i_think_it_rains (2013)

Lau Ching Ping, Last Glimpse of Hong Kong, 2011-2012


Primary student in Ocean Park (part of Last Glimpse of Hong Kong). Courtesy of the artist.

Lau Ching Ping
Last Glimpse of Hong Kong, 2011-2012
Set of 10 inkjet prints on archival paper
95 x 120 cm each
Courtesy of the artist

Lau Ching Ping takes street and city photographs of Hong Kong.  In his photo series Last Glimpse of Hong Kong (2011-2012) misted Hong Kong looks close like it’s coming to an end, as the title denotes, we see here the last glimpses. As if the apocalyptic 2012 Mayan end of the world “prophecy” were to have come true. One could also track the ‘disappearing’ ambience to another time, Hong Kong just before the handover, when change was expected, either anticipated or feared.  In an exhibition catalogue published beginning of 2013, Lau Ching Ping wrote: „People of Hong Kong that live in this era would still be writing something about world ends thing, no matter what is the reason behind, is a laughable matter. After all, we are being intimidated by this world ends thing from the day when we were born. Not so long ago, in the eighties, our relatives, friends flee for foreign land, fight for British nationality selection scheme. Those who did not plan to leave or did not have the ability to leave, left themselves a hole in their hearts. The return of sovereign right to China in 1997, Mr. Tung’s, mother tongue tutoring, Asian financial crisis. 911 New York, principal officials accountability system, SARS pandemic, 1st July rally, Lehman brothers, financial tsunami, HSBC share subscribe, bird flu contagion. We are so used to this ‘centennial level’ of incidents, so called crisis, for what history taught us is to let those fatal disease, bankruptcy and catastrophe be awaited, for tomorrow is another day!“

The photographs show signs of a staggering urban development. For example the Sha Tin District located in the New Territories of Hong Kong for example having been just a town of a mere 30,000 people in the early 1970s, and today is one of the most populated district in Hong Kong, with a population of over 600,000. We also see discrete remnants of the colonial era with for example the bronze statue of King George VI which was erected in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of British colonial rule over Hong Kong in 1941.

The subtitled works of the series allude to the unseen, the micro activities going on in a metropolis. Each hints at a different city dweller; a Wedding Photographer Underneath, Housewife in Beacon Heights, Hong Kong Chief Executive or for example Water treatment technician at Shatin.

Ching Ping devotes time to walk around in the city, making preliminary sketches prior to taking the photographs, screenshot-ing images from google maps for good locations. On May 24, 2013, during the real-time activity day the artist lead participants onto a bus pin pointing his researched photo-sites.


Schoolmate on Park island (part of Last Glimpse of Hong Kong). Courtesy of the artist.


Gardener in Zoological and Botanical Gardens (part of Last Glimpse of Hong Kong). Courtesy of the artist.


Hong Kong Chief Executive (part of Last Glimpse of Hong Kong). Courtesy of the artist.


Football fans at Lung Cheung road (part of Last Glimpse of Hong Kong). Courtesy of the artist.

Lau Ching Ping (b. Hong Kong in 1963) lives and works in Hong Kong. He studied design and photography at the Hong Kong Swire School of Design.  Recent group exhibitions include, amongst others: City Flâneur: Social Documentary Photography, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong (2010) and Hong Kong: Tales of a City (Part I) Chinese Contemporary Xchange (CCX), Toronto, Canada (2009). His solo exhibition Thin as air was shown in the Chinese Contemporary Xchange (CCX), Toronto, Canada (2006).  Lau is co-editor of “Dislocation” Art Photo magazine, part-time lecturer of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a curator of the Gallery Z and JCCAC, Hong Kong.



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