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Throwback to the unmasked days – A Solo Exhibition by John Tam

2022.10.1 – 10.30

Address: Lumenvisum - L2-02, JCCAC, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon
Closed on Mondays (Except Public Holidays)
Plan your visit here:

Sharing Session: 2022.10.1, Sat, 2:30pm
Opening Reception: 2022.10.1, Sat, 4:00pm
Address: Lumenvisum - L2-02, JCCAC, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon
Speakers: John Tam, Wong Kan Tai

Register here:

*Visiting and events are exclusive to the members of Lumenvisum. Welcome to join Lumenvisum membership when you are planning to visit.

Once upon a time, there was a placed named Hong Kong. Later, it is still named Hong Kong, but the mood of its dwellers is no longer the same.

Undoubtedly, Mr. Tam’s works are all Hong Kong’s landscapes, which are surely pleasing to the eye. Resonating with the popular saying in recent years, “Hong Kong is really beautiful,” coupled with the photographer’s exquisite craft, beauty emerges in front of the eyes. You can only feel the dramatic tension when you look at each photo carefully. You will find the Hong Kong which is supposed to be so familiar seems oddly alienated, and there is a sense of morbidity hidden beneath the beautiful facade. Why was a pair of wings that obviously represented flying being put behind bars? Why did the MTR, which signified the bloodstream of the city, implement “blockade” in broad daylight?

Whether Hong Kong is beautiful or not depends on who is watching the scenery, and even more on who is watching the scenery with you. Although the scenery of Hong Kong remains the same in the past and present, different meanings will be interpreted in different times and different visions.

In 2016, there was a Hollywood movie called “Passengers”, which was translated as “Space Submariners” in Hong Kong. The story was about immigration, not to foreign countries, but to extraterrestrial planets. The space journey took 120 years, and all passengers and crew would be hibernated, otherwise they would not live long enough to reach their destination. Due to a mechanical failure, the male protagonist, portrayed by Chris Pratt, was awakened 90 years too early. Being alone, he endured countless depressing and long days, looking at the boundless starry sky and he even attempted suicide. Later, he couldn’t stand the loneliness and woke up the female protagonist, Jennifer Lawrence. The two looked at the same boundless starry sky side by side. Chris Pratt never contemplated suicide again. Instead, he hoped to live happily with the female protagonist.

The starry sky did not change, but the mood changed.

Once upon a time, there was a place named Hong Kong. Later, it is still named Hong Kong. Mr. Tam’s works not only let you see the scenery, but also let you see the “people who watch the scenery”. These people are somewhat lonely, somewhat happy or a mix of both emotions.

Lam Chong Shing
Has successively worked for “Overseas Chinese Daily”, “Oriental Daily”, “The Sun” and “Hong Kong Economic Journal”, writing column articles for many years.

It never occurred to me that we did not have to wait for decades to have a nostalgia.

We didn’t need to wear a mask every day when there was no epidemic three years ago.

Do you remember those days? Do you miss them?

There is a saying that when people have experiences, they will have completely different feelings and perspectives in the way they look at things. Many things that we used to think as normal and ordinary have never been more precious.

What’s precious was that everyone could talk to one another face-to-face, freely without any barriers. Everyone could breathe free air no matter when and where we were, and we could see one another’s smiles.

The first day of the photo exhibition, 1st October, is a special day for the new Hong Kong at present! I hope that my works can remind everyone of a stunning and liberal Hong Kong before the epidemic where no one needed masks.

About the photographer: John Tam

freelance photographer

Born in the 1960s and raised in Hong Kong, he has been engaged in media photography for nearly 30 years.