|Museum of the Lost|
|Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong|
|60 found objects, text, dimensions variable, 2015|
|Museum of the Lost was founded in Hong Kong in 2013 by Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong to preserve objects and images which carry identities that have been absolutely lost: people who had been photographed accidentally as part of the background and remained unrecognisable or unidentifiable. As part of history, these lost identities are studied, interpreted and further disseminated by means of exhibitions and publications.
Taking museum as an imaginative concept for collection and interpretation, this was a creative study of found images with references to semiotics of photography in particular by Roland Barthes. The concepts of punctum and studium were applied to construct a narrative of the unrecognizable persons found in the image, addressing the notion of identity and alternative historical discourse. It focused on photo images found in quotidian objects, which not only called into the question of traditional museum practices but also allowed for creative writing owing to the lower definition of the reproduced photo images. Large amount of work was to look for traces of these unknown figures in socio-cultural and historical context. The end result was to re-create an identity for the unidentifiable, a poetic work which could be regarded as a metaphor to the highly selective and problematic history writing. The collection exercise was a process to view and review myriads of images from everyday life. The first encounter of images was a general study of the visual and the context and to scan for punctums, emotional associations beyond science and reasons. Interesting Shortlisted images were kept for a period of time from a few months to a couple of years before a review. This time memory of last reading was recalled, and the last effect of punctumwas confirmed. Then an extensive research on the image was made for the writing.
Museum of the Lost has been further developed into site-specific projects Tsunan Museum of the Lost (2018) and Endoji Meeting Room (2019).
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