InsideOutland/境內景外

 

If history is totally related to the past, there would be no so-called contemporary problem or historical problem. However, many different contexts remain that are still affecting our contemporary life. We cannot ignore historical problems, somehow we have to deal with them unconsciously and inevitably. People from every generation have their own problems of history, as a "post-80s" man and a son of a stowaway, there is no doubt I identify myself as a Hong Konger. But for China, it is a kind of paradoxical identity for me to locate myself in. I think I should give my own views and stand on this issue, thus, I often think of my relations with China, even though it always confuse me.

Understanding how my father's experience of sneaking into Hong Kong is helping me to have a better grasp of my identity. However, I can only conjecture based on his memories which are fragmented and indistinct, sometimes from his face, body, conversation and expression.

Inevitably, "past" is fading away, we cannot capture any moment of the past, but we can re-experience something based on it, that may be a proper methodology to let me reinvestigate the doubt about my identity. From the personal history of my father to the collective memories of those stowaways interviewed by Bingan Chan, a Shenzhen journalist, my research does not only complement his but also allow my concerns to get out of a personal level. I believe that part of forgotten history is affecting every stowaway and their descendants, and even the whole of Hong Kong. It is about identity, but more importantly, it determines what Hong Kong is, the core values that we often mention.

It is an art project that is neither biographical nor documentary in nature. Perhaps it is presenting my father at that moment; finally, it may also be linked to the origin of Hong Kong people or even to other things beyond what I had imagined

歷史常常被認為是過去式,不是當代的問題。歷史造就了今天,今天並不是無故的出現,是以歷史脈絡為因的果。當代的問題未解決,歷史仍處於進行式,這必然會連動到現在的我們。每個世代出生的人都有其自身的歷史問題,而身為偷渡者後代同是八十後的我,無可否認是一個不折不扣的香港人,但面對中國,那種似是而非的認同感,的而且確會使我經常思考與中國的關係。那種關係雖然模稜兩可,我覺得,至少我要有自己的觀點或立場。 

從小到大,我家也會「回」爸爸廣州的家。關於身份的理解,我大多來自我爸的憶述。了解他偷渡來香港的經歷就好比了解自身的歷史身份問題。可是兒時聽到他的憶述片斷且糢糊,從他的臉孔、身體、談吐外,關於他偷渡的經歷,我大部也只能臆想。

 「過去」是必然消逝的,我們沒法拍攝逝去的真實。要面對的就是此時此刻的他和以陳秉安一本關於大逃港歷史的著作為參考,相互補充之餘又將我所關心的問題脫離了個人層面。我相信那段像是被遺忘的歷史影響著每一個偷渡者及其後代,甚至整個香港。不單是身份,是希望從其中確定香港,是我們常說的核心價值。是次作品從大逃港時期偷渡客上岸的香港邊境拍攝對岸的中國大陸,那邊界象徵身份、歷史、價值(本土意識/核心價值),沒有那界線,香港便從來都不存在。 

在個人與公眾之間,我卻不確定會產生一個怎樣的攝影模式。「非傳記」又「非紀實」的作品,或許關於那時的爸爸,也可能連繫到每個港人的根,最後,或者是我想像以外的其他。

 

Ha Pak Lai - 下白泥

Ha Pak Lai, it is located on the west coast of the New Territories, opposite to Shekou, Shenzhen. It was the safest landing point for illegal immigrants because of its' long coastline. Now people go there for leisure (e.g. hiking, fishing...) and the beautiful sunset in the North West of Hong Kong.

Tsim Bei Tsui - 尖鼻咀

Tsim Bei Tsui, another hotspot where illegal immigrants landed during the 50-80s. There was an iconic police lighthouse in the Hong Kong side which gave direction to illegal immigrants when they swam in the Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay). Now, Tsim Bei Tsui is still a remote and restricted area of the Hong Kong North West Frontier.

Mong Tseng Wai - 網井圍

Mong Tseng Wai, one of the remote places near the frontier. There were villages to hide and to seek help when illegal immigrants landed in Hong Kong.

Nam Sang Wai - 南生圍

Nam Sang Wai, another place to hide and is located close to Yuen Long Town, where illegal immigrants can find their family members or find the way to Kowloon. Nowadays this place is well-known for bird watching and cycling.

Ng Tung River - 梧桐河

Ng Tung River, a river in the North East New Territories, which is a tributary of Shenzhen river and ends at Lo Wu. Between 1898 and 1949, there was no border patrol in Lo Wu area, as a result, people were free to travel between Hong Kong and China. In 1952, in an effort to combat illegal immigration and smuggling, the Hong Kong Government established the Frontier Closed Area, which included the Lo Wu area and after that, set up the Lo Wu Control Point.

Sha Tau Kok - 沙頭角

Sha Tau Kok, a closed area since 1898 and a Control Point was set up in 1951 because of serious illegal immigration. Today, Shatoujiao (China side) is a highly developed area which benefited from the development during the Chinese economic reform, but Sha Tau Kok (Hong Kong side) is still a quiet rural town.

Tung Ping Chau - 東平洲

Tung Ping Chau, a small island, is located at the North East of Hong Kong and next to Mirs Bay Shenzhen. It was a hotspot of illegal immigrants who swam from the east, however many people were killed half way either by the PLA or by sharks.

 
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