Photography is an event that honors relationship, an event whereby techniques, concepts and sentiments come together. This exhibition exploring portraiture will mark the end of a phase of artistic pursuit, says artist Andy Li. The show does assert technology’s impact on the materiality of imaging, which will be the artist’s next phase of endeavors. 這個展覽,多層次的彰顯了攝影(藝術)是關係的實踐,「人像」是理念情感技術心思的總體行動,攝影是藝術行動,並不為漂亮影像的生產或形式而存在。這個個展也是一個階段的句號。李新傑面向未來,希望繼續他對「影像的物質性」的好奇為研究性創作的核心,影像是開放的實驗結果,未可知的成果展示,由自創造影像的機器開始。(黎肖嫻,於「據點。句點」群體8月23日交流之後)

(post updated on 29 August 2020.)

 

Be Right Back To Where You’ve Left. 那天會回到你那邊

A solo show by LI San-kit Andy 李新傑個展
supported by ADC’s Emerging Artists Scheme

Exhibition period : 7/8/2020 – 30/8/2020 @ Floating Project JCCAC

 

Artist’s Statement 藝術家陳述

We spend our life producing numerous kinds of images: portraits of friends, portraits of family, portraits of our beloved one, portraits of someone who long passed away… These images further convey, reveal, disclose and confirm our emotion and relationship to these photographed subjects. The act of photographing constructs a memory shared by us and the subjects, and the photograph becomes some sort of memento that we hold on to, mentally and physically.

The seven portraiture works selected for Be right back to where you’ve left are my contemplation of using the photographic media as extensions for interpersonal relationships. By considering the process of image making, I turn the experience of seeing (or not-seeing) the images into a way to further extend or deepen the relationship itself within time. Going through conceptual and visual transformation, the act of photographing (recording) someone is not merely to make an nth document; it is an event in itself. The photographic acts become part of the relationship. In analogue photography, there is usually a time gap between the moment a photo was taken and when the subject could review the picture. As the photo is being shared, the moments gone past are back. A printed photo contains both time and recollection; it becomes a physical object of time and relationship. The works in this show raise the above issues and experiment with what a portrait could be, beyond the representation of someone’s face.

We are in an era surrounded by oceans of images for consumption, constantly bombarded by visual stimuli. Sometimes we have forgotten what portraiture truly means. There is the need for us to go back to the root of photography, to re-examine or awaken the sentiment and poetry that lie behind this medium.

我們一生都避無可避地製造影像:朋友的肖像、家庭照、愛人的相片、逝者的照片⋯。這些影像相繼帶出、透露、掲示及肯定我們的情感,以及被攝者和我們的關係。攝影的過程繼而成為一段被攝者和我們分享的共同回憶;相片本身則轉化為一種我們心靈上及實質上可捉緊的信物。

《那天會回到你那邊》選取的作品,是對攝影作為人際關係的延伸作出的沉思及對其可能性的探索。對影像的製作過程以至是觀看(同時未觀看)影像的方式作關係上的延伸及深化。經視覺和意念上的轉化,這些作品回到攝影的基本議題:攝影不單純是記錄,而是拍攝是整體的事件,關係本身是它的不可或缺的部份。「那天」指的是拍攝一刻,同時也代表了回憶。最終完成印製的相片盛載了時間和記憶,成為「那天」的具像。這些作品都在實驗和設問:一張肖像除了是一個人的五官的呈現以外,還可以是甚麽。

活在消費影像氾濫的年代,視覺剌激主導了主流影像的生產;我們有時甚至忘記了了肖像原本的意義。我們有需要回到攝影的本質,去重新審視或喚醒一些在攝影背後久違的情感和詩意。

 

WORKS 作品

Portrait I:

The Photograph Ahead Of The Hearse (WIP)
車頭相
Engraved marble cenotaph

 

Portrait II:

Once (2020) 
一次
16mm film projection installation

 

Portrait III:

3, 2, 1 (2020) 
三, 二, 一
Photography, Archival inkjet prints

 

Portrait IV:

We didn’t see each other that day but I did take a photo of you. (WIP)
那天我們沒有見面, 但我有拍下你的照片

i/ The Stranger Lady In My Flat / 常在我家出現的陌生女子
ii/ The Great Friend Who About To Get Married / 一位將要結婚的好朋友
Photography installation, video with sound

 

Portrait V:

Looking through the viewfinder (from the other end) (2020)
從另外一面看取景器
Photography, archival inkjet print

Portrait VI:

You can only see what’s in front, not what’s behind (2020)
只看到前面, 看不到後面
Photography, Instant Film

 

 

FLOOR PLAN

 

Work descriptions

 

(1)

The Photograph Ahead Of The Hearse, [WIP] 車頭相

Video Installation, (2016 – The day until one of us die)

Exhibited as an instructional piece before the work eventually finished: Engraved marble cenotaph, 60 x 90cm.

On 2016, I started a work collaboration with my creative partner Yu Chau: Every time we meet each other, we are going to take a 10-second close-up video take of the other on the spot. The project will eventually finish and stop when one of us is dead. The video footage will be further edited in chronological order, to replace and be shown as our death portrait.

