Exhibition Date: 20/11 - 15/12/2015 Venue*: ACO, Lawnmap, Makee, Hong Kong Literature House (Foo Tak Building, 365 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong) *Please note that different venues have different opening hours.
In A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O, artist Ki Wong explores one of the most concerning issues of our time: how can we take hold of our way of life? To answer these questions and many more, Ki and her creative team explored and observed closely the village in Pak Sha O; they collected photos, texts and documents related to Pak Sha O; they interviewed present and former residents; they discussed and created art works. They did all these things in attempts to know more about its living environment and the stories behind.
This new book, published as part of Through Our Eyes (TOE) Photography Education Programme, is an artistic exploration on the intrinsic quality and possibility of life through the use of photography, creative writing and oral history. Underpinned by the long-standing visions of the TOE Programme, A Living Space is a community intervention through intermingling of images and arts activities. Setting out to examine and provide an understanding of the connections between people, and between individuals and the society, the project takes off from a place where continuing observation, exploration, discussion and artistic creation are undertaken in attempts to know more about its living environment and the stories behind. This book is published as a final vehicle for the artistic work - integrating research findings with photos collected from various sources and presenting as an art object, and has become an important reference for the TOE Programme on how to expand and transform the narrative characteristic of the medium (photography) into a work of art interweaving images and text and generate interactions between people in the creative process.
Following the Book Launch – A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O in October, kaitak, Centre for Research and Development, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University will collaborate with different art and culture units located inside Foo Tak Building to host an exhibition for this publication, starting from 20 November to 15 December, 2015. This exhibition is an extension of the books, which begins by unfolding the stories comprised and hidden in paintings and mundane objects of the past.
Lawnmap will be showcasing a series of paintings of the beautiful natural landscapes of Pak Sha O as depicted by 2 painters, Brian TILBROOK from England and Michael CASHMORE from New Zealand. Michael started to paint as a remedy after he witnessed the tragic death of his best friend. He is connected to an indigenous family by marriage. He had drawn a painting of Pak Sha O when he travelled to the village. Brian, a Hong Kong resident since 1965, spent more than 40 years featuring a gamut of local heritage sites. He captured the atmosphere of the scene of Pak Sha O in the 80s’.
Makee will be showcasing a series of functional objects and utensils that we collected from the villagers, each with its own unique history and story behind. This includes bowls that was used by 3 generations, antique oil lamps used as the sole way to light a home before electricity ,and gold and jade accessories that were typically worn by women of the past generation. Other exhibiting objects include various old glass bottles dating from World War II found on hillsides, showing traces of Hong Kong history. There will also be original drawings by Chihoi illustrating the objects in Yung’s residence with reference to the Three Character Book found in Yung Si-chiu’s book collection.
Hong Kong Literature House and different floors inside Foo Tak Building will be displaying an array of books made by HSU Wai Lun, one of the creative team members of the publication. He has put the content of A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O into 10 little books in text-only format. These little books will be displayed at different corners inside the building, telling the heart-warming stories of Pak Sha O.
Hong Kong Literature House (1/F, Foo Tak Building) Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 7:00pm Saturday, 3:00pm – 8:00pm (except 5/12/2015)
Flipping through the pages of A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O, you will be touched by the persistent efforts of Ki WONG and the creative team. By bringing together visual arts and writing, the book presents the intimate yet complicated relationship between men and nature, and projects the imagination of our future way of livings. We will be holding a sharing session on 28 November 2015 at ACO, at which Ki and the creative team will share with audience the creative concept of this project. TANG Siu Wa, cultural critic, and Sim LAU, one of the authors (also one of the founders of Mekee) will moderate the discussion and invites the audience to contribute with views and questions. As an opening of the sharing session, Sim will also read an excerpt from the book.
About A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O In this intricate book of art, artist Ki WONG, who found this project, formed a creative team with HSU Wai Lun, Matthew KWAN and Somely SO, continuously looking for the former and current residents of Pak Sha O, interviewing for their stories. Unknowingly the team dug into the family history of the indigenous inhabitants and unveiled the struggling pasts of the previous generations. With a lot of hardships, they strived for better lives and looked out for each other as a family, and they survived the era of catastrophe. The team gathered and processed a large amount of old photos, including daily lives photos of residents and historic photos. At the same time, the team invited photographic artists HO Man Kei and NG Sai Kit, illustrator Chihoi to explore Pak Sha O, in order to depict various aspects and features of the village through the distinctive expressions of imageries. It formed a comprehensive portrayal of the place, the history and the people. To restore the story of YUNG Si-chiu and his family of four generations, who moved to Pak Sha O in the 19th Century, we have invited writer Sim LAU to study the relevant historic research data of the family and conducted interviews with the descendants. With these collected factual information, plus a bit of fictional creations, LAU reconstructed the story of Pak Sha O and the residents with a strong sense of Magic Realism. The last section of the book also included exclusive transcripts of interviews, revealing these touching stories from the first-person perspectives.
This book is an outcome of a two-year intensive research and intellectual journey, set out under the TOE Photography Education Programme, which was founded in 2005 by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, with a focus on inspiring young people to explore their own identities, families, and communities, as well as cultural and social issues through the use of lens media. In 2013, the foundation entrusted the running of the programme and its future developments to kaitak, Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts. Since then, the vision and guiding principles of the programme have continued to thrive and new initiatives have broadened the impact and introduced research-led and community-based projects. In doing so, we aim to explore different arts education approaches that help people to develop awareness on social and cultural issues.
The publication is sold at ACO and Lawnmap, as well as other book stores and online platform in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The selling price is HKD230. For details please kindly visit the official website of kaitak, Centre for Research & Development, and A Living Space.