Visiting scholar to HKUST,, professor of photography history from the has mentioned in a study the distinction in photography between portrait and body. In portraits, the transaction is initiated by the person portrayed and the photographer becomes a facilitator; the body, on the other hand is depersonalized and becomes the object. The transaction is initiated by the photographer.
From the recent photographic work by, we can associate the above aspect. He assembled six photographs of his own body however, beheaded, into a container sculpturally that sand and dead branches were found inside. This work was exhibited in October 1997 in . Unfortunately all the attention was drawn only into the incident of “censorship” because of the male nude images.
In February 1998, Chu installed his work in Para Site again, but, in a larger scale. In addition to the images of his own body, all the walls and floors of the gallery were treated as a whole piece. The audience were even requested to take their shoes off in order to enter such a ritual environment. Opposite to the “altar” of his body, a larger light box was set where the audience could see the artist’s self-portrait.
From the anonymous body to the recognizable portrait, it seems a reflection of a crisis of the artist’s own identity. However, as a professional photographer in Hong Kong, the frustration caused by the conflicts between the commercial expectation and the artist’s own creative desire experienced bywould not be exceptional. Relationships between subject and object, individual and society, will be the issues generated by Chu’s installation for discussion.
s black and white portraits have been recognized by both the commercial and art communities. As an artist, continues to explore and experiment new things. Existence and Revelation is the work he tries to break the 2-dimensional limitation of photo media.
More materials are available to view on site at Para Site.
The Archive Project is financially supported by the Project Grant of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.