Monday 23 August 2010

Meet Mary Lee

Cha is a big fan of Mary Lee. We have previously published her photography three times: "Tibet" in Issue 1, "Teipei" in Issue 2 and "Japan" in Issue 4. Recently, Mary directed an important and meaningful Hong Kong photobook project titled 80± ─ post-80s in the eyes of post-80s (more information below) and we are very pleased to say that we will publish four portraits from it, all taken by Mary, in the September 2010 issue.
Mary on the conception of the project:
To me, post-80s is only the response of a generation towards an era. Now we are young and brave, so post-80s implies youth that is intimidating, while youth itself is fearless. The only thing I fear is that I should lose this bravery some day.
It took me two years to finish Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. In the course of our growing up, we have gradually come to the knowledge that nothing is permanent. Objects fall apart and vanish, people age and die. And so we thought we would hold on to our memories. Yet upon finishing those 7 books, I suddenly realize, not without shock, that Proust's search of lost time is nothing about the glorification of memory, but the total unreliability of memory. The moment you think you have remembered, that memory has changed, and lost forever.

And so we take photos, in order to fight forgetting. When we begin to forget, we can still rediscover what we have once seen, how much we have loved.

More about the photobook:

a photobook project by Mary Lee

Just some portraits of those who grew up in the 1980s. The term ‘Post-80s’ has been talked of too much, excessively, so much so that it has become a proper noun, signifying a few descriptions and even criticisms against young people born in the 80s. At once complicated, conspiratorial, critical, superficial, and imposed. Labels have become meaningless symbols. And so now we would speak for ourselves, not with text but with images, post-80s in the eyes of post-80s.

We grow up in an interesting era. With the advent of digital photography, almost every post-80 has a camera of his/her own. Photo taking is no longer something reserved for festivities, nor is it the privileged activity of the professional photographer. One can take a photo just by clicking at one’s mobile phone. Some of us return to film photography, and toy cameras like LOMO, Polaroid, and even pinhole cameras, have become ever more popular among post-80s. No matter it is self-portraits or portraits of people nearby us, we have become increasingly sensitive towards our own selves and other people, and more eager to shoot ourselves and the world around us from our own perspectives.

This photobook is a collection of portrait works by post-80s in all walks of life. Some of them are photographers and artists, while most have nothing to do with art and creative industries, a few are still in school. There are works taken with a wide range of devices, including digital camera, LOMO, Polaroid, Fuji Mini, pinhole etc. There is no distinction of professional/amateur or good/bad, only an assortment of impressions of the post-80s by the photography-loving post-80s. Works that show a daily Hong Kong context are especially selected to illustrate the relationship between post-80s and the city.

Project coordinator: Mary Lee

Publisher: Lee Wan Ling
Release date: July 2010
Price: HKD 90.00
ISBN: 978-988-19458-1-5
Bio: Mary Lee graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a First Class Honours in English Studies in 2004, after which she attended a MA at Queen Mary University of London deciphering early modern manuscripts in the British Library. Since her return to Hong Kong in 2005, she has been author to a book, administrator of a literary prize, an art gallery assistant, and currently works in a contemporary visual arts library. A Lomographer herself, Lee recently published a photobook project of portraits of the post-80s.

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