Since the work will only be complete and shown in one of our funerals, this work will be presented as a cenotaph, whether the idea, the instruction of the piece will be engraved on a marble and further exhibits.

在2016年,我和自己的創作伙伴宇合作開始做一件作品:每次見面,我們會用手機拍攝對方十秒錄像。作品會在我們其中一個死亡時完結。而所有的錄像會依時序剪輯,並取代我們的「車頭相」。

因為最終作品只會在我們其中一人的葬禮中完成及展出,所以此作品在創作過程中會以記念碑的形式展出作品意念及其指示。

 

(2)

Once (2020) 一次

16mm film projection loop installation

Every time a portrait was taken, a relationship was built between the photographer and the subject. No matter how far or how close they are, a physical distance between them occurred. The photographic apparatus has purposely intervened in their distance, producing a record of mental intimacy that overcomes the physical distance. Such a sentiment is fading out and being forgotten in mainstream photography due to the habits of production and consumption of images.

Once is a work attempt to record a relationship by re-visiting the distance during the pressing of a shutter. The distance between the photographer and the subject will be carefully measured. Afterward, a 16mm camera will be use to take a slow track-in shot until the camera close up to the eye of subject. The original distance measure between them will determine the duration of the shot.

In terms of exhibiting this work, the distance between the screen and the 16mm projector will be set according to the original measured distance. The physical encounter transfers into image while the distance between us transfers into the length of the film as well as the installation setup.

每次拍一張肖像時,攝影師和被攝者都存在一定的距離。此時用介入距離中的相機拍一張照,這段關係和距離得以保留在影像中。一個人的影像有時甚至能超越物理距離,制造一種精神上的假像:明明被攝者在很遠,但一見到影像又彷彿近得連對方氣味都聞到似的。

《一次》正是嘗試透過距離作為基礎去記錄一個人:攝影師從一段距離拿著16米厘攝影機,慢慢走近被攝對像眼睛。開始時兩者的距離會被量度,此距離會決定攝影師的步速,從而決定拍攝時間長度。最後,兩者的距離會重新應用於決定投影機和投影幕的距離。兩人的距離作為引子不斷地強調著,貫穿了空間和時間,最終又視覺化地展示於埸地。而在影像世界,距離續漸地減少,形成真實世界與心理景觀上的反差。

此作品邀請友人彭昊昊參與拍攝。

 

(3)

3, 2, 1 (2020)   三, 二, 一
Photography, archival inkjet print
Set of 14 frames: Two 60 x 90cm, Fourteen 60 x 60cm

 

keyframe

Set of 14 frames: Two 60 x 90cm, Fourteen 60 x 60cm

3, 2, 1 is my collaboration with artist friend Joseph Leung Mong Sum. The project was intended to artificially create a decisive moment and a unique portrait to document two photographers (Joseph and myself), through photographing and being photographed. The project begins with an analog point-and-shoot camera (Yashica T4) that we both happened to have. With the camera set onto same setting and sitting opposite to each other, we started to photographing each other with the camera’s built-in flash.

The attempt is to capture a moment of the other taking a photo and show both of our flash light on at the exact same frame. Since the camera functions are only limited to Auto (P mode), it was all about the timing of pressing the shutter. By capturing this 1/100 second, both photographs with their apparatus need to be in sync, they have to be connected and be present at the moment for the goal.

The work is a merge of two photographers, their camera and the idea of decisive moments. Such a work opens up another way to think about the decisive moment. What used to be the essential pursuit in traditional photography, i.e. the decision moment, is, in this work, turned into the bond between the two in a shared activity. It reveals and documents the relationship of two photographers.

《 三, 二, 一》是與藝術家朋友梁望琛合作的作品。這個計劃嘗試透過創造一個決定性的瞬間去製造記錄兩位攝影師的肖像。作品從我們互相都擁有的一部相機開始:我們互相對坐,以同一型號的傻瓜相機互相拍攝對方。目標是在同一時間以閃光燈為對方拍一張照,在拍攝的同時也是在被拍攝。因為相機只能以全自動模式拍攝,所以兩者必須同一時間按下快門。

這件作品透過決定性瞬間去介入肖像,從而連結了人(兩位攝影師)、機器(他們的相機)以及時間(拍攝的那個晚上)。攝影師獲得一張決定性瞬間的肖像,這概念總令人覺得有種難以言喻的滿足。

 

(4)
Looking through the viewfinder (from the other end) (2020) 從另外一面看取景器
Photography, Framed Archival inkjet print
120 x 80 cm

Looking through the viewfinder (from the other end)” captures how a photographer looks in the moment when he is about to take a photo. It is also a portrait of a photographer together with his apparatus. In this work, a viewfinder was detached from an analogue Single Lens Reflex camera. A photographer is invited to look through the viewfinder as he normally does when taking pictures. The actual photo is taken by another camera which point at the internal end of the viewfinder. By taking the camera apart, the way a photographer looks during the time when he takes a photo is being captured and revealed; the role of a photographer and the role of a camera is reversed: from taking photo to becoming a subject to be photographed.

