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Jaffa Lam at M HKA, Antwerp

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Jaffa Lam at M HKA

A piece of history of the moon

Known for her socially engaged projects, sculptor and installation artist Jaffa Lam integrates salvaged materials into her works, and seeks to bring awareness to elements of cultural life that are being lost through time and development. This work, A piece of history of the moon, 2015, was made in a pivotal moment in her oeuvre, when she filled the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, with a site-specific work: Singing under the moon for today and tomorrow. With the soothing light in the room, Lam created a relaxing space for the audience, offering them the option to interact with her work: laying on sleeping bags or listening to other audience members softly singing various protest songs. A computer recorded all visitors' chants, and played it from ceramic cups, allowing later visitors to hear the voices of earlier ones: a social gathering, without having seen the other participants.

Also, at the M HKA, the work is site-specific, forming a sky dome for the pursuits of visitors in the entrance hall cum library: ordering a ticket, waiting for fellow visitors, reading a catalogue, or marvelling at the art of other artists. Due to its position in the library, the artwork has a metaphorical reference to the power of knowledge and wonder.

Many of her “umbrella works” have been created together with the Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association: female workers that used to work at garment factories, who were laid off due to socio-economic transformation of the city in at the turn of the century. During the process of sewing umbrella pieces one by one, Lam explains that she is giving a second life to the material, weaving narratives of situations in response to the transformation of Hong Kong's society in flux – across generations. The material can be symbolized as renewal, resilience or collective energy, or perhaps an umbrella protecting yourself or others from obstacles. Despite the toughness of the material and metaphor itself, Lam's visual expression appears as full of sensitivity and pliability. Her umbrella work is sewn very thin that the light can go through it and very soft material that it flies in the space.

For more information about this exhibition and artwork, please visit:

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