“Chinese Muslims in Indonesia” Exhibition at Lumenvisum, HK (19 Aug to 23 Sept 2012)

I have been invited by Lumenvisum at Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC), HK to exhibit my earlier work, “Chinese Muslims in Indonesia” (2007-2009). The show runs from 19 August to 23 September 2012.

For this exhibition, it is my honour to have HK photo historian Dr. Edwin Lai write a brief introduction to my work.

Photographs of the setup and exhibition:

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Chinese Muslims in Indonesia (2007–2009)

Today, there are some 238 million people in Indonesia. The Chinese make up less than 1.2 percent and around 5.4 percent of them are Muslims. Clearly, Chinese Muslims are a minority within the minority. However, they have been living in the Nusantara for over 600 years old. Their histories, either deliberately or otherwise, have been forgotten for various reasons. Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, democracy has returned to Indonesia and the Chinese communities, including the Chinese Muslims, have been revitalized.

In order to approach the subject matter in a more systematic way, I have divided the work into three parts. In the first section, I have photographed the lives of the first and second-generation Chinese converts, so as to understand their motivations for conversion, and the way people around them have reacted to their decision. The second part features photographs of mosques, kramat (Islamic holy tombs) and villages related to the histories of the Chinese Muslims in Indonesia. The final section focuses on pribumi or “indigenous” Muslims who are willing to talk about their Chinese ancestry, thereby illustrating the long history of assimilation between the Chinese and the “local” peoples of the Nusantara.

印尼華人回教徒 (2007-2009)

現時印尼的人口約有二億三千八百萬,其中華人人口少於百分之一點二,而當中更只有百分之五點四是回教徒,可見華人回教徒在當地屬少數之中的少數。雖然這些華人居住在印尼群島已經超過600年,他們的歷史卻有意或無意地被人遺忘。自從1998年蘇哈托失勢後,印尼恢復民主制度,華人社群(包括華人回教徒)才獲得轉機。

為了更有系統地表達該主題,我把企劃分成三個主要部份。首部份的作品將展示第一、二代皈依回教的華人之生活面貌,從而讓觀眾了解到他們信奉回教的原因,以及他們身邊的人對其決定之反應和態度。第二部份的作品突顯與印尼華人回教徒歷史有關的清真寺與村莊,而最後一系列的作品則以一些願意訴說他們華人祖先的故事之 「土生土長」回教徒為焦點,藉著他們的故事以描繪華人與當地人之間互相融入的歷史過程。

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