Existence + Revelation : Photo Installation by Almond Chu

Feb 18, 1998 – Mar 1, 1998
Para/Site Art Space
2 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan
Opening Reception
Feb 17, 1998
6:00 - 8:00pm

Almond Chu


Visiting scholar to HKUST, André Rouillé, professor of photography history from the University of Paris 8 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 Almond Chu, 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 Hong Kong Arts Centre. 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 by Chu would not be exceptional. Relationships between subject and object, individual and society, will be the issues generated by Chu’s installation for discussion.

Chu’s black and white portraits have been recognized by both the commercial and art communities. As an artist, Chu continues to explore and experiment new things. Existence and Revelation is the work he tries to break the 2-dimensional limitation of photo media.


This exhibition is supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and is part of the Para Site extra activities in addition to its programmed exhibition series.


More materials are available to view on site at Para Site. 

Click here to see a full inventory of all archive materials and contact us at archive@para-site.art for enquiries, to request an appointment to view materials, and for archival materials donations.


The Archive Project is financially supported by the Project Grant of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.



Press release (1998/ex_9/box 1/1)