Sunday, December 7, 2008
In the name of Victoria
In 1997, a small box with a postcard of Victoria Harbour was made in form and concept of a pinhole camera as my contribution to the collaborative project "Transaction" which was exhibited in both Melbourne and Hong Kong. Its title is From Victoria to Victoria.
Peak of Victoria, a photo sculpture featuring images of the shopping mall at Peak Victoria inside a cracked pyramid, was produced when Hong Kong had just been handed over to the People's Republic of China, farewell to a colony founded in the time of Queen Victoria.
Ten years later, a new video work titled My name is Victoria has been freshly made to continue contemplating this royal name, however in a mix of personal sentiments. Messages from over 40 women named Victoria telling the story about their name, are compiled as a monologue voicing over the mundane scenes filmed during my journey walking along Victoria Road from Kennedy Town, the border of the capital of this former crown colony to Aberdeen where the British landed for the first time.
Also new are two light boxes bearing the quotes of two most famous Victorias, Her Majesty and Mrs. Beckham: "I will be good" and "I'm still me even after all that's happened" respectively in the backdrop of close-up scenes of also two most famous in Hong Kong, namely the Peak and the Harbour. On the Plexiglas front of the light boxes, a barely visible word "VICTORIA" is etched.
In-between these works, I got a chance to visit the decommissioned Victoria Prison in 2006 and made a series of large format photographs of the empty old goal. I call this series Prison of Victoria.