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New-media exhibition explores the issues behind the camera

     Given the popularity of digital cameras and smartphones, everyone can become a director and easily produce short films with their handy camera. However, as a director, would you care about the thoughts of the people being filmed? And as an audience member, are you sure what you see on the screen is the truth?

     These topics have become the subject matter of "Nicole Mak - Behind the Camera", the newly opened exhibition at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre. The new-media artist Ms Nicole Mak uses a series of interactive video installations in the exhibition to engage visitors to explore the value of movie-making, the truth that lies behind images and the relationship between the director and the audience.

     Born and raised in Hong Kong, post-80s artist Ms Mak graduated with first-class honours, majoring in scriptwriting and moving image, from the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong in 2008. With strong passion in moving image and multi-media art, her short films were awarded and exhibited in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Korea, and her talent has already been recognised. During her studies, she encountered the technical and ethical issues surrounding representation of the truth in the classic documentary "Nanook of the North", as well as the famous socio-psychological experiment called the Milgram Experiment, which investigated people's resistance to authorities who command them to act against their conscience. These theories inspired her to ponder the everyday images that people see and create.

     In this exhibition, Ms Mak intends to prompt viewers to rethink the relationship between the self and the image through a psychological process. To do this, Ms Mak uses four sets of installation artworks created with elements of different media, such as moving images, static images and sound. Visitors can see them, hear them, move them with their hands and think them over. Their participation and experience will help construct, and become part of, the artworks. Each visitor will also have a chance to act as a director, experiencing how it feels and rethinking life and things happening around them.

     The exhibition was officially opened today (September 23) by the Museum and Film Adviser to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), Ms May Fung; Museum Expert Advisers to the LCSD, Ms Wong Wo-bik and Ms Yvonne Lo; Ms Mak; and the Chief Curator of the Art Promotion Office, Ms Lesley Lau.

     The exhibition will be open to the public from tomorrow (September 24) to October 5 at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, and some of the exhibits will be shown until November 28.

     The exhibition is part of the Artist in Residence Programmes organised by the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre. Taking a residency programme at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre from June to November 2011, Ms Mak is conducting a series of programmes including film production workshops and film review lectures that are being organised to share with the public her experiences and insights on artistic creation.

     Since 1992, the Artist in Residence Programmes have provided more than 30 local artists with free workshop facilities in return for their service in giving lectures, demonstrations and workshops with the aim of arousing public interest in art and encouraging artistic creation.

     The Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre is located at 7A Kennedy Road, Central. It is open daily from 10am to 9pm and is closed on Tuesdays. Admission is free for the exhibition.

     For more information, please visit the Art Promotion Office's website: For enquires, call 2521 3008.

Ends/Friday, September 23, 2011


The installation work "The First Step to Become the Director" invites visitors to step on a wooden box and peep through holes if they want to know what has happened behind a wall. The work enables visitors to think about privacy issues and the thoughts of people being filmed.


The installation work "Behind the Camera, Who are You?" enables the visitor to act as director. The artwork was created to engage visitors to explore issues such as the power of the director.




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