We countdown to this year’s submission deadline for Hong Kong’s prestigious WMA Masters Award by featuring selected past winners.
First up, we have double winner Siu Wai Hang. Siu’s The Roadsider won the AIR theme in 2013/14 and InsideOutland won the IDENTITY theme in 2015/16.
About The Roadsider
Vehicle emissions are a major source of air pollution at street level in Hong Kong — particularly in urban areas. In ‘The Roadsider’, Siu collected and photographed samples of roadside vegetation from several districts in Hong Kong located close to or in landfills, container yards, and urban areas. Dust, particles, and toxic gases block the sunlight, and stop photosynthesis, killing roadside vegetation. The death of vegetation is a reflection of Hong Kong’s abominable air quality.
As a “post-80s” man and a son of a stowaway, there is no doubt I identify myself as a Hong Konger. But in relation to China and identity, I find myself in a paradoxical situation. I often ponder on this issue even though it always confuses me.
Understanding my father’s experience of sneaking into Hong Kong has helped me to have a better grasp of my identity. However, I can only project based on his memories which are fragmented and indistinct, and other times based on his facial expressions and conversations.
Inevitably, the “past” is fading away, we cannot capture every moment of the past, but we can try to re-experience it and it might be the best method for me to rediscover my identity. From the personal history of my father to the collective memories of those stowaways interviewed by Bingan Chan, a Shenzhen journalist, my personal research does not only complement his but also allows my concerns to emerge at a personal level. I believe that part of forgotten history affects every stowaway and their descendants, and perhaps to an extent, the whole of Hong Kong. This is about identity, but more importantly, it determines what Hong Kong is, the core values that we often refer to.
This is an art project that is neither biographical nor documentary in nature. Perhaps currently it is a reflection of my father; but it could also be used to trace the origins of Hong Kong people or even linked to other things beyond my imagination.
Siu Wai Hang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Media from The School of Creative Media, The City University of Hong Kong. He went on to obtain his Master of Fine Art from the Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He won the WMA Masters Award on the theme of “AIR” (2014) and “IDENTITY” (2016) respectively. He was also named as an ifva Emerging Talent (2016). In 2010, Siu presented a solo exhibition “Metropolis Chlorophyll” (K11 Art Mall, 2010) and in 2015 he presented “The Elusive” (Lumenvisum, 2015). His works are collected by The Legislative Council of Hong Kong, The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong and various private collections. He currently lives and works in Hong Kong and teaches at various art institutes and universities.
WMA Masters Award is one of Asia’s most prized photography competition. The Award is open to Hong Kong and international photographers and free to enter. Submissions must, however, have Hong Kong as subject and LIGHT as theme. Submit your project by 30TH SEPTEMBER 2019 and stand a chance to win HK$250,000 cash prize. More info on https://wma.hk/light