The Presence of Absence - A Solo Exhibition of Sharon Lee, 2017
Lumenvisum, JCCAC, Hong Kong
New Light Award
The Presence of Absence
The exhibition The Presence of Absence is a journey through time and space. Its introductory piece, an artist book titled Genesis, sets the tone for what is to follow.
‘The Book of Genesis’ from the Bible begins, in simple yet poignant lines of poetry, with God’s creating the heaven and the earth within six days. Through a collage of still and moving images, I explore the possibility as well as challenge of narrating this chapter on the transformation from ‘formless’ to ‘form’.
Light was separated from darkness, marking the first day of order. Does light, then, also denote the origin of time? If photography can mechanically take out an instant of light and shadow out of time, would it be equally plausible for it to capture this very first episode in the beginning of history? For if the birth of our universe was indeed a ‘blast’, then the series of bursts resulting from pressing a camera’s shutter might well be capable of re-enacting this profound moment of truth.
I am but one among God’s creations. I attempt to observe and document the beginning of time through photography. Micro-visions from each frame, as eternalised by fleeting junctures of light versus shadow, together project a macrocosm – one that is full of boundless possibilities among tangible realities.
One day at the break of dawn, I was drawn to some eggshells hidden in the kitchen waste. Their distinctive texture gradually revealed itself to me and became the basis of the works Called the Vault ‘Sky’ and Genesis in the exhibition.
In Genesis, I turned these everyday, yet ultimately earthy, objects into still images, and then placed them side by side with the first chapter of ‘The Book of Genesis’ in accord with the symbiotic relation between images and text. The creative process engaged with the medium of photography and in particular the technique of photo-etching. Images were transferred to light sensitive photopolymer plates via exposure, as hand-printed images were gathered to create a coherent worldscape in the form of an artist book. The still images produced in this technique were liberated from the confine of two-dimensionality and became quasi-amorphous reliefs per se. Another work titled Between Our Hands, a ceramic-photographic piece, connects the void of my palm and the substance of clay, alluding to how God moulded our land with the touch of his hand.
A macrocosm of heaven and earth thus began to take shape. Representing presence through absence, these forms of imagery stretch the limit of our imaging as much as imagining of the universe.
創造者從混沌中建立出秩序， 以光分開日與夜，建立出「第一天」。那麼光是時間的始源嗎？攝影都是關於當下的瞬間，我可否以光影為一段在人類歷史以前不曾被看見的過去補上影像？如果宇宙是由物質和能量爆炸而成，那麼快門轉動的高速閃光或許能夠再現世界之形成。 我們以感觀去考察這個宇宙的無邊無際，以有形的物象去感知無形的真實。我不過是被創造之一物，以有限的方式去觀看、理解、聯想，嘗試以影像重塑宇宙的起始。我以微距的視點投射出宏大的想像，物像於小孔中以光和影交疊的一𣊬間成永恆。