Identity Art Gallery presents:
Hong Kong, 16 August, 2011: In a sensational visual journey lined with new photographs, found photographs and personal writing, London-based visual artist Kurt Tong pays homage to his identity and past Hong Kong life straddled between two diverse cultures; one which prompted him to sing God Save The Queen at school, and the other steeped in the pensive relics of Mao Zedong and his revolution.
When his family decided time was ripe to uproot their existence as far away from Communist rules as possible, Tong – then a teenager – left his birthplace Hong Kong for a new life in England. Upon finishing his health visitor training at the University of Liverpool, Tong sets off on an extended journey to travel the world. The long trip culminated in numerous projects working with NGOs, his co-founding of Prema Vasam – a charitable home for disabled and disadvantaged children in Chennai, South India – as well as a burgeoning career in documentary photography.
Having won several prestigious international awards for his humanitarian photography projects, Tong returned to London in 2006 to gain a master in documentary photography at the London College of Communications (LCC), and began to work on more personal projects.
Penetrating human experience and the loss of time with an extraordinary loving connectedness to widespread applauds, Tongs visual language conjures up the melancholy of a poet and rich emotional landscapes. Since graduating from LCC, Tong has been chosen as the winner of Photograph.Book.Now competition, the Hey, Hot Shot! competition as well as the prestigious Jerwood Photography Award, and has firmly established himself as a rising star in the world of art photography.
In The Queen, the Chairman and I, Tong turns his head towards Hong Kong one more time, this time to trace how two of the most influential people in the world affected the history of his family.
Presented as a visual journey for his daughters, which may be developed into a book along his other award-winning titles, the work will reconnect the artist with old Hong Kong via the recollection of his extended family, humanizing the political and social upheaval that brought his family to the ex-colony and eventually to the United Kingdom. Besides functioning as a keepsake for his daughters to help them find answers to their heritage and identity, the project hopes to speak to the millions of Chinese who has escaped war, famine and Communism or anyone in the world who has gone through migration and displacement.
Tongs photographs have been widely published and exhibited around the world at venues including: The Royal Academy, Impressions Gallery, Abbaye de Neumunster, Fotofest in Houston and solo shows at Compton Verney, Photofusion and Streetlevel Photoworks.
He is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery in New York and The Photographer’s Gallery in London. His first monograph, In Case it Rains in Heaven was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2011.
Kurt Tongs Website
7.00 9.00pm Friday, September 9, 2011 Seminar
Starts at 7.00pm Tuesday, September 12, 2011
Kurt Tong will host a seminar to discuss the journey he travelled, and the experience he encountered over his earnest and formidable search for his identity.
Identity Art Gallery
53 Tung Street
Hong Kong Opening Hours
Tuesday Saturday 11.00am to 7.00pm For further information please contact the gallery at:
+852 2540 5353 or Carol at +852 9304 4338