In 1997, a small box with a
postcard of Victoria Harbour was made in form and concept of a pinhole
camera as my contribution to the collaborative project “Transaction”
which was exhibited in both Melbourne and Hong Kong. Its title is From Victoria to Victoria.
Victoria, a photo
sculpture featuring images of the shopping mall at Peak Victoria inside
a cracked pyramid, was produced when Hong Kong had just been handed
over to the People’s Republic of China, farewell to a colony founded in
the time of Queen Victoria.
Ten years later, a new video work
titled My name is Victoria has been
freshly made to continue contemplating this royal name, however in a
mix of personal sentiments. Messages from over 40 women named Victoria
telling the story about their name, are compiled as a monologue voiced
over the mundane scenes filmed during my journey walking along Victoria
Road from Kennedy Town, the border of Victoria which was the capital of
this former crown colony to Aberdeen where the British landed for the
first time in Hong Kong.
Also new are two
light boxes bearing the quotes of two most famous Victorias, Her
Majesty and Mrs. Beckham: “I will be good” and “I’m still me even after
all that’s happened” respectively in the backdrop of close-up scenes of
also two most famous in Hong Kong, namely the Peak and the Harbour. On
the plexiglas front of the light boxes, a barely visible word
“VICTORIA” is etched.
In-between these works, I got a
chance to visit the decommissioned Victoria Prison in 2006 and made a
series of large format photographs of the empty old goal. I call this
series Prison of Victoria.
Leung Chi Wo