The Rock and the Gaze

10.05 - 4.08.2024
By appointment (Thursdays); 11:00-18:00 (Fridays to Sundays)
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When artist Ki Wong set foot in Chuen Lung as an artist-in-residence, she had few preconceptions, just a wish to see villagers’ old family portraits. ‘Such portraits possess a family’s desire to “capture a precious moment” rather than to document fact,’ says Wong. ‘Family portraits are often taken in a setting with well-arranged mise-en-scène, subjects dressed to appear “proper” and putting on such a joyous smile, as if to emphasise how, in this very moment, everything is perfect. Through the lens, the photographer would devote their focus on the subject, who might be someone they fancy, or their friends, or family members; and when all is set, at a harmonious whole moment, the photographer would sink their finger on the shutter-button. 


This exhibition is the fruition of many processes: using old photos shared by the villagers, Wong re-captured the moments prior to and during the taking of the photos through interviews. Wong then processed and presented the photo-stories in different forms, such as zooming in on the photo and picking a focus, repainting, and translating discoveries into words. Poet Lau Sim unravelled and found language for the underlying messages from the vast collection of photographs and interview materials. In the form of short fiction, the two expand on and relive the moments trapped in the photos.


About the Artist


Ki Wong is a former lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts, former Programme Director for Through Our Eyes (TOE) Photography Educational Programme, and the curator of Klack Photography & Culture Magazine. Wong uses painting, writing and photography as media to explore the memories of people, nature and places, tracing family history and the fundamental relationship between things. Her magnum opuses include: A Living Space, Moon II: Tracing the Line, Our Family Album and Be Born.

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