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Heritage Museum's latest exhibition tells story of society through portrait photography

     Portrait photography captures more than a specific moment in the life of the subject – it also tells the story of society and culture, as different people captured in different decades reflect the spirit of the time.

     From tomorrow (July 14) until November 26, a Hong Kong Heritage Museum exhibition entitled Hong Kong Photography Series 3: Beyond the Portrait will offer the public an opportunity to view local portrait photographs taken across different decades, also giving viewers an understanding of the stories behind the works. The exhibition will showcase more than 400 works, from early studio prints to contemporary photos by 18 photographers, reflecting their thoughts on portrait photography as well as illustrating the development of the art form in Hong Kong.

     An opening ceremony for the exhibition was held today (July 13). The officiating guests were the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui; guest curators Ms Wong Wo-bik, Ms Yvonne Lo and Mr Lukas Tam; Chairman of the Art Museum Advisory Panel, Mr Vincent Lo; and Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ms Hui said that the Hong Kong Heritage Museum has long been dedicated to building a rich collection of photography, and thanks to generous support and donations from friends in the field, the museum's collection of local contemporary photography will be greatly enriched. With the support of the three guest curators, participating artists and researchers who gave valuable advice, the Beyond the Portrait exhibition reveals the evolution and development of local portrait photography.

     Following on from "The Verve of Light and Shadow" in 2009 and "City Flâneur" in 2010, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum organised Beyond the Portrait as the third exhibition in its Hong Kong Photography Series. With sections entitled Portraits of the Society, Artistic Portraits, Family Portraits and Self Portraits, the exhibition demonstrates the different perspectives and approaches used by artists of different times to create their photographic works, and provides an in-depth study on the art form of photography.

     In addition to different photographic works taken over the years, the exhibits also include interesting bric-a-brac collected from photography studios and images from the front covers of "Companion" and "City Magazine". These works will enable visitors to analyse the photographer's observation of the self by observing others - an evolutionary process that turns from the external to the internal.

     The three guest curators, Ms Wong, Ms Lo and Mr Tam have contributed greatly  to the exhibition, from setting its direction to selecting the works and writing related articles. The 18 participating photographers comprise Mr Chan Chik, Mr Lo So-man, Mr Richard Yee, Mr Lau Pok-chi, Mr Almond Chu Tak-wah, Ms Holly Lee, Mr Vincent Yu Wai-kin, Mr Leon Suen Shu-kwan, Mr Alfred Ko Chi-keung, Mr Bobby Yip Ying-kit, Ms Ting Chan, Ms Wong Suk-ki, Mr Jimmy Chan Yu-wo, Mr Dick Lai Chun-ling, Mr Lau Chi-chung, Ms Ada Hung Chuk-kwan, Ms Liu Ngan-ling and Ms Stella Tsoi Sum-yi.

     In conjunction with the exhibition, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum has also published a catalogue providing diverse perspectives on Hong Kong Portrait Photography, with articles written by the guest curators and art researchers. A selection of works by the 18 participating photographers reflecting their varying views across different eras is also included. With 320 pages and priced at $245, this collection-worthy catalogue is now available in the gift shop of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

     For details of the exhibition, please visit the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's website at or call 2180 8188.

     The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located at 1 Man Lam Road, Shatin. It opens from 10am to 6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays to Saturdays, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. The museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Admission to the exhibition is $10, with a half-price concession available for full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

Ends/Friday, July 13, 2012


"Kowloon", a black and white photograph captured by Richard Yee in 1951. When Yee stayed in Hong Kong for a few months in 1951 he toured around and took many photos which capture the inhabitants in Hong Kong at that time. The work is on display at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's "Beyond the Portrait" exhibition.


A black and white photograph among the "Vietnamese Boat People Series" captured by Bobby Yip Ying-kit from 1985 to 1989. Yip used a wide angle for shooting, and the people in his photos are subjects in actual events. Most of the time they are part and parcel of the surroundings, expressing their outward emotions or even their emotional states at a deeper level. This photograph is on display at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's "Beyond the Portrait" exhibition.


A colour photograph captured by Ting Chan in 2006, part of the "Double Blood Series - Family Liem". Chan is Chinese born and raised in Holland, but while she embraces freedom like the Dutch, Chinese traditions and the Chinese concept of the family are still in her blood and refuse to be ignored. She created a series of works that capture ethnic Chinese parents and the next generations who are married to local Dutch people, so as to reflect the issues of "Identity" and "Double Blood". This photograph is on display at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's "Beyond the Portrait" exhibition.


The opening ceremony of the "Hong Kong Photography Series 3: Beyond the Portrait" exhibition was held today (July 13) at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. (From left) The Chairman of the Art Museum Advisory Panel, Mr Vincent Lo; guest curator Ms Yvonne Lo; the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui; guest curators Ms Wong Wo-bik and Mr Lukas Tam; and the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong officiated at the ceremony.





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