Michelle Chan Wan Chee is a relational artist who works primarily in photography. She is interested in the act of looking; using the camera and manipulated images to generate connections and conversations with people, so to discover, reflect and challenge our habitual impressions of people, places and things. She believes that photography is a great tool not only to connecting others but also to looking honestly within ourselves. Her works often touch upon the notion of home, sense of belonging, human connections and bonding, and familial relationships. More specifically, they reflect the inherited familial beliefs that inform our daily gestures and rituals, and explore the Chinese beliefs that have become recurrent over centuries.
Her work has been exhibited in Hong Kong and internationally, including the Angkor Photo Festival 2019, Singapore International Photography Festival 2020 and Objectifs’ Women in Film and Photography 2021 (Singapore). She was awarded laureate at the International Women Photography Award in 2019 for her series, Crab Seniors. In 2021, she received the Prince Claus Seed Awards for her ongoing project, Kaufu. The work was presented in a solo exhibition, as part of the Hong Kong International Photo Festival 2022.
Alongside her individual artistic practice, she founded Phoboko, a platform that brings people together through photobooks and the topics they contain. Through monthly meetings, photobooks are used as “social objects” for dialogues and knowledge exchange between participants. Group discussion ranged from how creators convey their concepts using photography and materialising them into photobook form, to exploring the culture, society, and history that the photobooks make visible. As a community, Phoboko interrogates photography as a medium, promote the vision of local Hong Kong artists while in dialogue with other photographers in the Asia-Pacific region.
She also advocates to using photography for mindful looking (@onlookingeveryday), and she writes about the social life of photography in #somethingtotalkabout using images to think through different issues. More recently, she began teaching photography as a medium to understand our selves and our relationships with others for children, teens, and adults.
陳韻芝是一位以攝影為首要創作媒介的關係藝術家。她對於「觀」別懷興味，擅長以相機與影像與人建立連繫、牽絆與對話，而她由此而發現、反思並從中挑戰我們對人、地方和事物的慣常印象。她深信攝影不僅是一種美妙的載體，以與他者建立聯繫和牽絆，同時亦是一種賦予自身、誠實觀察與觀照的媒介。她的作品往往觸及家庭、歸屬感、人際關係和家族關係等概念。更具體而言，她的作品反映了代代承傳的家族信仰，和它們如何影響我們日常的行動、姿態與儀式，而從中，她能探索出數個世紀以來一直盤踞和植根的華人傳統民間信仰與習俗，如何得以反復出現並受以承傳、運傳開來。她的作品曾在香港和國際間展出，包括2019年吳哥攝影節、2020年新加坡國際攝影節，和2021年新加坡Objectifs的女性電影和攝影展。她憑藉《蟹伯樂園》系列，在2019年國際女性攝影獎中獲得獎項殊榮。2021年，她憑藉正在進行中的企劃《舅父》，獲得Prince Claus Seed Awards，而這一作品亦在2022年香港國際攝影節的個展中展出。
translated by Clementine Cheung Hei Man