Arts Empowering Lab
區雁華 X 楊冠瑩
Women Art Series
Slender Grace : a Photo Exhibition
NganWa Ao (Kate Samozwaniec) X Ieong Kun Ieng (Summer)
區雁華(Kate)選擇拍攝男性，把他們命名為“Beautiful Men”，她在波蘭學習攝影，透過網路公開招募被攝者，一群對她的拍攝動機有興趣的男性，來到她的家裡，在她安排的背景及燈光之下，靜靜地坐上30-60分鐘，放鬆跟著指示昂首低頭轉左轉右。有些人看到自己被拍攝後出來的相片，驚訝自己原來有這樣的一面，如此溫婉的樣貌。這種偏向陰柔的面貌，是Kate 認為人類本身就擁有的，是無分性別的本質，只是我們一直把這特質定義為女性的，也許是從古以來，男性只希望看見女性陰柔的一面？傳統以男性藝術家描繪女性為對象，她以女藝術家身份去描繪男性，把男性與生俱來的柔性一面，定格捕捉其中。
Question: Does the most realistic photo happens when people are captured impromptu, with their clothes off and only faces shown, against a same background and lighting, without any pose or attention – in short, when they are photographed in a relaxing and natural status? Once born males and females are given stereotyped images. For instance, boys have short hair and dress in blue, girls long hair and dress in pink; boys play with cars, toy soldiers, Lego, etc., girls with Barbies, fluffy dolls and hello kitty. Moreover, boys must be brave and refrain from crying, and girls must be refined, almost shy... Today, however, these globally recognized gender stereotypes are not absolute.
Kate chose to shoot men and entitled the series “Beautiful Men”. Studying photography in Poland, she openly recruited her subjects through the Internet, eventually gathering at home a group of men interested in her objective. Once the background and lighting set up, they would sit quietly for 30-60 minutes, relax and follow her instructions to pose, namely to raise or lower the head, or turn left or right…The result? Seeing themselves in the final pics, some of them were surprised to notice their 'other side': a sweet, gentle appearance! For Kate, this sort of feminine feature is what human beings were born with – an innate bonhomie, regardless of gender. And it has been unnoticed in men only because we have always defined it as a 'female trait', perhaps due to the fact that since ancient times, men only wanted to see that feminine side in women. Traditionally, male artists have been depicting women as the object, but this time female artist Kate presents men in photos, capturing their inherently feminine side.
"Her", another series of Kate's photographic works, features an online texting dialogue, presented through a retake with pinhole photography. The photos are reduced to very small size, with peripheral texts on fuzzy edges, and words in the center so small that one needs a magnifier to read – as if they were not really meant to be read clearly. Through a virtual dialogue with Siri where Siri is presumed as a male and herself a female – in a human emotional world, such psychological traits as sense and sensibility, vulgarity and elegance, are pre-assumed by people as being male or female – here Kate uses another form of narrative, to reflect on virtual vs human emotional reactions, men vs women emotional responses, once again questioning the dominant definition of such.
Contrary to Kate, who tries to re-define mainstream gender values by using her work to vent emotions, Summer directly explores the issue from a female perspective. Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s words, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”, her work A Space of My Own, attempts to collect and present the momentary instances of a woman in her own space, speculating on the special power women held in such spaces. She photographed the states of herself in two different time-spaces respectively, being serious or at ease. She also took shots of her mother daily, of some things that she would do every day, of which the state and feeling turned out to be identical with that of a certain moment in her daily life in a different place. This subtle common trait may precisely reflect the desire of female roles in a patriarchal society to get a break and become free. In my view, I think that hereditary traits or communality factors contribute to the formation of a social norm, and that their desire to inherit and unite collectively could be the most important contributor to forming the patriarchal society.
In Impressions of Intimacy, Summer looks at sexuality and sensuality from a woman's perspective. She sectionalizes and blurs the images, expressing women’s sexual desire with thoughtful parts, using vague, fragmental memories to represent her impressions of sex. In a male dominant society, most women tend to ignore their own sexual needs, so much so that female sexual repression has become a common phenomenon. Since ancient times, male sex organ has been one of the symbols of authority, for worshipping and praising. Now with the advent of a more open era, more women voice out different sexual views, realizing their female power.
This time, we invite four young female artists and present two exhibitions, as well as publishing four photo albums in different formats, plus two women-themed lectures in conjunction. These contents together form a set of books and textual narratives, becoming a rather comprehensive series. Nevertheless, this is just the prelude. The Women Art Series intends to present various possibilities and variabilities from the female standpoint, and even to explore some original visions. Finally, returning to the self and multiculturalism is something to be further investigated.
