Posted on Tuesday 21st March 2017
© Martin Parr, Chung Wah Supermarket, Liverpool, c 1986
LOOK/17 exhibition at Museum of Liverpool
The Museum of Liverpool presents Liverpool & Hong Kong Reflections, a new exhibition developed by Open Eye Gallery as part of LOOK/17, Liverpool International Photography Festival, from 7 April to 2 July 2017.
The dual exhibition (composed of 19 photographs), features the work of Hong Kong photographer Ho Fan, alongside a selection of images of the North West of England from Open Eye Gallery’s archive, including work by Martin Parr and John Stoddart.
The photographs from Open Eye Gallery’s archive have been chosen by curator and illustrator Charlotte Tsang, a second-generation Hong Kong person who grew up in Liverpool.
The two sections of the exhibition combine ideas about how cities build their own identities and character.
Ho Fan’s striking shots capture ‘the decisive moment’. His work can be described as a collision of the unusual, framed against a background of urban geometry and texture. These images of Hong Kong in the 1950s and 60s echo Liverpool city life.
Charlotte Tsang’s selection is a very personal representation of her cultural identity, shaped between Hong Kong and Liverpool. Taking food, architecture and changes within the city as her underlying themes, she has selected a range of photos from Open Eye Gallery’s archive.
“I grew up in Liverpool. But I was brought up observing a culture and hearing about traditions which felt like oddly outdated ideas of Hong Kong. My dad was born in 1940, and settled in Liverpool in the 1960s. In a way his Hong Kong cultural identity was fixed in time and blended with his new home.
“Through my recent visits to Hong Kong, I discovered it has changed immensely since my parents’ last visit. Even I have a British idea of contemporary China. There is undoubtedly a strong sense of tradition, but there is also far more openness to change and the future than I see in the West.”
Director of Museum of Liverpool, Janet Dugdale said:
“We are really pleased that Museum of Liverpool is part of LOOK/17, such a vital and dynamic photography festival.
“The work of Ho Fan and the photographers selected by Charlotte Tsang raise interesting questions about the identity and character of cities, themes explored within the Museum’s permanent collections.”
The Museum of Liverpool also hosts Now and Before, a series of portraits of the contemporary Chinese community in Liverpool on its atrium media wall. The project by British-Chinese photographer Yan Preston is accompanied by an online WeChat platform, where a photographic exchange between China and Liverpool will grow throughout the festival.
Liverpool & Hong Kong Reflections was developed by Open Eye Gallery with the Museum of Liverpool as part of LOOK/17 Liverpool International Photography Festival.