Author Archives: lhm

Sea

#story no. 1

The noblest pain

Water bottles, seawater from Hong Kong and Germany, Single channel digital video, parcel

6 x 6 x 23 cm, 7 x 7 x 24cm, Variable, 7’28 min, Color  Sound Loop, 36 x 25 x 21 cm

2017-19

exhibited at ‘Diese Garderobe’, Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig Rundgang 2017

‘Full Stop’, Final show of Pilotenkueche International Artist Residency 2017

‘Turn on!’, A Moving Image Exhibition, a.m. Space, Hong Kong 2017

‘Nostalgia is the noblest pain’

-Johann Gottfried von Herder

     ‘Sea project’ is inspired by a wave of nostalgia for my homeland- Hong Kong since I moved to Berlin, Germany two years ago. Given the geographical location of Hong Kong, she is surrounded by deep waters. Berlin, on the contrary, is an inland city and a sea is lacking. Life in Germany has been wonderful for me – great experiences gained, inspirations gotten and changes in life encountered. However, a sea is missing in Berlin.

I posted some seawater from Mirs Bay, Hong Kong to Germany which was then poured into the Baltic Sea, Germany. At the same time, some seawater from the Baltic Sea was as well kept in a water bottle. The two bottles of the seawater from Germany and Hong Kong were put next to each other in the installation. The distance between the two seas is now minimal, the limitation of distance is eliminated.

The project also covers stories of the two seas. Years ago, the Chinese escaped from the Communist Party by swimming from Mainland to Mirs Bay, Hong Kong; while Baltic Sea was where east Germans escaping from the DDR would pass by while they swam from Rostock, Germany to Denmark. The similarity between the two seas is a destiny, connecting the two of them together.

During 50s and 70s, over two million Chinese refugees escape from Mainland China to Hong Kong. Most of them were farmers, students and even soldiers. They escaped to Hong Kong because they did not want to live a life under Cultural Revolution, unemployment and famine in Mainland China. They were attracted by Hong Kong’s economic development and higher living condition. During the escape, the refugees suffered from hunger, dehydration and exhaustion. Most of the illegal immigrants were eaten by sharks when they were swimming to Hong Kong and some were killed when they got caught by British Gurkha or Chinese soldiers. One of the popular swimming routes from Mainland China to cross the British border was starting from Shenzhen, China to Mirs Bay, Hong Kong, where many sharks were living inside the bay. If they got caught on the way, they would be repatriated back the Mainland China. The Communist Party would regard them as betrayers and torture them. Once they started, they could not stop. Without a map, they barely knew the direction to Hong Kong. They just kept swimming to the direction with bright lights and left the darkness of homeland behind. My grandfather was also one of the Chinese refugees. When he arrived Hong Kong, he was rescued by my grandmother. Many old generations of Hong Kong people nowadays were swimming from Mainland China to Hong Kong. In my video, I have asked my father to collect the seawater from Mirs Bay and send the water in a parcel to my current living country, Germany. This is a journal for me to deeply understand the root of myself. The narration of the video of the Hong Kong part is a Chinese immigrant, Law Tim Chai, who escaped through the sea to Hong Kong. The sea means a hope for him to have a better life but also his fear to survive.

After I have received the parcel from Hong Kong in Germany, I bought the parcel to the Baltic Sea, Germany. During 1961 to 1989,when Berlin Wall separated East Germans from West Germany, around 5,600 East Germans tried to escape GDR through Baltic Sea. Unfortunately, only less than 1,000 succeeded. They flee to other countries because of the severe economical and political situations in East Germany. As the border of Baltic Sea between Rostock, Germany, and Denmark is invisible, escaping through the sea had a bigger chance of survival than escaping through the Berlin Wall but also more dangerous. The color of Baltic Sea is especially light due to low salt levels. This made the escapers visible to GDR soldiers. Using boats at Baltic Sea was strictly forbidden10 and 27 watchtowers were built along the coastline line. The refugees used self-made swimming or submarine devices to escape through the Baltic Sea or just swam non-stop for 24 hours. In the video, I had an interview with a West German, Thorvald Greif, who has built a boat in 1974 in order to save his wife and two daughters from GDR and then fled to a Danish island, Bornholm, which is located 130 km from Usedom, Germany. 12They planned to meet at the Baltic Sea but unfortunately the plan was fail and they got arrested. Fortunately, the family reunited in 1976 in West Germany.

I have found that the historical events between Hong Kong and Germany were surprisingly similar. Both people were trying to escape from Communist Party or GDR through the sea. Thus, I poured some Hong Kong seawater into Baltic Sea, Germany. Moreover, at the end of the video, I brought the seawater from Baltic Sea, Germany to Denmark, where I mixed the seawater of Germany and Denmark and hopefully could realize the wish of Greif. Two seas and three places are connected symbolically in my video.

