FP's Winsome Wong and Linda Lai in "Mending Years" -- Gallery L0, JCCAC, until 12 July 「縫補歲月」:據點黎肖嫻和黃慧心與三位創作者的聯展

FP's Winsome Wong and Linda Lai in "Mending Years" -- Gallery L0, JCCAC, until 12 July 「縫補歲月」:據點黎肖嫻和黃慧心與三位創作者的聯展


For Immediate Release:

WHERE:  L0 Gallery, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei

WHEN: June 28 – July 12, 2023 | Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00, except July 12: 10:00-17:00


(Hong Kong, June 17) “MENDING YEARS,” a group exhibition about the collective memories of hardship, enterprising spirit and sorrows from the industry boom years of mid-20th-century Hong Kong, will open at the L0 Gallery, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei, from June 28-July 12.


The exhibition explores women’s labor, fashion, folk entertainment, the toll of work, and disease. “It brings together five artists --- Dr Linda Chiu-han Lai, Evans Chan, Shan Luk, Winsome Wong, and Elaine Wong,” said curator Dr. Ying-chi Tang, “from diverse mediums and backgrounds. They have integrated technology and ready-made/remanufactured materials in a diverse and multi-faceted display.”  


Starting from the artists’ personal impressions/records/recollection of their parents’ or grandparents’ home labor, these artists came up with new envisioning of Hong Kong’s industrial past and its impact on daily life and society, expressing nostalgia, grief, love, and empathy.

Linda Lai’s archaeological and architectural construct delves into the economic realm, finding the output of home-based industries in the 1960s to be 57.5 million kilograms, or 94.7 million Yuan, as expressed in their remittance to China during that time. Thereby Lai’s composite sculpture “Domestic Moonlighting” highlights and concretizes the contributions of women to Hong Kong’s economy back then.

While Evans Chan’s “Sewing Breasts,” using the beat-up sewing machine left by his mother, mourns his mother’s death from breast cancer, its archaeological exploration has unearthed a colonizing phenomenon -- the industrial production of western brassieres in Hong Kong in the 1960s had driven dùdōu (肚兜 ), the traditional Chinese women’s bodice-like undergarment, almost to extinction.

Onto a canopy-like, amplified dùdōu hanging from the ceiling, Chan will project a video loop, with a soundtrack mixing a sewing machine’s rattle and a Cantonese opera aria, “A dewy, fragrant stem of red radiance” (一枝紅豔露凝香) sung by Fong Yim-fun (芳艷芬), a big-time diva of the 1960s.

That aria became the takeoff point for Elaine Wong’s “I’m Here. In the Cold Wind,” a sound installation piece about domestic solitude in a curtained, enclosed space contrasting and recreating the sonic environment between Cantonese opera arias, such as “red radiance,” and Cantopop songs, as typified by a Shirley Kwan (關淑怡) hit, “A Solo Song” (一首獨唱的歌), from half a century later.  Tang said: “Wong has imaginatively connected the mental states of women who stay home alone to those who work at home all the time, inviting herself to feel what it is like in their situations.”

The show’s dialogue between sewing machines, home labor, and women’s fashion continues with Shan Luk’s “Siu Fung Sin 小鳯仙 [the Little Phoenix Dress],” of which her grandmother was a deft maker in a public housing project when Luk was growing up.  Considering her ‘Little Phoenix’ Cheongsam sewing expertise as demeaning, Luk’s grandmother had refused to pass on her skills to her granddaughter.  As a tribute to her grandmother and that era of hardship and survival, Luk overlays images of her blurry memories in her work, “Siu Fung Sin,” via a projection apparatus.

Finally, the evocation of working lives during Hong Kong’s industrial past has become, for Winsome Wong, an evocation through its absence. “Through no more than piecemeal fragments in scanty conversations,” said Tang, “Winsome Wong is able to learn of her grandmother’s making plastic flowers and being a factory worker in her younger days, and that her grandfather was once a barber. She seeks to fill in the blanks in her family’s history through geography and found historical images. This attempt of recovering what is absent gives the title of her work – ‘Blanks in the Picture.’”

Dissecting the distinction between, or the fusion of, the private and collective, Tang said in her curatorial statement:  “In fact, what is dealt with in this exhibition are no private histories: each artist holds a unique fragment or version of the same period. History understood this way is constantly extendable and reinterpretable. And this exhibition particularly embodies a rich, thick view of women’s domestic manufacturing labor as unique, negotiable histories.”

“Mending Years” is supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s Project Grant in Visual Art.



《縫補歲月》一個有關香港上世紀中葉,急速工業化時期的藝術展覽,將於石硤尾<賽馬會創意藝術中心 JCCAC> 於6月28日至7月12日舉辦。展品以女性勞工的創業精神,身心的勞累;他們的娛樂,創傷以至疾病作為靈感。五位藝術家分別向那香港經濟起飛時期,勞動階層的追憶,緬懷,及致意。


策展人鄧凝姿博士說:「《縫補歲月》展覽集合了不同創作媒介及方向的藝術家,展出有關香港難忘的的手作歲月,由個人對上一代父母親或隔代祖父母 的印象、記錄開始,作一次全新的演繹,透露的不單是對上一代 的情感與懷念,表達的內容更觸及這昔日輝煌的「手工業時代」 在日常生活及社會層面所彰顯的種種。」




黎肖嫻客觀地走進經濟領域,找出60年代家庭的手工業生產了「5750萬 公斤,9470萬人民幣」𣾀給內地的數據。她這名叫《家居副業的生產力》的雕塑陳設,既確定了那年代婦女對社會經濟的貢獻,又重現了昔年許多日常生活的物件。






黃淑賢的聲音裝置《冷風中 我在》以《一支紅艷露凝香》的粵曲為起點,而對比著半個世紀之後,關淑怡唱的流行曲《一首獨唱的歌》。於一個有布幕圍繞的空間之內,黃淑賢以她再創作的這些歌曲,冥想婦女終日在家孤單、困鎖的精神狀態。鄧博士說:黃以此「聯繫著當年這些時刻在家工作的婦女、藉以感受其中的狀況。」






鄧博士說:「其實,這段歷史並不是私人的,而不同人擁有這個故事的不同版本,可以不斷伸展延續下去,而這次機緣巧合,聚焦於有關婦女的手作家庭工業的 「歷史」細節… 上世紀六、七十年代的手工業是過去式的,對一些人而言,她/他 們的上一代或已離她/他們而去。我們可以如何以現在進行式去懷記這一段時光呢?」


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