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Slowness e-invite Feb 27 2-6.jpg

The magic in photography is the combination of the process of being slow and myself, being conscious of things that were happening around me...

Carrying a heavy shoulder-load of large format Camera equipment along with its long, sturdy tripod had not been easy for my occasional trips to the Greater China areas in the past decade. Before I find myself in front of a jaw-dropping scenery or a fleeting moment, I already feel as if I have been strenuously trained to prepare myself to seize that moment. After all, opportunities are for those who are well prepared...

“Greater China” seems to be a funny term before World War II when the world’s
attention hadn’t yet fixated on Taiwan and Hong Kong until much later. Despite a big socio-political and economical difference among the awakening dragon and two Asian tigers, for a very large part of the 20th century, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have all been subject to the irreversible wave of globalization at different intervals in the second half of the century.

For my works, I have tried to investigate these historical waves of change with this “heavy burden on my shoulder”. Not being very interested in the progress on the Western standard of living in urban China nor the surge in materialism, I silently walked into the quiet alleys to observe the effect of globalisation on the vernacular ways of Chinese living. The story I wanted to narrate was to see if the society at large had succeeded in metamorphosing into a new Chinese modernity or if it was still struggling to accept the relentless changes in such a short period of Chinese history.

Large format photography is analogical to a patient cat, which waits for the perfect moment to ambush its prey, just one kill, just one shot and nothing more. Nothing is wasted in nature’s food chain, as a small prey is enough to feed a hungry predator for two days.

Important is that very sparkle you find in the state of slowness in large format photography...

For me and for many other old world artists, the heavy equipment and the “slowness” of
the techniques used for the platinum and palladium printing process allows for communication with the objects and the surroundings, at the very least to be a good listener to what they are trying to tell you about the world before globalisation...

Returning to the reality of the 21st century, I could somehow do all of the above with an old iPhone and rely on the professionalism of my favorite lab to produce the digitized version of palladium prints which are as beautiful as before. For the precious time I have saved in this hectic world of the Internet of Things, I have added another dimension to this exhibition - the exhibition catalogue, a “divination” book in disguise.

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