Memory Landscape: HK & LA Photo Story Exhibition
Memory, History and Landscape Defined Through Images
“This was taken along route 66 when my family was on our way to the Grand Canyon. When I travel I like taking pictures of the back of people I don’t know.” -Darah Haimovitz
From September 5 to September 20, kaitak, Centre for Research and Development, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, is scheduled to present Memory Landscape: HK & LA Photo Story Exhibition at the Kai Tak Campus. The exhibition will showcase the works of students from Hong Kong and the USA, initiated by Through Our Eyes Photography Education Programme. A total of 64 students from Hong Kong and Los Angeles have participated in the exhibition. The project is hoped to facilitate exchanges on memories and landscapes that belong to the participants, thereby connecting them through images.
Exchanges between Hong Kong and L.A.
Established by the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation in 2005, Through Our Eyes Photography Education Programme (TOE) has entered its 10th edition. The theme of this year is ‘Personal History’, inspired by Julia Winckler (UK), the Education Consultant. It has also been adapted and adopted by Programme Consultant, Joanne Kim (USA), and Programme Director, Ki Wong, and now it is part of an arts education curriculum that suits the Hong Kong teaching environment. Moreover, it has become the main focus of the exchange programme this year. A lecturer at the University of Brighton, Julia Winckler is dedicated to researching on such concepts as personal history and personal archive. She also applies her theories to her photography teaching. She writes, “History can be hard to grasp; it feels anonymous and alien until we begin to examine individual stories.” During this year’s photography course, eight Artist Educators from Hong Kong and the participating students utilised photography to delve into their personal history – by engaging in exercises such as flipping through family photo albums, returning to the scene of memories and taking portrait and objects, they traced how their character, likes and dislikes have been constructed. Ki Wong comments, “Young people of Hong Kong are at a bit of a loss about the reflection on their lives. Perhaps they have never been asked these questions: What have you experienced? How did you evolve into the current you? Under the guidance of the TOE artist educators, they try to understand themselves through memory, relatives and where they have lived.”
The exchange programme is a collaboration with Community Arts Partnership (CAP) of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Teachers and students from the two cities created their own personal timeline. Artist educators guided participating students using their own ways, helping them to reconstruct their memories in great detail and manifest them again through images.
At the beginning of 2015, Ki Wong, Joanne Kim and Andrew Freeman, Consultant of CAP, travelled to the other city in order to conduct face-to-face exchanges with the students. The USA is a multi-cultural country and around 30 participating students come from various races and cultural backgrounds. Many of them are from immigrant families and they had to commute a few hours each week to attend the photography course at CalArts. However, they are grateful for the opportunity. At the same time, eight artist educators from Hong Kong selected a number of students and carried out individual guidance sessions with them. The selected students then exchanged works with the students from the USA on the Internet. Joanne Kim comments, “Back in May when the photographs of students from both cities were first displayed in Los Angeles, one student gave me a hug and thanked us for giving them the opportunity of exchange. For the LA students, it was a joy to share their works and voices with people from abroad and learn more about the culture of Hong Kong. Besides cultural differences, students’ works of both cities show diverse moods. The landscape of LA is vast and spacious. Coupled with film shooting and developing, the works show a sense of slowness and a poetic touch. Because of different production methods, Hong Kong students took photos with their digital camera and put more effort into selecting photos and the post-production. The photo series are coherent and many photos give off a sense of rush, wit and playfulness. After all, the different moods of the photos come down to different life experiences.”
Memory / Landscape
Is it ‘Landscape Memory’ or ‘Memory Landscape’? Andrew Freeman once said, “A landscape carries memory and memory itself can create a landscape.” What are the similarities and differences between the landscapes of the two places? The photo story exhibition attempts to put together ‘memory’ and ‘landscape’ using images. From the perspective of a traveller, by looking at the natural landscapes of the two cities, they can have glimpses of the ‘human’ landscape, including the streets, villages and people, to unearth the innermost memories. In addition, they can have a look at the interdependent relationship between humans and their surroundings. Through the lexicon of photography, we can try to read how the photographer and the subjects construct themselves and what their psychological states are. The happenings on the timeline complement the photograph creation, instantly connecting the past and the future.
The exhibition opening will be held on September 5 and we cordially invite you to attend it.
*Note: The eight artist educators are: Leung Yiu Hong, Jenny Li, Yip Kin Yiu, Thomas Lin, Vik Lai, Vincent Mak, Doreen Chan and Ho Man Kei.
Memory Landscape: HK & LA Photo Story Exhibition
Date: September 5-20, 2015
Time: 10am – 7pm
Venue: Kaitak Campus, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, 51 Kwun Tong Road, Kowloon (Choi Hung MTR station Exit A2)
Opening: 3pm on September 5, 2015, Kaitak Campus
Media preview: 2pm before the opening. RSVP is required.
Media enquiry and interview arrangement:
Ruth Cheung – Program Officer of Kaitak, the Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts
Tel: 3411 6587 / 6077 4371| Email：firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Wan – Project Assistant of Kaitak, the Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts
Tel: 3411 8210 / 5111 6203 | Email：email@example.com
Through Our Eyes Photography Education Programme
Through Our Eyes (TOE) Photography Education Programme aims to provide a creative and engaging learning environment in which young people and the wider community can express themselves through the medium of photography. Our vision is to offer people new insight into seeing things from their own perspectives, enabling them to break away from preconceived notions framed by existing visual images and rediscovering the connections between their inner selves and their families, communities, cultures and social environments. Through a variety of workshops and social practice art projects, we seek to define photography in its broadest and most expansive forms and engage with people, especially the younger generation, to explore the possibilities of the medium and inspire their creativity. We also focus on offering training and development opportunities for artist-educators and other arts education professionals as well as fostering sharing of learning and teaching experience and experimental art practices through research and publication. Founded and funded by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, the programme is now handed over to and operated by kaitak, Centre for Research and Development of the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Community Arts Partnership
The award-winning CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP), a co-curricular programme of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), offers free, after-school and school-based arts programmes for youth ages 6-18 in every discipline taught at CalArts. Programmes are offered at public schools, community centers and social service agencies, covering a thousand square mile radius across Los Angeles County. With classes led by a teaching corps of accomplished CalArts faculty, alumni and student instructors, CAP participants learn to create original works of art and to experiment with prevailing conventions of artistic expression. CAP’s success has served as a model for other arts education organisations locally and nationally. And the programme has received numerous honors, including the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, which recognises exemplary programmes that foster the creative and intellectual development of America’s children.
kaitak, Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts
kaitak, Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts was established by the Academy of Visual Arts in 2013 to enhance the visual arts development in Hong Kong and neighbouring regions. Housed in a Grade I historic building (the former Royal Air Force Officers’ Mess), it promotes visual arts research, creative arts education and community engagement through a vibrant programme of artist-in-residence, exhibitions, workshops, talks and publications.
A private philanthropic organisation based in Hong Kong, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation is committed to promoting Chinese art and culture around the world and advocating the practice of Buddhist teachings in everyday life. The Foundation also actively contributes to Hong Kong society through a host of creative arts education platforms that serve to inspire our youth and local art communities.
Since 2005, the Foundation has funded numerous innovative projects, including exhibitions, publishing, filmmaking and educational activities that promote cross-cultural understanding. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting creative arts and cultural education for the children and youth of Hong Kong. Through a variety of initiatives such as Through Our Eyes photography education programme, Leap! body education programme and We All Live in the Forbidden City education programme, the Foundation nurtures the younger generation’s creativity, encourages them to appreciate art and culture as well as to establish a connection with the society through developing a deeper understanding of their own community, history, culture and environment.