PARADE 遊行 2004-2015
My work, PARADE series, was inspired by the parades initiated in Hong Kong over the past few decades.
It is a continuous project that I started in 2004, after I returned to Hong Kong from my artist-in-residency in the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuggart in Germany.
Since 1997, the handover of Hong Kong to mainland China from the British Government, Hong Kong has generated annual protests for the pursue of various social values. Most of the parades involved thousands of marchers; the 2004 parade brought more than 530,000 people onto the street. Prior to this, the pro-democracy protest in 1989 drew more participants, with 1.5 million marchers.
Amazingly, all of them acted in extremely peaceful ways. Marchers are encouraged to go to the street wearing similarly-colored clothings.
I attempt a conceptual approach to explore the meaning of existence of human beings in their cities through their interactions with the perverted environment and situation.
I have been working on this project for more than 10 years, but the productivity is comparatively low. From the selection of locations to the precise retouched details, on average, each piece of the work take me at least two months to accomplish.
In this prolonged period of creation, I have never stopped rethinking our current circumstances. I reflected the crisis of disorder of our society structure and values with deliberately ordered heights. Is our mode of collective behavior a self-demand or a consequence of the social consciousness? What is our genuine pursuit?
I carefully considered and chose the places to take the photos in this series, such as the old Star Ferry Pier in Central (Parade 5), where Hong Kong people protested against its demolition and struggled to preserve it; Wenweipo head office (Parade 1), the office building of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (Parade 4), Wanchai Ferry Pier (Parade 3) where dozens of Korean farmers jumped into the sea in 2005 when the WTO meetings were taking place; Bird’s Nest and Water Cube (Parade 7 & 8) which were the landmark architecture in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games; and Central Police Station (Parade 11) which was also a landmark building of the colonial architecture in Hong Kong.
All these choices reflected certain types of social signals. I photographed the buildings and model on site first and duplicated the model with photo retouching. The repeated subjects shared the same gesture, the same clothing and the same poker face. People have become faceless with no personal opinion. They look at the same direction and they go towards the same direction. Combining these people with the background, the intended orderliness and apathy are my arranged abnormal unease reflecting the nihility of our existence in the world. It seems to be the prelude of the tempest of disorder.
香港的遊行啟發了我創作「遊行」系列；我把個人的重覆代表整體社會的價值取向。所有「一樣的人」 都戴著墨鏡向著同一方向行進或站立遙望…… 「他們」的身分及拍攝所選擇的地點也提供了另一重意義。