This work invites artist friend Mark Chung to take part, with his Pentax 67 camera.

《從另外一面看取景器》是一件關於攝影師拍攝時凝視取景器的作品,亦是一張攝影師和他的器械的肖像。在作品中一部舊式單鏡反光相機的取景器被拆下,一名攝影師模彷著平時拍照時從取景器外端觀看的狀態,而另外一部相機則在取景器的內端進行拍攝。從相機的分解中,「拍攝」的動態被記錄下來,而攝影師和攝影工具則反常態地成為被攝對像。

此作品邀請了藝術家朋友鐘正和他的Pentax 67相機拍攝。

 

(5)

We didn’t see each other that day, but I did take a photo of you. [series-in-progress]
那天我們沒有見面, 但我有拍下你的照片
Photography installation, video

To take a photo of someone, you are confirming the relationship between the two. Looking at photographs in mainstream media, portraits are crafted perfectly for visual consumption. From time to time I question the way that commercial photography works: the role of the model serves no more than expressing the aspiration of a product. Every party is driven by the goal of having a nice picture.

“We didn’t see each other that day, but i did take a photo of you” is a project that experiments with an alternative way of portrait production by diminishing the presence of the camera and the presence of the photographer. A friend is invited to my studio, which I have turned into complete darkness. According to my impression of him/her, I built a set. On the day of shooting, we shall not see each other. He/she will be in a position that I have designated. I can’t see him/her and he/she can’t see me and my camera either. The conversation between the two of us unfolds. Whenever I think it’s the right moment, I press the shutter of the camera which is connected to flash units. After the shooting that day, we are not going to see each other (just for that day).

The conversations during the session will be recorded and presented along with the final photo. I am interested in how the meaning of portrait will shift in circumstances when the subject is not aware of the camera’s existence, and even up to a point when the subject has no chance to prepare for the “moment” being captured on camera.

Two works from the series are being presented in this exhibition. “The Stranger Lady In My Flat” is the portrait of a stranger lady, Ms. Poon, being stored in my apartment. It was given by a photographer friend of mine. From a long period of time, her image occupies a portion of my living space. Up to a point I decided to invite her to take a photo. “The Great Friend Who Is About To Get Married” is about a high school good friend, Dexter, whom I haven’t saw in a long while. Not so long ago, he suddenly announced his marriage in the upcoming November. I want to take a photo of him before he enters another life stage.

為一個人拍照,是在跟對方確立關係。在主流商業式拍攝中,關係似乎並非重要的一環。被攝者(模特兒)並不需要和攝影者有關係,兩者只是專注在追尋畫面上的美。

這成為了《那天我們沒有見面, 但我有拍下你的照片》系列的起點。在此系列中,我在實驗另一種模式的肖像拍攝:一位很久沒有見面的朋友或是一位跟我有特別關係的陌生人會被邀請到我工作室進行拍攝。我把工作室空間佈置成全黑環境,而根據我和被攝者的關係,我會設計不同的背景或空間。在拍攝當日,被攝者會在漆黑中進入我為他/她設計的位置上;而整個拍攝會在漆黑中進行,拍攝前後兩者也不會見面。這樣一來,相機不再成為支撐起拍攝的主軸:攝影師不能預見將被拍下來的相片,而被攝者也不能再留意到相機的位置和攝影師的行為及反應。兩者不再由相機(或是拍攝這個構念)主導,反之根據對話回到兩者的關係當中,透過兩人的對話承托起拍照的瞬間。在這系列的作品中,拍攝這項活動成為了兩個人相會的契機,但照片最後充滿未知,甚至最後相片未必能合乎傳統肖像美學;但正正這是我感興趣的:當相機及視覺被排除後,肖像的意義會產生如何的轉變。

是次的展覽會展出此系列中兩件作品。 《常在我家出現的陌生女子》是關於我攝影師朋友寄放在我家的一張女子肖像的主人翁的過程。我並不認識相片中的模特兒潘小姐,但我卻總是時不時凝視著她,直到一天我決定邀請她拍一張照。《一位將要結婚的好朋友》拍的是一位很久沒有見面的中學好朋友。不久前他突然宣佈將要結婚,我想在他步進人生另一個階段前為他拍一張照。

 

(6)

You can only see what’s in front, not what’s behind (2020)  只看到前面, 看不到後面
Photography, Instant Film  
Set of 8 43.2x 8.6 cm

A colleague of mine, AYC, likes to trick people by sticking stuff on other’s back. I thought I would take a photograph of him before his departure from Hong Kong and so I did. I took a photo of his back, and secretly stuck it on his back, waiting for him to find out.

我的一位同事AYC,他很喜歡惡作劇。工作時經常會把東西貼在別人背面。臨別在即,我想為他拍張照。我拍下了他平時看不見的背面,並把相片偷偷地貼在他的背上,靜待他發現。