If Tomorrow Never Comes 
2019-2021
double-layer mounted inkjet print on paper, light box, single-channel video
150x150cm (a set of 5), 10 mins

 

末日方長
2019-2021

噴墨打印紙本,雙層裝裱,燈箱,單頻錄像
150x150cm (一組五張),10分鐘

 

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CUHK MFA Graduation Show 
5.6 – 30.6.2021
​The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ching Ming Building 3/F 

中大藝術 藝術碩士畢業展

5/6 - 25/6 

香港中文大學,誠明館 3/F


 

If Tomorrow Never Comes

If tomorrow never comes,

then today, I’ll make every effort

to remember you from tomorrow.

 

I turn into a camera

the remnants of yesterday you’ve given me.

For you, with this, I shoot a portrait,

one that belongs to tomorrow.

If Tomorrow Never Comes presents a paradox inspired by my own misreading of two simplified Chinese characters: “come/future 来” and “end/apocalypse 末.” Ironically, it is this misreading that best captures the underlying anxiety of our time. To leave or not to leave, to forget or not to forget, these questions constantly waver between the regular and simplified, between collectivism and new order.

 

For all we know, we may now bid farewell by saying: If tomorrow never comes… 

 

If photography is defined by its practice in which the photographer controls the camera and the camera captures the subject, my work aims precisely to subvert this tripartite relationship. My sitters regain power and decide how they will see and be seen. In an era when cameras have become synonymous with surveillance and control, I shoot in trust and communication in order to re-examine such relational dynamics. This photographic series, in particular, involves those who has left a poignant yet gentle mark in my life. Some have already left, some are soon leaving, some will never leave, but they all remain in the shadow of my tomorrow.

 

Each participant entrusted to me an object of their past, which I then turned into a pinhole camera. With this, I renounced glass lenses and returned to the most primitive optical means to shoot these portraits of tomorrow. The “decisive moment” in photography was in turn determined by the length of my conversation with each sitter about the future that has yet to come. In doing so, I let go of the mechanical means of capturing the present and also let my subjects restore the relational gaze and conversation. The resulting series of images is one that manifests in the future perfect tense. And the waning and waxing of these images, words, and objects all point in the end to one uncanny question about histories, memories and the future: How are you tomorrow?

 

In the name of re-search and creation; of examining “disappearance” as an artistic means to challenge “disappearance” as a cultural concept; of re-garding the mechanics of image construction; of re-sisting empty photography in the post-photography era.

末日方長

若明天不會來,

今天, 

我要好好念記明天的您。

 

您給我一件昨日的遺物。

我以這物弄一個相機,

為您拍一張明日的肖像。

末日方長,是我偶然看簡體字幕時所產生的誤讀;這誤解正讀剛好與這個時代的不安共鳴。是繁或簡,是去或留,是記或忘,是共同體還是新秩序……

 

後來,我們明暸──來日方長,本是一句道別。

攝影中的三角關係: 一般是攝者主導,利用相機拍攝主體。創作意圖逆轉這三角關係,讓被攝者重獲主導權,決定自身如何被凝視與再現。當今鏡頭成為監視工具,我以溝通和信任建立影像,思考「關係」。邀請了於我生命中留下溫柔痕跡的人參與拍攝,有剛別離的,快要離別的,無法分離的。我的未來該有著他們的影子。

 

被攝者提供有關他們過去的物件,我以這物改裝成針孔相機,拼棄鏡頭,以最原始的光學拍一張明日的肖像。拍攝過程以一段有關未來的對話作為「決定性瞬間」,否定機械操控的瞬間,回歸關係中的對望與對話,建構「過去未來」式的影像。 影像、文字、物件,三者相互建構與消減,探討歷史與記憶,回覆未來的扣問: 明天的您好嗎?

 

藉論文研究與創作,旨探討「消失」作為藝術表現手法以抗衡文化理論中所指向的「消失」,以Re再思影像建構的方式,以抗衡「後影像」時代中被掏空的攝影。