Photovoice: Bits and Bobs from Chuen Lung Villagers

10.05 - 4.08.2024
By appointment (Thursdays); 11:00-18:00 (Fridays to Sundays)
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‘Photovoice’, as suggested by its name, is to tell stories through images; in these photos taken by local villagers, artist-in-residence Pak Chai hopes that their story of Chuen Lung shines through. 


Heidi Chak is a second generation Chuen Lung resident. She is a photography enthusiast, just like her father, the late photographer Chak Wai Leong. Her home is located next to a stream, and when it rains, the current builds aggressively, and the humidity rises. Looking out from her living room windows, an imposing cotton tree stands steady, and a ginger-yellow cat often lingers. Heidi often photographs the elements that constitute her landscape. Her work encapsulates her natural, unfiltered personality: her subjects – the mountain, moon, cats, dogs – all possess a certain calm.


Another second generation Chuen Lung resident, Chan Wai Cheong, or Cheong Gor, lives a few steps away from the stream that runs through the village. Through his family photo albums, Cheong Gor tells the tale of a changing stream, which is also a process of a home being built – a Teochew family, residing in a Hakka village, an identity and sense of belonging gradually forming. Cheong Gor is not familiar with cameras. The photos in the old albums were taken by his workers in the 1980s. Tracing back time with the photos, Cheong Gor returns to where some of the shots were taken, and I took a then-and-now photo as a documentation of the changing landscape in the village. 


The third participant, Tsang Kim Man, or Man Gor, is an indigenous inhabitant of Chuen Lung. There used to be a large open space right outside of his home, a place where kids would play and adults chat. That space is now gone; only a narrow path remains. To Man Gor, the days spent playing out in the open space were his most precious memories. Man Gor learned photography when he was young. His work has traces of the 1960s and 1970s salon style, with strong contrasts of light and dark. For this exhibition, Man Gor set out on a journey to look for the places and objects of his memories, but the mountain is not quite how he remembers it: some of the insects can no longer be seen, and some places, like the open space filled with sentiment, are gone. There is a Chuen Lung locked away, only accessible in his memories. 


This exhibition is an attempt to let those who live here tell their stories through photography. We also hope that, through these works, we may understand Chuen Lung a little bit more.


About the Artist


Tse Pak-chai is a photographer whose work focuses on issues of social justice and social change. He has participated in various projects as a researcher and photographer, and is a founding member of the Hong Kong curatorial collective Community Museum Project, which explores indigenous creativity, visual culture and public culture through the collection and interpretation of artifacts and visual evidence. Major past projects have included Objects of Demonstration (2002) and Street as Museum: Lee Tung Street (2005).

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