Jaffa Lam is not well versed in expressing herself in photography. In her first ever attempt with this medium, the artist realised she has always felt doubtful about its veracity.
“Looking For My Family Story” is a photographic collage put together according to facts, oral histories, imaginations and pseudo-archives, to explicate a family history that the artist is willing to believe in. Her parents’ old photographs are juxtaposed with their contemporaries – images of everyday life in those tumultuous times retrieved from the Internet. Throughout the search, Curiosity is the keyword, the point in the image that triggers her questions concerning the period, setting off her pursuit for the answer. Recollections from individuals form society’s memories, while the official documents utter ostensible truths. The enormous Internet can be emptied by a certain few keywords, with the scanty remaining options relinked and interlinked. In a mere few clicks, the task of reconstructing history is completed.
Presented in windowpane-like format in a room dimly lit, the Lam family pictures and the Internet images are transformed scene by scene into a cinematic storyboard. As if with a magnifier, the artist puts the frivolous details of her family history under scrupulous scrutiny, painstakingly tracing the bits and pieces of the events that veered the course of her family’s destiny.
Rethinking the grand national history through small personal narratives, we reflect on the people and things around us; we have come to appreciate history with less apathy, more distance, and more romances.
Lam Laam, Jaffa (b. 1973) received her BFA, MFA and Dip Ed at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Currently Senior Lecturer and Programme Coordinator at the Hong Kong Art School, she specialises in creating large-scale sculptures and installations which are generally site-specific and mixed-media in nature. Her work tends to make references to historical events, social themes and cultural or urban issues, often using recycled materials such as crate wood, old furniture and used umbrella fabrics. An often recipient of the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Award, other than her home city, she is also frequently invited abroad for exhibitions, residencies and public art and community projects, having set her foot in China, Taiwan, Japan, Bangladesh, US, Canada and Kenya etc. Grantee of the Asian Cultural Council’s Desiree and Hans Michael Jebsen Fellowship in 2006, in 2009, she initiated a community project titled “Micro Economy” that aims at exploring art-making using social resources in Hong Kong .
Lam’s solo exhibitions include: in Hong Kong “Jaffa Lam Laam Collaborative: Weaver” (Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, 2013), “Micro Economy” (RMIT School of Art Gallery, Melbourne, 2011), “Travel with Rickshaw” (Alliance Française, Dhaka, 2005), and “Murmur” (Shatin Town Hall, Yuen Long Theatre, Hong Kong, 2003). Collectors of her work include the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong MTR, Rabobank, Hongkong Land and K11 Art Mall, among others.
Opening Reception 17.07.2015 (Fri) 6 – 8 pm
Artist’s Sharing 01.08.2015 (Sat) 3 – 4.30 pm
Public Workshop 01.08.2015 (Sat) 4.45 – 6.45 pm (conducted in Cantonese)
* Workshop cum artist-guided visit available for groups of 10 or above. Please contact Mr Jack Lee at 2777 8766 or email@example.com for details.