Convergence of the practices of documentary and contemporary art in Hong Kong: Autoethnographic works of Tang Kwok Hin and Law Yuk Mui
by Hoi Shan Anson MAK
Published on Visual Ethnography Vol.8 | N.2 | 2019
Research Methods and Fieldwork
Her fieldwork practice is not merely a tool for collecting materials. Rather, bodily and emotional experience during fieldwork is also accounted for the aesthetic decisions of the artworks and the setting of the installation in the exhibition. Fieldwork is not neutral, and contemporary artists conducting research do not produce mere ethnographic data. It is their experience as the artworks themselves. For Law, the most important issue is the discovery of her physical and psychological reflections during her fieldwork experience in which bodily experience is essential.
陳智廷博士, 香港浸會大學電影學院研究助理教授 (2019)
做為六聲道三頻道錄像裝置，羅玉梅在香港視覺藝術中心展映的《殖物》，是一件場域特定（site-specific）的作品。《殖物》重新組合拼貼嫁接影像、音樂與文本，以或發聲或無聲的腹語術儀式讓歷史還魂，解構與重構香港身份認同，創生出一株似曾相識，來歷不明，身不由己而美麗綻放的雜種主體。作品名稱饒富深意，以同音字「殖」與「植」，帶出1965年獲選為香港市花的本土植物洋紫荊（Bauhinia blakeana）實是殖民產物 ……. 這使我想到九七回歸期間策展人何慶基在香港藝術中心的半人半魚盧亭考古展覽，以虛構想像的香港人始祖，逃難而來的盧亭，作為香港邊緣、居間、混種的文化隱喻
A video installation with six audio tracks and three channels,Law Yuk Mui’s Pastiche is a site-specific work exhibited at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.Pastiche reassembles collages of grafted images, music and texts that restore history through both vocal and ventriloquised rituals, which in turn deconstructs and reconstructs Hong Kong’s identity. All these cultivate a déjà-vu-ques hybrid entity of unknown origin blossoming involuntary yet gorgeously. The work’s Chinese title ‘殖物’ embodies profound connotations. The homophone of ‘殖’ (‘to grow/reproduce’ and the first character of the term ‘to colonise’) is ‘植’ (‘to plant’), underlining the fact that Bauhinia blakeana, Hong Kong’s native species and the regional flower selected during the colonial period in 1965, is actually a colonial product ……. This reminds me of the half-human half-fish ‘Lo Ting’ in the archaeological exhibition curated by Oscar Ho at the Hong Kong Arts Centre during the Handover period in 1997. A fictional ancestor of Hong Kong, Lo Ting fled to Hong Kong, acting as a cultural metaphor of Hong Kong’s marginalisation, intermediary role, hybridity and resistance.
將軍澳的時間殘章： 羅玉梅的《維多利亞之東》 | The scattered temporal fragments of Tseung Kwan O: Law Yuk-mui’s Victoria East by Vivian Ting
Published on art review Hong Kong issue 3/ 藝評香港 – 第三期 (12-2017)
羅玉梅的作品確實懷緬那煙消雲散的過去，但她所揭示的並非純真的往日，而是歷史的反臉無情 — 不問緣由那份海的回憶被埋葬了、那片意識形態的旗海又被抹去、而山與水的形貌再也無人記取。耐人尋味的是，平淡無奇的影像與無從憶記的蒼白容或觸及遺忘的傷疤，但誘發的卻不是沉鬱的痛，反而是渾身灼熱又剌惱的癢，讓人非要撓個明明白白。遊走於現實與想像之間，藝術撩撥的騷癢既無眩人的聲色，也欠缺濃烈的情感激盪，卻著我們探索一直生活環境看不見聽不清觸不到之處，重新發現自身以什麼形式連結世界，又如何在變動中尋找自己的位置。
羅玉梅: 維多利亞之東 | Law Yuk-mui: Victoria East by Morgan Wong
Published on art forum.com.cn (18-5-2017)
展覽秉承羅玉梅處理史料時一貫的冷靜態度，一層一層從歷史宏觀中發掘出不同的細微線索。串聯不同事件的主線不單只有時間，更有一種對消逝的不安。若“最後的海岸”是在掌控一條物理上的線，那麼整個展覽羅玉梅則是為時間線訂下不同的註腳 – 地緣政治的消失，殖民歷史的殘存，以及社會發展的今昔。
Succeeding her usual nonchalant attitude towards the treatment of history, Law Yuk-mui has excavated fine details from the macro-narrative of history layer by layer in this exhibition as well. The axis linking up different events isn’t only time, but also a sense of uneasiness towards what have disappeared. If The Last Coast were governing a physical line, then Law Yuk-mui would be putting different footnotes on the timeline throughout the exhibition – the disappearance of geopolitics, the remnants of colonial history and the evolution of social development.
Law Yuk-mui by Yang YEUNG
First published in issue 118 (Jan 2016) of a.m.post, Hong Kong.
“Law’s objects are Woolf’s “characters”. They neither speak nor show, but they are poemed for being “well put together”. To borrow from Bringhurst again, to poem is to make sing or resonate. Law’s solitary ecology of objects does that, too. In the making, the artist’s body must have hopped between them – those kindred spirits of hers – so that she could conceal herself, displace those after-the-fact gestures of art, show this act of concealment, and get lost in the vastness of everything else.”
Published on Art Radar Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond (30-10-2015)
Law Yuk Mui’s work The Yellow Portrait (2014), a black and white photograph featuring herself in a field of snow with an umbrella, is a “footnote” to the Occupy Movement in 2014. Late last year, Law travelled to Japan with her yellow umbrella to test out photographer Eikoh Hosoe’s idea that yellow produces a higher contrast than white in a monochrome world. She found in her experiment that yellow did not come out brighter; and in an unrelated misfortune, she lost 17 photos in the series when her film broke. These broken films and lost images are presented together with the portrait in which the yellow umbrella does not stand out, as if to suggest that failed attempts at something elusive could also be powerful symbols of resistance.
On Junk Bay, King Lam Est., The Plant (1990) is a mixed-media work about Junk Bay, the former name of the artist’s home Tseung Kwan O, and the plant life that thrives there. Although Junk Bay was reclaimed, plants – some even tropical species from overseas – have taken root around the old King Lam housing estate. By presenting real plant samples and cyanotypes of different species found on the estate, Law comments poetically and in a timely way on the increasingly threatened co-existence between humans and nature in a city where century-old trees could be cut down without warning.
First published in PAROLES Mai / Juin 2011 Nº 228