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Flower・Mother – A Conversation Exhibition between Ivy Ma and Stephen Lam
2023.02.25 – 2023.03.26

Opening Hours:                         
Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00am-1:00pm, 2:00pm-6:00pm, Closed on Mondays (except Public Holiday)
Lumenvisum | L2-02, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon

Opening Reception:                
2023.02.25, Saturday
Lumenvisum | L2-02, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon

Artist Sharing:
2023.03.12, Sunday, 2:30pm
Lumenvisum | L2-02, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon
Moderator: Özge Ersoy(Özge Ersoy is Public Programmes Lead at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong. She is also Managing Editor of, an artist-driven online publication.)
*The talk will be conducted in English.

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A Few Things About Flowers                                                                                   
Stephen Lam

I worked at a theatre company three decades ago. The director asked me if I could write an article for her production about four girls who use flowers as their names. Without attending any rehearsal or performance, I wrote a piece in the format of four letters between them. In one of the letters, I wrote, ‘There are some barriers you thought you would never overcome, that nonetheless become insignificant with time. ‘

About a year ago, Ivy invited me to participate in a conversation project. We will have conversations between us and conclude with an exhibition after a year. When we tried to figure out how to carry out the conversation across different time zones, my mother passed away. I made it clear that I won’t show any images of my mother from the get-go. Ivy asked, ‘Can I use those images in my works then?’ I agreed swiftly without much thought. She eventually juxtaposes her images of flowers captured in different cities over the past two years with images of my mother. I did not ask her why she took pictures of flowers, but I am deeply grateful that she puts them next to my mother. As a mother herself, flower is a constant in the ever-changing landscapes during her travels with her daughter. In the past twenty years, my mother is also a constant in my fluctuating existence.

Most of the works in the exhibition are inspired by our conversations in the past year. The process is surely more important than the result. Between constant second-guessing and reassurance, it is a valuable exercise of the creative process for me. From blooming to withering, things may not become insignificant with time after all. They probably just transform into many different faces. Cycle of life is the only constant.

Mother Subject                                                                                                                      
Ivy Ma

In 2020, I have a solo exhibition entitled ‘Poems, Days, Death’ at Lumenvisun. The title is taken from alphabet, a poem by the Danish Poet Inger Christensen. It begins with, ‘apricot trees exist, apricot trees exist’. I don’t know if the apricot tree has flowers, and if I have taken any photographs of such flowers. Appearance of a flower is probably more significant than its name.

It was not until after I had decided on the pairing of images of Stephen’s mother and flowers that I began to know more about her life story. Like flowers, I am more intrigued by the appearance of this mother (or her aura) in those photographs. The fact that this mother ran away from home as a young girl from the mainland; or encountering a young man who turned his back on his rich family in Hong Kong; or working in the costume department in a Cantonese Opera Troupe or as a maid in a household in the Mid-levels, are all insignificant. And they will not be revealed at all in the exhibition.

We have more than ten online meetings in preparation for this exhibition. Apart from Stephen in Hong Kong and I who moved from city to city, Tse Ming Chong (representing Lumenvisun) also participated in all the conversations from his home in Melbourne. Despite the time differences and the physical distance, we have very fruitful dialogues among us three. Seasons and climate change along the way, we can no longer tell which one of us is the photographer.

Apart from photography, my daughter also took an interest in writing lately (poems, prose, and diary). I see how intuitive it can be watching her take pictures and write on paper. From a child’s perspective, nothing is more important than the present. They don’t need to create for a purpose, or worry about what it will look like in hindsight. I feel the same kind of equality in the images of Stephen’s mother. I heard many of those images were taken as lighting tests for other projects. They were created in the most natural way without any agenda.

Eventually, ‘mother’ did not become the motif but only appeared as one half of the title of the exhibition.

About the artists

Ivy MA

Ivy MA, King Chu is a Hong Kong artist working in drawings, paintings, photography and mixed-media installation. She received her MA Degree of Feminist Theory and Practice in Visual Art, University of Leeds in UK, 2002, BA of Fine Arts (Painting) at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) / The Art School, Hong Kong Arts Centre in 2001. She has held a number of solo exhibitions in Hong Kong. She was an Asian Cultural Council grantee in 2007 and received Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards, Young Artist Award in 2012. Her series of works ‘Numbers Standing Still’ (2012) was collected by Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2013. Another series of works, ‘Last Year’ (2015) was collected by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in 2020.

Since July 2021, Ivy has been living in different cities in different countries. Almost every day, she learns with her daughter. They take photos, make crafts, draw and paint, read and write.

Stephen Lam

Stephen Lam graduated from the International Center of Photography in New York. His works were twice selected to participate in the Fringe Festival, Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France. Two of his works, ‘M.’ and ‘Afternoon Queen’ were in the official selection of the Hong Kong Art Biennial in 2003.

Lam’s first solo exhibition was hosted by the Sterilemind Gallery, New York in 2002. He has then held various solo exhibitions in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Fringe Club, agnès b. librairie galeire, UMA G Gallery and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

In 2015, Lam published his first book, The Mothership. The book is in the collection of the Artists’ Book Library of Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong. In 2019, Lam published a zine, We did not see, we did not forget, which was featured in ‘BOOKED: 2021’ in Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong.Lam’s work is in the permanent collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, U.S.A.