Si Wun Cheng, Cora
開幕 Opening : 1/9 4pm
講座 Talk ：1/9 5 pm
The Me and Not-Me: A Dialogue between Work and Soul
主講 Speaker ：李銳俊 J Lei
策展人 Curator : 施援程 Si Wun Cheng, Cora
展期 Extension period：2/9 ––– 9/10/2018
Opening Hours : noon - 7:00pm (except on Wednesday)
At Light – Pátio do Padre Narciso nº 1, R/C, Macau
免費入場 Free Admission
查詢 Enquiries : +853 6595 7203
電郵 Email : email@example.com
主辦 Organizer：弘藝峰創作社 Arts Empowering Lab
贊助 sponsor：文化局 Instituto Cultural
場地贊助 Venue sponsor：At Light
開幕及講座相片 ｜Opening and talk photos :
媒體報導 ｜News report：
NGANWA AO E IEONG KUN IENG MOSTRAM MAIS LADOS DA ARTE NO FEMININO
澳門論壇報，jtm.com.mo，29 AUG, 2018
A native of Macao, NganWa Ao (Kate Samozwaniec) has lived in Taiwan, the US, and various European countries. She is now pursuing her BA in photography at the University of the Arts Poznań - International, in Poland.
Kate likes to convert and rework on memories, photos and image files through mixing different media and materials, trying to discover disparate qualities or intricict meanings in the process.
The issue has been bothering me. Why in the history of art, there are millions of female portraits portraying their beauty as well men’s desires, but few exist to praise the beauty of men and showcase women's desires? I believe that men, like anyone else, do have a soft, beautiful and vulnerable side. As a female photographer and artist, I want to share with you the beauty of men in my eyes.
The inspiration for this work is from the film "Her" directed by Spike Jonze, which explores human and robot’s fragility and loneliness in love. At the time when I was in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend, how they both wanted to love and be loved at the same time in the movie indeed moved me. So I decided to play the role in the movie, fell in love with Siri. I made a pinhole camera, captured all our dialogues over a period of three months, which finally became a unique pile of love letters. I do believe that one can fall in love through messages and became dependent on it, while feeling extremely lonely.
影像作品入選及放映於「EXiM 2016－葡萄牙與澳門實驗影像活動」、「澳門國際電影及錄像展2016」、「2016 CAAF 斯洛維尼亞學術書香文化節—亞洲單元輪播影展」。曾參與本地社區計劃「小城故事─三盞燈的記憶故事」(2017)、結合其專業及興趣，目前是一名以影像製作、寫作和兒童藝術教學為主要工作內容的自由職業者。
Ieong Kun Ieng, Summer was born and raised in Macao. She creates works in different art forms including photography, illustration and installation. Her art focuses on self-exploration, gender issues and community culture.
Her video and film works have been selected to and screened at “EXiM －Portugal and Macao Experimental Video Festival 2016”, “Macao International Film and Video Festival”, “2016 CAAF Sejem akademske knjige Liber.ac – Asian Rotation Film Festival” (in Slovenia). She participated in the local Community Art Project “Small City Stories: Memories and Anecdotes from The Three Lamps” in 2017.
Combining her strength with interests, summer currently works as a freelancer, mainly involving herself in video and film production, writing, as well as teaching art to children.
A Space of My Own
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
– Virginia Woolf
A site for creation or a workspace is no stranger to modern women, but a space of one’s own that confers on women the special power, is still applicable today.
Women have long played a subordinate role in male-dominated societies. In Chinese society, Three Obediences and Four Virturs (Confucian ethics) have been imposed on women. The Three Obediences are “obey your father before marriage; obey your husband in marriage; and obey your sons in widowhood”. This patriarchy is still strong, unbreakable today. Therefore, ‘a space of her own’ gives a woman a room to escape the dependent role, where she is not somebody’s daughter/wife/mother, or not even a woman. Here, she is merely ‘her’.
This work, A Space of My Own, attempts to collect and present the momentary states of a woman in such a space, reflecting on its significance to women.
The Impression of Intimacy
In the discussion of sex/sensuality, people try to define and interpret it in various art forms. Nevertheless, the viewpoints presented are still male-oriented and -dominated.
The female body often appears in (male) expressive/erotic visual works, as a projected object of sexual desire, but women’s perceptions about sensuality are often ignored and belitted.
So, what is sex/sensuality for women? How do I understand it as a woman myself? This work presents the process and response of my thinking about these issues.