The popularity of digital beautification puts contemporary photography in the dream world, a flaw-detached one that blindfolds people into the belief of false beauty. To South Ho, the glory, fame and all other vain qualities ordinary photographers enjoy are meaningless. Authentic scenes, seen or unseen, are his only aim.
WE met South Ho at his recently opened mini-gallery, 100ft PARK that is exactly 100 square feet. Ho calls it a new project through which he and other emerging artists in Hong Kong are trying to offer a tiny exhibition space. In the small space within a second-hand book shop within the neighbourhood of Sheung Wan, Ho envisions a quiet environment that nurtures cultural exchanges and reflections, like how we did in that quiet weekday afternoon.
Recently, the photographer sees his work displayed at ‘ONE-SEVENTH’, an exhibition organised by Oxfam Hong Kong that highlights the disquieting facts about global hunger. As a matter of fact, the magazine editor-turned-photographer is a down-to-earth artist who believes images stimulate self-awakening and consciousness about our surroundings. His ‘Into Light’, featuring overexposed subways in Tin Shui Wai, locally known as the ‘city of sadness’ where he resides in, is an emblematic series about his tipping point in life amidst confusion and darkness. Taken in the same neighbourhood, ‘Those Stories’ are glittering buildings on the opposite coast, which the photographer calls “the shore of this age – the aura exists in the present, but its lures are not authentic and real.”
One of his most fascinating collections is the Piggy Heads 101 – yes, literally 101 heads of infant pigs he collected from a local restaurant. The photographer said he was particularly clouded by paradoxes about the meaning of eating infant pigs for a special occasion, which has been a traditional must-have in a Chinese banquets. Those photos were like the one and only portraits of the tragic creatures.