Displacement

Artist statement

I am going to bring my viewers to a journey that is full of memories and imaginations. This journey is constructed by a series of diptych photographs; they are taken in different spaces, at different times and with contradictory elements. I try to use the contradictions and harmonies, which are created by the unexpected arrangements, to arouse the question of 'Displacement' between identities and roles.

In both traditional Chinese and Western Art, 'Portrait', 'Still Life' and 'Landscape' are the usual themes, many artists express their observations, ideas and feelings through these subjects. Through their subjective representation and expressive interpretation, an ordinary scene, a pair of hands, a cup, are no longer familiar objects, they have been transcended into the creators', or even the viewers', imaginations or memories.

On the other hand, photographic work is different from other kinds of art. It is because this media involves time within it. This is what the French thinker, Roland Barthes (1915-1980), mentioned about the essence of photography 'That-has-been' 1 in his book 'La Chambre Claire - Note sur la Photographie'. In photography, there is a connection with memory, with time, or a struggle against death. We enter a journey of memories through the activity of reading photographs; these kinds of experience can both be private or public.

When we put two contradictory photographs together, the notion of their original meaning will be questioned immediately. Our usual perceptions, memories, and imaginations of the ordinary objects are demolished by the displacement of each photograph. Their roles are destroyed and dissolved by each other, a newborn notion is then created. Their characters, as well as their identities, displace and are displaced by each other. We have to reconsider the notion of their existence. By these kinds of experience, I want to ask the viewers to use their imagination to rethink their familiar surroundings.

This is a destruction of ordinary ideas, spaces and identities, a method for us to reconstruct an unlimited scope for our imagination.

 

Wai Kit Lam

Hong Kong

2.2002

1. Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflection on Photography, tr. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), pp.77.

2020 © Wai Kit Lam