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The Remnants of Yesterday

Gelatin silver prints, porcelain, single-channel video

Prints: 38.6x49.8 cm (a set 21), Porcelain: 26x37.5 cm, Video: 2 mins

The Remnants of Yesterday bridges two materials—porcelain and gelatine silver that both embrace timelessness in unfolding the tactility of memory. The work presents the delicate relations between attempts to recall and the memories one could hold on to.


The cheongsam, a traditional garment of Chinese women, of my grandmother weaves a poetic connection between my family history and the history of Hong Kong’s textile industry in the old days. My grandfather owned a small textile factory in Kowloon City in the 1960-70s. Beautiful clothes are exported to America and worldwide. Grandmother would use the fabric remnants to make clothes for herself and the family. The project takes a micro-perspective to weave a family narrative into the social-historical fabric connected to post-war Hong Kong garment exports around the globe. 


Having found the very cheongsam patched together from odds and ends by my grandmother in the first family portrait from the album, I pressed it against a thin clay slab indexically imprinting each crease of the fabric. I transformed the photographic process into actions of tracing, recording and rewriting. The work echoes that of grandma's daily practice of flipping the same photo album over and over in an attempt to recall her fading memory. Regarding the porcelain plate as a memory matrix, I developed it into a series of gelatine silver photograms in a range of shades. The repetition weaves the images into an abstract memory scape with an x-ray impression, gelatine silver prints by darkroom solarisation technique, unveiling the fluidity and fragility of memory.



相:38.6 x49.8cm (一組21張)














Image courtesy of Tai Kwun Contemporary. Photo: Kwan Sheung Chi.


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