 

「鄉愁是最高貴的痛苦。」──赫爾德

 

這作品的靈感是源於我對香港的鄉愁。我搬來德國柏林已有兩年多時常想起香港的海洋,想念維多利亞港,想念緩緩的海風,想念站在港口放逐靈魂的日子。在德國生活給了我無限的體驗和靈感,可是柏林這個內陸城市並沒有海洋,沒有故鄉的寄託。

我把香港大鵬灣的海水用包裹寄來德國,把香港的海水倒進德國波羅的海,再把兩個地方的海水裝進水樽,並排在一起,兩個地方之間的距離限制消失了,兩個海洋遇上了。

這作品亦探討了兩地海洋的故事,在中國文化大革命的時候,上一代香港人由內地游水偷渡到香港的大鵬灣 ; 在東西德的時代,東德人在(前)德意志民主共和國的鐵幕統治下由波羅的海偷渡到丹麥。兩地相似的逃亡故事仿佛是宿命性的,冥冥中將兩個海洋連繫在一起。

這個計劃仍在發展當中。每個海洋有不同的故事,但亦有相似的地方。收集海水的過程令我重新思考自己與海洋的連繫和更了解人與大自然的關係。

#story no. 2

mare nostrum
Single Channel Digital Video
Color Sound Loop
5’17 min
2019

           The second video of this project is ‘mare nostrum’, which means ‘our sea’ in Roman. During the Interview with Abdul Alnesser, a Sryian refugee who escaped to Germany through Aegean Sea. The whole escape route is around 3400 km. During the escape, he took a boat from Samos Island, Turkey to Greece and shared the terrify experience in the video. Just next to the Aegean Sea, according to UNHCR, more than 1,500 refugees died when they across the Mediterranean Sea in 2018, which makes the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding seas the deadliest sea area in the world. Moreover, the Italian government prevents NGO to save refugees at the sea. This is a sad sea, which contains huge amount of dissolved human particle. In the video, I went to the Aegean Sea to collect the seawater. The laughter of the tourists around the beach simply states that this sea is served as a happy vacation place for tourists. However, the escape story from the refugee reminds us that this sea is a symbol of high risk of dying to them rather than a paradise. The picture of the beautiful sea makes a huge contrast with Abdul’s narration and strengthens the sadness of the sea.

This project is still ongoing. Every sea has different stories, but yet similar. This journey of seawater collection will allow me to rethink the connection between the ocean and myself and the relationship between nature and men.

#story no. 3

Burial at Sea
Single Channel Digital Video
Color Sound Loop
7’15 min
2019

The Back

Do asked no wawa

Watercolour on paper

17×26 cm

2013

__days of ______

Watercolour on paper

26×35 cm

2014

hehe

Watercolour on paper

18 x 29 cm

2015

the girl on a high castle_s

The girl on a high castle

Watercolour on paper

22 x 28 cm

2016

About Law Ho Man

cropped-image0081.png

Contact: lhm@lawhoman.com

LAW HO MAN (羅皓雯)

Law Ho Man (b.1992) is an independent artist from Hong Kong. She is now working and living in Berlin. She received her Bachelor in Fine Arts (B.F.A.) at Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2014. Her works examine about identity, race and language by creating videos. Her works has been exhibited in various institutions in Hong Kong and Berlin.

Education

2016-present, Diploma of Media Arts, Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig (HGB)

2011-2014 Bachelor of Fine Arts of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Study trip

Aug,2012 Art Tour in Germany, supported by CUHK

Artist in Residency

May,2017 Pilotenkueche International Artist Residency, Leipzig, Germany

Exhibitions

Turn on!, A Moving Image Exhibition,  a.m. Space, Hong Kong 2017
Full Stop, Final show of Pilotenkueche International Artist Residency 2017
Rundgang 2017, Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany 2017
Wire Arts Experiment, vol. 2, Berlin, Germany 2015
‘Mobile Cinema @ City Visions Jena’, Jena, Germany 2015
‘Hairly’, Law Ho Man Solo Exhibition, Ako Berlin, Germany 2015
‘Vanishing Line’ I-care sponsored exhibition in Cheng Ming Building, CUHK, Hong Kong 2014
‘We Don’t Drink Water’, The Art of CUHK 2014 Graduation Exhibition in Art Museum, CUHK, Hong Kong 2014
‘/ˈpraktɪs/’ Lai Oi Ki and Law Ho Man Joint Exhibition in New Asia Ch’ien Mu Library, Hong Kong 2014
‘FFFF’ Joint Exhibition in Hui Gallery, Hong Kong 2013
‘dOCUMANTA(13.5)’ , The Exhibition of Art Tour in Germany, Hong Kong 2012
‘CUHK Fine Arts’, Annual Exhibition, CUHK, Hong Kong 2012
‘Happy Birstday’, The Year One Showcase , Joint Exhibition, Hong Kong 2011
‘Cheerful Studio’s Students Joint Exhibition’ in Tsuen Wan Town Hall, Hong Kong 2010

 

Artist Statement

macht sichbar
意思是使看不見的東西被看見
那就是流動的意識
經歷是中性,即無法改變的
永無息止的只有意識
一絲的意識就是我的重心

macht sichbar
Visibility of invisible objects
is the same as the flowing consciousness
Experience is neutral
unchangeable
unceasing
Bit of being my gravity

Sichtbarkeit unsichtbarer Objekte
ist dasselbe wie das fliessende Bewusstsein
Erfahrung ist neutral
unveränderlich
unaufhörlich
Teil des Seins meiner Schwerkraft

‘/ˈpraktɪs/’ Lai Oi Ki and Law Ho Man Joint Exhibition in New Asia Ch’ien Mu Library 2014

練/雜/

24.2.14-28.2.14
一些文字創造了我的感官
字句與顏色相連,穿過隊道
我把字句放在作品裡,那是我的重心
容我為你的畫賦上另一種語言。然後,字句拆成符號,讓你重新堆砌

Venue: M/F, The New Asia College Ch’ien Mu Library

 

 

  Dye, Hair on Paper, Sound, 32x42x3 cm each, loop,A set of 2,2014

dyess

    Detail


Anyone can be Anything, Digital Video, Sound, Colour, loop, 3’20, 2014

  Check In, Hair, Map, Mixed Media, 70X100 cm, 2014