Explore one’s true self | 發掘真我

Magus Yuen - Closet

Magus Yuen – Closet

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.

Magus Yuen – Closet

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.”

 

在香港作為少數群體的成員之一,袁錦華和他的朋友體會到來自社會的各種壓力。被傳統的信仰和文化束縛,袁氏身處的環境讓他更難展示真我。

Magus Yuen – Closet

性取向的討論在不同地方都是熱門話題,然而各個地方的接受能力都不同,並不是每個人都能毫不忌違地公開取向,而袁氏更是見證了朋友為了隱瞞性取向而娶女性作妻子的案例。

「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。」

受到這些「束縛」的啟發,袁氏作品《Closet》以隱喻手法反映少數族群的環境和掙扎。

「我讓模特兒帶來他們家中的用品來營造他們家裡一個不起眼的角落,同時定義他們每天身處當中的『closet』。

裸露的身體表示被曝光,同時代表出櫃。他們以毫無遮掩作為特徵,同時傳遞「每個人都應該是平等,同性戀者依然」的信息,外表從來不是也不應該是判斷別人的依據。

為了完成作品,袁氏選擇了11位男性模特兒來表達隱藏自我的缺憾。他們全都在社會上飽受不同程度的壓抑,在這裡我們看見的是一對情侶。

Magus Yuen – Closet

「這對我或者模特兒來說都很不簡單。我首先要跟他們溝通,讓他們願意讓我為他們拍照。即使照片看起來模糊,但是裸露身體及樣貌就代表他們向公眾出櫃。在這作品當中,我和模特兒之間建立的信任讓我覺得彌足珍貴。」

這個作品在技術層面上對袁氏同樣是一個挑戰。以一個擅長攝影的藝術家來說,混合媒體絕對是新嘗試。從構思開始到作品的設置,袁氏前後花了三個月來完成作品。

「我在使用攝影的堅持上頗為固執,因為我認為一張好的作品求足以表達內容,但是和其他媒體也能讓觀眾更加容易了解作品的真意。」

在接下來的項目,袁氏想探討中國書法和繪畫對於攝影的影響。他非常樂意探索不同創作藝術的防範,更重要的是踏出安舒區。

「我想成為教導藝術的老師。我學習了很多攝影技巧和方法,但是我還沒有滿意自己的表演。在藝術學院的老師啟蒙了我,多樣性和獨特性讓我了解我作品的不足,我希望有一天能跟他們一樣。」

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