in the life of a group of illegal Fujianese immigrants working in New York City; Side Chain (1993–2014), told through the perspective of mentally ill patients, who were bound together at the waist by a six-foot chain in pairs at Long Fa Tang temple in Taiwan as ‘linked therapy’; and AZMA (2016–2017), that narrates how the Syrian refugees’ experience with the humanity crisis changes over time, intercepting between the author’s own views on the subject as a father.
Chan Hau Chun
Keeping an eye on the living conditions of the oppressed
From 300 FAMILIES, the photography exhibition on homeless people living in Sham Shui Po at the 2013 HKIPF, to her recent involvement in cinema, CHAN Hau Chun has continued to care and return attention to the living conditions of grassroot citizens in Hong Kong. Her newest work Cubicle makes use of steady long takes to document residents of subdivided flats that share one floor in a building in Cheung Sha Wan. Throughout the social movement in Hong Kong and in coping with the global pandemic, the seemingly mundane everyday lives of these residents are in fact full of underlying tension…
Return to the soul
Renowned internationally across the film, advertisement, and fashion industries, Wing SHYA turns inwards this time around, connecting with friends and fellow members of i_is_one, who have improvised as a music ensemble from time to time since early 2019, for a performance. Inspired by a soul-cleansing journey to the Peruvian amazon rainforest, the immersive journey paved with natural instruments, electronic music, vocals and body movements will emanate frequencies and guide individuals to open up their senses and venture beyond the subconscious. The performance will be held on November 27 at Asia Society as a grand finale to the Festival.
Online playlist for eyes abroad
Beyond a series of online artist/curator talks and sharings, we collaborate with NOWNESS Asia to present a special playlist for HKIPF 2021, featuring a selection of shorts from our Photography Cinema programme this year. The playlist will be available on nowness.asia throughout the Festival period to further showcase our region’s creative energy.
Connecting creative practices with our everyday
Satellite Exhibitions aim to promote the idea of art as an everyday experience and a means to connect with the people and space we inhabit. In every edition, exhibitions and public programmes are placed in everyday environments to generate conversations between people of different ages and backgrounds. This year’s 21 exhibitions cover a wide range of topics, including culture of technology, impacts of the pandemic, reflections on the body and inner emotions, and memories of the city and nature.
Participants can explore surrounding areas of the exhibitions with the specially designed routes and assortments of sites of interest found in our free ‘Satellite Exhibitions Maps’. Audio-guided tours curated by local poet Lau Yee Ching, composer Steven Hui and fashion design duo Yat Pit, as well as photowalks led by local image makers are also available to participants for free upon registration, offering different ways to experience the city and uncover unique qualities of various districts.
This year’s brand new Partner Merchant programme gathers discounts and special offers from 26 restaurants and stores, introducing all sorts of flavours and textures from seven districts. Old, new, local, international, the list spans from a foie-gras-specialist French restaurant in Wan Chai, an authentic Nepalese restaurant in Yau Tsim Mong, to a wood-workshop-cafe in Kwun Tong, even one of the few surviving ‘mountain goods’ stores in the Central and Western District. Visit a set number of exhibitions and collect stamps at their venues to become a ‘friend of HKIPF 2021’ and enjoy all the special offers and discounts during 15th October 2021 to 30th November 2021!
Public Programmes and Events Registration
Beyond Photography Cinema screenings and Satellite Exhibitions, throughout the Festival period there will be talks, artist/curator-guided visits, audio-guided district tours, photowalks, workshops, and performances. Please refer to our Instagramme, Facebook, or this website for programme schedules, registration details and latest announcements.
To ensure the health and safety of all visitors and participants, please register online to join our public programmes and reserve exhibition-viewing slots where applicable. Upon arrival at exhibition or event venues, please keep your masks on at all times and follow the respective disease prevention and control measures. If you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to speak to our on-site staff or Festival ambassadors, or contact us at email@example.com/+852 2777 0955.
At this moment in 2021, the world is pushing forward one difficult step at a time, but the silver lining is that we are still finding ways of coming together. We thank the image makers who dedicate their lives to create, to let the unseen be seen; we thank our curatorial partners, collaborators, venues, businesses, donors, as well as our sponsors FUJIFILM Hong Kong Limited, Home Affairs Bureau, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong Tourism Commission, and the Sham Shui Po District Council, who have all extended their generous support to realise this somewhat different photographic showcase in the midst of our global crisis.