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Heritage Museum displays antique cameras and photographic works

The camera is an integral part of photography. Camera stands for different values in the hands of different people. For collectors, the camera itself is a piece of art with considerable historical value; for photographers it is a working tool.

An exhibition,“Cameras Inside-out”, to be held from tomorrow (February 4) until September 3 at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, gives visitors a glimpse of the technological progression in camera making by showcasing more than 130 cameras of different eras collected by Mr David Chan. Along with the cameras on display are about 130 photographic works from the 1950s to the present by a group of Hong Kong photographers, enabling visitors to explore the photographic art.

The exhibition was opened today (February 3) by the Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services (LCSD), Dr Louis Ng Chi-wah, Mr David Chan and LCSD Museum Advisers Dr Leung Pui-kam, Dr Leo KK Wong and Mr Joseph Fung Hon-kee.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng said that the Heritage Museum had always adhered to its mission and aim of collecting, researching and promoting the art of photography since its establishment. To broaden the vision of audiences, the museum will organise a“Hong Kong Photography Series”to systematically present the art of photography.

“Serving as a prelude to the‘Hong Kong Photography Series’, the‘Cameras Inside-out’exhibition is privileged to showcase more than 100 antique cameras borrowed from Mr David Chan. Special thanks are due to Mr Chan and the veteran photographers in the selection of photographs for the exhibition.

“However, the exhibition would not be complete without the participation of the five contemporary artists, whose photographic installations are compliments to the tradition photographs of our older generation photographers,” Dr Ng said.

The exhibition was divided into two parts. The first part showcases about 130 cameras collected by Mr Chan, ranging from the conventional to the digital camera and camera phone. Some of them were manufactured 100 years ago. The show also looks at the development of the photographic art in Hong Kong in a display of about 100 works by a group of veteran local photographers, including Kan Hing-fook, Chan Fou-li, Leo KK Wong and Ngan Chun-tung.

To present the diversity of modern photography, the second part of the exhibition features 30 works of five contemporary artists - Almond Chu Tak-wah, So Hing-keung, Bobby Sham Ka-ho, Lam Wai-kit and Chow Chun-fai.

In the portrait works of Almond Chu, the camera possesses two aspects, reflecting the subject matter as well as the photographer. In fact, the subject of the photograph serves as the interpretation of self-projection. The works of So Hing-keung represent a path to individual existence and a distinct identity that he seeks. He deliberately projects his illusions onto real, tangible matter in an attempt to search for another spatial-temporal existence.

In addition, Bobby Sham aims to express his affection for Hong Kong. Although his photographs show abundant scenes of parades, his works effectively reflect loneliness and detachment. Both Lam Wai-kit and Chow Chun-fai apply a kind of intermodulation to produce ambivalent works. The former is adept at portraying genuine and fictitious self-identities, while the latter skilfully depicts pictorial traits by means of role play.

Today, photography is closely related to modern civilisation. Advanced technologies continue to push forward the development of cameras, adding new dimensions to our lifestyles. The principle behind the construction of the camera lens resembles that of human visual perception. However, with scientific and technological advancement, it is now possible to have wide-angle, long focus or microscopic observation, all of which exceed our visual experience. The exhibition encourages audiences to appreciate the world with their senses, to discover the true essence of the existence beyond the reach of human eyes and the most exquisite lens.

Located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, the Heritage Museum opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays, and from 10am to 5pm on Chinese New Year's Eve. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year. Admission is $10, with a half-price concession for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and full-time students. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

Car parking is available at the Heritage Museum. Those who prefer to use public transport may take the KCR Ma On Shan line to the Che Kung Temple station, which is within five minutes' walk of the museum.

For enquiries, call 2180 8188. For details of the exhibition, visit the Heritage Museum's website at .

Ends/Saturday, February 3, 2007
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