OPPORTUNITY



Finalists


Sharon LEE
Project Statement

This all began with an aged photograph.

As I was leafing through the photo albums my grandmother left us after she passed away, I unearthed a chapter of our family history previously not known to me: that my grandparents once ran a small grocery store in Chai Wan, Hong Kong in the 1970s. Today, Man Lee Store, as it was called, has already morphed into a concrete wall structure facing the underground train station.

I attempt to re-visit history – be it personal, family or collective. Stores, best described as a form of ordered chaos in the diverse community, have come to be the home for generations of people. But their home is fading into the mists of time. Phases after phases of template redevelopment ceaselessly blot out little traces of history and push the community out of the picture. The city whitewashes itself to be on a par with its global counterparts.

I ‘fossilised’ an assortment of goods from local stores into concrete boards – half-moulds-half-specimens. I took moulding as a process of creating these images. The reversed light and shadow trace the obverse of the ‘opportunities’. The void of the moulds are captured in negative images, which reveal the ever disappearing cityscape through the presence of absence.

The names of these stores may be remembered and unremembered. But there will always be a place for them – a place at the corner of the street we visit daily.

Sharon LEE
Biography

Sharon Lee (b.1992) was born and raised in Hong Kong. She was granted scholarships and graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2016. She was selected as the New Light of the year and debuted her solo exhibition ‘The Presence of Absence’ (Lumenvisum, Hong Kong, 2017). Lee participated in several art residencies and group exhibitions in Austria, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Pierfrancesco CELADA
Project Statement

‘Life is full of opportunities, the problem is to recognise them when they present themselves.’ Tiziano Terzani

Every day, on our way to school, to work or back to home, thousands of people are constantly forced through an archipelago of privately owned properties, shopping centres and transportation hubs, mutually interconnected by a maze of underground tunnels and covered footbridges.

In the Mall-Densest city, where there is one mall per square mile, the Mall offers an unlimited source of opportunities to Hong Kong citizens. This is a place where people create collective memories, socialise, build a sense of community and, during the hot summer months, have a breath of fresh air.

The Mall is not only the core of Hong Kong’s retail-based economy; it is where one can find accommodation, food supplies, entertainment and the chance to interact.

We could live our entire life without ever having to leave these modern fortresses; the basic units of Hong Kong contemporary urbanism, and perhaps a glimpse into the futuristic city.

The Mall offers the same opportunities of the more traditional public square; a contemporary agora where interconnections are made but where, inevitably, it will never rain.

Pierfrancesco CELADA
Biography

Pierfrancesco Celada (b. 1979) completed a PhD in Biomechanics in 2010, and has since been working on a series of long-term studies investigating contemporary living.

He has recently been selected to take part in the EPEA03 – European Photo Exhibition Award with his project ‘Milano, Fuorinovanta’, putting on exhibitions in Paris, Viareggio, Hamburg and Oslo.

Among Celada’s awards were: the Happiness ONTHEMOVE Award (2017), the Photolux Leica Award (2014), and the Ideastap and Magnum Photos Photographic Award (2011).

He interned at Magnum Photos, London in 2011 and his work has been exhibited and published internationally in publications including Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Lightbox, i-D, LaRepubblica, Vogue, Amica, D-Repubblica, and Leap.

He has been based in Hong Kong since 2014.

Nga Ling CHEUNG
Project Statement

For as long as I can remember, my mother’s friends have been telling me how much I look like her. As my mother’s ‘mini-me’, I want to be connected with her youth through being photographed in the clothes she used to wear, and in the same places she once went to.

Nga Ling CHEUNG
Biography

Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts), Hong Kong Baptist University

Saskia WESSELING
Project Statement

As a Dutch artist based in Hong Kong and who used to live in China, I am at once an insider and outsider.

As a mother residing in Asia I am closely exposed to, and to a certain extent even part of the famous – or perhaps infamous – ‘Tiger Mom’ scene.

Living with school-aged children in Hong Kong, it is impossible not to be emotionally affected by the stories of suicides in schools.

I take a balanced view and I am also well aware of the incredible academic performance of children in Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China compared to children globally.

At the same time, some statistics are terrifying. Some children in primary schools in Hong Kong are given less outdoor time for exercise than prisoners. Fifty percent of secondary school pupils show signs of depression. The school systems in Asia have been consistently referred to a pressure cooker.

What is wrong and what is right? There is the constant fear that by not exhibiting some of the ambitious qualities of a Tiger Mom, we will disadvantage our children.

My work shares a feeling of collective helplessness, as no child, family or school can step out on their own.

I fear an encroaching world in which individuality is no longer seen in children, a world where students become anonymous, judged only by their knowledge and their results. I am scared of a world where pupils are not experiencing the joy of education but only the pressure of passing tests and getting high marks.

This visual manifesto, Time to tame the tigers?, aims to inspire us to collectively re-consider the roles of our schools and parents. Do we have the ambition for our children to be ready for the rapidly changing world we live in, or do we only educate them to be accepted at an Ivy League University?

