Ho, KT
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Conference Contribution
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UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies

This paper uses a series of photographs taken during the historical handover of Hong Kong in 1997 to suggest an alternate concept and approach in photography. Born and brought up as a Hongkongese and now working in a Western country, my passion about the handover is intricate and ineffable. The paper positions the writer as an academic reflecting upon my practice as a photographic artist. It suggests the re-consideration of the documentary approach to the ‘urban real’. It is intended to contribute to the ongoing dialogues of the authenticity of representation of documentary photography in a technologically driven environment. Through a series of eleven ‘paired photographs’ that includes both ‘straight’ and digitally edited photographs and adapts a Chinese philosophical idea of ‘continuity and mutation’ [!"] by Liu Hsieh’s [#$] classical treatise in literature ‘Wen-hsin tiao-lung’ [%&'(], I suggest the idea of ‘Documind’ as an approach in documentary photography. The Documind approach transcends documentary and allows the photographer as the creator of the work to document the intrinsic passion from an insider’s point of view and express the primitive sentimental relationship between the photographer and the city. This approach is not new. However, through the interweaving dialogues between the concepts behind the practice and their influences in the contemporary context of documenting the urban real, I address the flux of the role and representation of documentary photography.

Hong Kong cultural identity , Urbanscape and city , 1997 handover , Hongkongese , Documentary photography , Digital imaging technology , Historical photograph
Photography and the City Conference, Dublin, Ireland
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