Teaching Materials - Exercise

Truths and lies about me

Name of Artist Educator: Ho Man Kei, Vik Lai
Excercise Category: Class Prelude, Photographer's eye

Photo could be an evidence of truth, it also tells lie convincingly.

Concept / Inspiration:

Photo could be an evidence of truth, it also tells lie convincingly.

Photo is a medium that can both lie or to reveal the truth. It can be a proof as well as a tool to deliver messages, explain the time, venue, people and events. The meaning of the message may vary from different individuals’ perspectives. Literal descriptions are always included in the media. These texts may be consistent with the image sometimes while it could also distort the fact. The way how one depicts the image may have direct impacts to the expression and delivery of the message.


  1. To allow student to learn to understand things from different perspective, the narrative functions of photos and texts.
  2. To allow students to get to know each other by sharing their own stories

Materials / Equipment:

  • Camera
  • Paper and pencil
  • Computer
  • Projector



Workshop Description:

Part one│Outdoor shooting (1 hour)

  1. Students are divided into groups of two. Student A will have to be blindfolded while student B is responsible for observing the environment.
  2. Student B would be the camera. He has to find a scene that he wants to capture and describe the details of the scene to student A.
  3. After leaving the location, student A would have to portray the objects on a piece of paper in order to graphically transform the received information according to his own interpretation.
  4. Student A and student B take turns to be the camera.
  5. Students are required to display their artwork on the wall for sharing



Part Two│Two lies, one truth

(Duration for Part Two and Three: 2 hours)

  1. Each student shares three of their own stories.
  2. Two of the stories should be the imagined one while one of those three has to be real. Audience will have to guess which one is true.


Part Three: One truth, One lie

  1. Each student will have to take one “true photo” and one “lying photo” or they could find it from their albums or internet.
  2. Juxtapose the two photos. Students should describe the contents of the pictures, i.e. the underlying story, the relationship between characters and objects, the reasons and motives of shooting.
  3. Audience have to judge which of the pictures is genuine and which one is not. If the description for the image is real, that particular photo would be a true one. Audience could ask questions in order to figure out the answer.


Expected Outcome:

Contrary to the plain self-introduction, it is believed that the lies that the students made up would allow others to understand the students better.

Actual Outcome:

Instructor is demonstrating Part One “Outdoor shooting”:

P1020319  P1020350


Part One “Outdoor shooting” Student work:


Part Three: “One Truth, One Lie”
One of the students took pictures of an advertising board with a celebrity on it and an abandoned tin shack. He claimed that the celebrity was his relatives and he had been to that tin shack. He asked the audience which one was true. Questions that audience might ask themselves when they tried to figure out whether the perspective of the image is convincing enough or not, like “Do the elements of the pictures go well with the descriptions given by the student? What is the role of the photographer? Would the abovementioned situation ever happen to the student?” Students could find the stories leakier by asking questions. The photographer then told the truth. Image 1 tells the truth. Instructor found out that this student was humorous by the truth and lie he made. (Image 1 and Image 2)

【Image 1】

【Image 2】

One of the students showed a picture of her dyeing hair and one of her hair collection. She described “Image 3 “as a picture that she took when she was dyeing her hair while “Image 4” showed her fondness of collecting hair. At the end, “Image 3” is real and “Image 4” is false. She collected hair for the assignment but not for personal interest. The instructor stated that setting in “Image 4” was so true that the picture did really show her hair and also the date of collection. The thing that the student lied about was the motive of photo taking. That just one single piece of information like the motive was inaccurate was enough to constitute a lie although she did actually do this as shown on the photo.

【Image 3】

【Image 4】

This student claimed that she took “Image 5” when there was sun rise and “Image 6” on bus. The other students found out the clues from the reflection on the window in “Image 6”. Instructor commented that the photography skills was quite refined as the camera angle allowed the student to block out most of the reflection on bus window.

【Image 5】

【Image 6】

Student Feedback:

“I am not good at lying.”