Saskia WESSELING
Biography

December 2018
‘This Art fair’, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam

November 2018
International Urban Image Festival (IUIF), Shenzhen, China
Exhibited multimedia artwork Time to tame the tigers?

October 2018
Hong Kong International Photo Festival
Exhibited Silence of the Sky

September 2018
Fine Art Asia, Hong Kong
Exhibited Silence of the Sky

June 2018
Publication in Field & Stations – a magazine about travels and places

May 2018
Finalist of ‘Discovery’ photography prize, Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong

May 2018
Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre
Group exhibition: ‘Asia, Light, Hope and Dynamism’

April 2018
Exhibition and artist talk: ‘Unleash the Passion of Wong Chuk Hang’

March 2018
Shenzhen, China
Beginning of a 6-month Magnum photography multimedia mentorship programme

December 2017
South China Morning Post
Photo essay – Barbers in back streets of HK

November 2017
Solo Exhibition: ‘Glamour in Unglamorous Places’

November 2017
National Geographic Traveler
(Publication of photos taken in Yunnan)

Beatrice WONG
Project Statement

I created this self-portrait series to celebrate my entry into the battlefield against depression and anxiety. During a very low point in my life, when my body was filled with drugs, alcohol and powder, I randomly came across Francis Bacon’s Wikipedia page, and I started brainstorming.

Beatrice WONG
Biography

Beatrice Wong is a transgender outsider artist with a lifelong struggle with mental issues. She is currently a research assistant on transgender studies, and on the side, she expresses her dilemmas in life through personal creative projects and mediums including stand-up comedy, writing, a short documentary screened at various LGBTQIA film festivals, and recently, photography. She was a WMA Open finalist and now stepping up to also being a finalist at the prestigious WMA Masters.

Kin Bon YIP
Project Statement

In an age of overwhelming, hyper-digitised, cell-phone photography, the time we spend taking photos and looking at them has dwindled to a bare minimum. Since our eyes are always on the screen, how we read an image is increasingly important. The meaning of an image doesn’t lie in the image itself, but in how the ‘reality’ and relationships between images are being interpreted and understood. Sometimes the discovery of the unintentional nuances of human nature hidden in images might require efforts of gathering, organising, and synthesising photographic information.

 

Since early 2014, I have been collecting criminal reportage from newspapers. The image of suspects, always hooded, during an arrest or in an investigation often appears in the reports. There is a sharp contrast between the circumstances of an arrest and the casual tees the suspects are wearing. What people wear in everyday situations, which may or may not intentionally express certain messages, creates an embarrassing tension. The symbols in these images are real; the text is real too. But when they come together, the sum is ambivalent. This is where confusion arises: our actual reality is paradoxical and invisible.

Kin Bon YIP
Biography

Mixed media artist Yip Kin Bon (b. 1989) was born and bred in Hong Kong. He received his BA degree from the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University in 2013. His works feature a variety of approaches that include collecting, reading, sorting and integrating, which are often presented in forms of collage. He rearranges the context of incidents, objects and time to reflect the absurdity of this world. He currently lives and works in Hong Kong.

Jolans FUNG
Project Statement

In recent years, housing prices and inflation have been going up in Hong Kong. Not only do HongKongers struggle with the stresses of everyday life, but they are also frustrated about their inability to buy a home. The sense of confidence that used to define HongKongers is long gone; what remains is just a shifting shadow. In this self-proclaimed modern metropolis, all people want in life is a stable job, counterfeit goods (to satisfy their vanity), or to win the Mark Six so that they can buy a house. Hong Kong is known to be a land of opportunity… but perhaps it is just some kind of an irony.

Jolans FUNG
Biography

Born in Hong Kong in 1962. Graduated from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux – Arts in Paris, France in 1990. Awards and honours included: the Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s ‘Artist-in-Residence’ programme in Bundanon Art Centre, Australia in 2000; Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, USA as part of the Freeman Foundation’s ‘Artist-in-Residence’ programme in 2005; shortlisted for the Art Promotion Office’s ‘Public Art Scheme’ in 2006; shortlisted for the Hong Kong Art Prize in 2013; and shortlisted for the UOB Art in Ink Awards in 2018.

Selected solo exhibitions:

2014 ‘Luxuriant Materialism’ at Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong

2013 ‘Bruce in the Sky with Water’ at Hong Kong Fringe Club Gallery

2010 ‘Heaven And Man As One’ at Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Hong Kong

2008 ‘Desire/Disappearance’ at Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong

2007 ‘Ten Years Remembering & Dreaming’ at Olympian City Gallery, Hong Kong

2007 ‘Footnotes To Oil Street’ at 1a Space, Cattle Depot Artists Village, Hong Kong

2006 ‘Unity’ at 1a Space, Cattle Depot Artists Village, Hong Kong

2005 ‘Senses’ at Graduate House, The University of Hong Kong,

2005 ‘Senses’ at Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong

2005 ‘Sensing’ at Vermont Studio Center, USA

2001 ‘Colour Value’ at Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s Gallery, Hong Kong

Engaged in painting and photography. Art works collected by private collectors, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Annie Wong Art Foundation, Deutsche Bank and other organisations.