Guardians of Memories by Yvonne Lo(Hong Kong)
14 August 2015
Curatorial Statement by Pamela Ng, Co-Collaborator
Yvonne Lo: Guardians of Memories
Opening 21 August 2015, Friday
INSTINC Gallery @ SOHO 2, Singapore
Hailing from Hong Kong, Yvonne has just completed her one-month residency in Singapore, as part of INSTINC Gallery’s programme INSTINC AIR for mid-career to established artists who want to delve more into their work.
When she studied in the States, in 1985, she learnt a now-defunct photographic process called Kwikprint, with a manual method that allows for multiple layers; where you can change your mind at any one point and add a permanent mark with light exposure. Similarly, when she first encountered Photoshop as a photography teacher, she loved the same process of editing layers with the added convenience of neatness and portability! She enjoys the freedom where only imagination and personal satisfaction limits you.
In Guardians of Memories Yvonne wanted to capture personal memories of individuals and share them in a way that tapped onto a universal emotion that everyone could connect with. Yvonne’s works also remind us that we are all special in our own ways. She asked around in Singapore for people to photograph who had an unusual collection and by chance, met a fellow artist, Pamela Ng, who had a small toy collection.
Looking at “Pamela’s Collection 1”, you can instantly see how her connection with Bea Nettles’s works shapes her own work, both visually and philosophically. Encountering Bea’s works in Texas, she was instantly struck by the autobiographical visual narratives that were distinctively feminine. Yvonne was taken by the inclusive method of creating and sharing stories based on ordinary objects from daily life. For her this very process is like life itself; we all collect both normal and iconic objects which run parallel to the moments in life that are at timesseemingly routine and dreary while at other times they are memorable flashes that leave a lasting impression.
In “Pamela’s Collection 4” she takes a wind-up toy and contextualises it with socio-political readings by juxtaposing it with a telling sculpture and a view from behind a fence. She enjoys telling stories through her digital images; a natural evolution from her previous career more than three decades ago as a photojournalist.
The landscape photos used in her collages for this series were site-specific and some of the places in Singapore she visited include the Botanical Gardens and Fort Canning Park where she found the flora and fauna to be “Wild and unexpected, where being near the equator, it seems like everything wants to burst into bloom, all at once!” She has captured her delight in the exuberant “Pamela’s Collection 5” where she selected a toy with outstretched hands declaring “I love you this much!”.
The brighter colours she used in “Pamela’s Collection 3” were inspired by her June 2015 Morocco residency where she was surrounded by contrasting hues of high saturation that shaped form yet complemented each other. This is a new thread in her works that she plans to continue explore as she is having fun dabbling in bolder colours.
For the first time, she is working with videos as she feels they capture a time element that the collages cannot express; thus exploring another dimension of photo imaging. Individually, each collaged still image contains its own intact story and can stand alone as a single message. However videos need continuous movements to convey a message, so to her the messaging is more complex, deepening her exploration of the theme.
Yvonne shares that, “Reality never satisfies me! Imagination is larger than life; it is my way of capturing what I feel are more important. Photography captures detailed, minute moments that point to moments of discovery!”
We hope you discover all the glorious beauty of your own life in Guardians of Memories; exalting both the mundane and spectacular.