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A Snap beyond Borders: Hong Kong Theatre and Performance Photography

Exhibition Period
2021.09.11 – 10.10

Opening Hours
11:00am – 8:00pm

Exhibition Venue
L0 & L1 Gallery, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre
30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Curator
Bernice CHAN Kwok-wai

Exhibition Consultant
Benny AU

Free Admission

Exhibition Brochure

Curatorial Statement

 

In a Flash: The Finite and the Infinite in Theatre Photography

Text: Bernice CHAN Kwok-wai

General Manager, International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong)

Curator, A Snap beyond Borders: Hong Kong Theatre and Performance Photography

 

Time is a subject that I have pondered a lot in recent years. In this light, there is something that I want to tell you—this is a project about time. In the summer of 2017, I opened a filing cabinet filled with stage photos at a quiet corner of the Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI) in Prague. If memory is like a train, the black-and-white stage photos that I saw in the cabinet are rail tracks that connect the past to the present. The fleeting moments of a performance are captured in still frames, in which they travel through time and towards an imagined future.

In 2019, when time seemed to stand still, I boarded the train that ran from Prague to Hong Kong in my mind. It brought me to the work of the theatre photographers who took part in this project—YUEN Hon-wai, Ringo CHAN, CHEUNG Chi-wai, TSANG Man-tung, TSE Ming-chong and KWAN Pun-leung. Through the perspectives and lenses of these artists, I envisaged a collage of memories and stories about the theatre of our city. In their photos of stage performances are glimpses of time, space and personalities, and records of precious moments in the Hong Kong theatre. We witness a moment that sparkles on stage and a thought that arises in the audience’s minds, when the performer brings a character to life in a dazzling instant.

There are many possibilities to what we experience in the theatre—it can remanifest as a time, a place, or an encounter that exists beyond the theatre, where it is free from the constraints of dramatic storytelling. It can turn into echoes of the theatre’s energy that resound in the work of photographers, morphing into a beautiful scenery that mirrors the development of Hong Kong and its theatre in the past four decades. I cannot say whether the sparks we see on stage, or the sparks we relive outside of the theatre, are more dramatic. Yet there is something I would like to share with you—against the finite backdrop of the theatre, the infiniteness of the stage is revealed in the instant when the photographer presses the shutter.

There are many stages that lie beyond our visions. In 2021, I would like to share a picture of Hong Kong and its theatre—a story presented in single images, each of which is selected by one of the participating photographers—with an audience that might exist ten years from now. It is a story that is born in a flash, as we travel through time in photography and bear witness to our theatre today.

Exhibition Talks

 

A Snap of (E)motion: Capturing Motion and Imagination

Date
2021.09.18 (Sat)

Time
3:00 – 4:30pm

Venue
L0 Gallery, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre
30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Guests
CHEUNG Chi-war, Terry TSANG, TSE Ming-chong

Language
Cantonese

 

A Snap of Zen: Photographing a Moment in Theatre and in Everyday Life

Date
2021.10.03 (Sun)

Time
3:00 – 4:30pm

Venue
Central Courtyard, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre
30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Guests
YUEN Hon-wai, TSANG Man-tung, Changlin Fashi

Language
Cantonese

Docent Tour

Date
2021.09.19 (Sun) & 2021.09.26 (Sun)

Time
12:00 – 12:30pm;3:00 – 3:30pm

Venue
L1 Gallery Front-of-house, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre
30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Speakers
Bernice CHAN

Language
Cantonese

Docent tour registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. All successfully registered participants will receive a confirmation and reminder email 3 days before the docent tour.

* A special tote bag will be given to all registered attendees.
**Participants are required to follow the latest infection control measures announced by the government and the venue.