As a member of a minority in Hong Kong, Magus and his peers experience pressure from social expectations. Bound by traditional culture and beliefs, the society Magus lives in has often made it difficult for him to express who he truly is.
Often, sexual orientation is a heated topic of debate in communities. Some societies are more accepting of differences than others. But where Magus lives, open expression is not what some feel comfortable doing. He has witnessed friends marry women in order to hide their sexuality.
“People who do not come out have to hide their identity of being homosexual and are forced to lie in order to cater to the majority, even for me,” said Magus. “Although I already came out to my family and friends, I could not come out to my colleagues as the result would be devastating in my business field. Two men cannot hold each other’s hands in public.”
Inspired by these restraints, his project “Closet” metaphorically reflects the struggle and situation of such minority groups.
“I asked the models of the project to gather their household items to imitate a hidden corner of a home, in order to define ‘closet’ as a closed space bound by some everyday items,” said Magus.
The naked bodies imply being exposed, which also means coming out of the closet. They convey the message that without the cover of clothes, everyone is the same and homosexual people are just like everybody else. Appearance is never, and should never be, a trace for people to judge others.
For the project, Magus chose 11 male models to show the incompleteness of hiding one’s true self. They all suffer at different levels of suppression in society. For the ones showcased in Garde Magazine, they are a couple in real life.
“It is not easy for me or the models. I need to communicate with them and make sure they are comfortable with the photos taken. Although they are blurry, showing their naked bodies and faces symbolise that they are coming out to the public. The trust we built is definitely the most precious thing I have found during this project,” expressed Magus.
Technically, the project is a challenge for him too. As a creator focusing on photography, mixed media is a new trial for Magus. The project took three months to consolidate his ideas in order to confirm it ready for 2D-work installations.
“I am quite stubborn in using only photographs as I think a good photograph is already enough to convey a message, but mixing other media into the body of work can actually enhance the comprehensibility, which is crucial for communicating with audiences.”
For his upcoming project, Magus would like to explore Chinese calligraphy and painting and relate them to photography. He is excited to try out different ways of making art and most importantly – stepping out from his comfort zone
“I want to be a fine arts teacher. I learnt photography skills and techniques for years yet I am not satisfied with any of my work. Teachers at art school opened my eyes – the variety and uniqueness answered the incompleteness of my work. I hope one day I can be one of them.”
「為了符合大眾的需求，很多人都選擇隱藏同性戀者的身份 – 我自己也是其中一員。即使我已經向家人和朋友出櫃，我還是不能在同事之間公開身份，因為那將會毀掉我的事業。兩個男人不能再公眾場合牽手。」