Ng Swan Ti (2018) | Photography in Southeast Asia (II) at Lumenvisum, HK

Photography in Southeast Asia II
My Name is Ng (2016-17)

Artist: 黃鑽治 Ng Swan Ti (Jakarta)
Artist Talk and Opening: 14 April 2018
Artist Workshop: 15 April 2018
Venue: Lumenvisum, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC), Hong Kong
Exhibition Dates: 14 April to 27 May 2018

Curated by 莊吳斌 Zhuang Wubin

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Artist Statement

We could not choose from whose womb we were brought to life. I was born in Indonesia to Sie Soe Hwa (施秀華 / b. 1931), my mother from Pasuruan, East Java, and Oei Lian Teng (黃連登 / 1914-1979), my father from Jinjiang (晉江), Quanzhou, China. Even though I am classified as a Chinese, growing up in Java brought Javanese beliefs and traditions into my breath. Living in Indonesia, which required her citizens to follow a religion, I opted to be baptised as a Catholic. In my adulthood, fate would bring me to a matrimonial union with a Javanese Muslim man.

我們無從决定由哪位婦人的子宮誕生於世。我出生印尼,母親施秀華(1931年出生)來自東爪哇的岩望,父親黃連登(1914-1979)是泉州晉江人。雖然我被標簽為華人,我在成長的過程中吸收了爪哇的信仰和傳統。因為印尼政府规定所有國民都需要清楚表明自己的宗教信仰,我選擇接受洗禮成為天主教徒。後來因為因緣際會,我和一位爪哇穆斯林結婚。

For over 15 years, I have made a living as a photographer. It is a magical profession that has given me the opportunity to witness the world. I have experienced the kindness of strangers and friends, beyond the boundaries of colour and religion. Photography has also facilitated my journey to understand my place in Indonesia.

過去15年,我以攝影為生。通過攝影這個美妙的志業,我得以見證世界。陌生人和朋友對我釋出的善意超越了膚色和宗教的圍籬。我也透過攝影試圖理解自己在印尼的認同。

Before my mother, my father had already married another woman in China. He remarried in Indonesia, giving birth to my elder siblings and me. The two families had never met previously. The connection was also affected by my father’s passing in 1979.

實際上,我父親在中國已結過婚 。他在印尼又娶了我的母親,生下了我們幾個兄弟姐妹。兩家人素昧平生,未曾碰面。他在1979年過世後,兩家更是鮮少來往。

A few years back, my niece (an English teacher) from my half-sister Huang Li Duan (黃麗端) in China suddenly called up my family home at Wajak, Malang, East Java. I guess they were longing to reconnect with us. Since then, our ties have been revived. During the lunar new year of 2016, together with my nephew, I finally visited my father’s ancestral home in Jinjiang and met my half-sister. Together, we also visited Tiananmen and the Great Wall. On the lunar new year of 2017, Li Duan and her daughter paid us a return visit at Malang.

幾年前,在晉江做英文老師的外甥女突然撥電致我在東爪哇玛琅Wajak的老家。外甥女是父親和大房所生的女兒黃麗端的孩子。我猜想她們也一直期望和我們再聯繫。2016年春節,我和姪兒終於到了父親的老家晉江,和黃麗端碰面。我們也一同到天安門和長城出遊。隔年春節,麗端和女兒也來訪玛琅。兩家關係也算回復了。

Through this process of discovery, I realise I feel unattached to any culture, religion or ancestry. I don’t belong anywhere but, at the same time, I feel like I belong everywhere. This is a solitary and poignant realisation.

透過這兩次的聚會,我意識到自己對於任何的文化、宗教或祖籍都沒有什麼眷戀。我不屬於任何地方,但同時我也覺得自己屬於這個世界的任何一處。這樣的覺悟使我動容。

– Ng Swan Ti, Malang, 1 January 2018 / 2018年一月一號,寫於玛琅

Bio

Ng Swan Ti (b. 1972, Malang) is a photographer and educator based in Jakarta. She uses her personal work as a process of self-discovery, exploring issues of religion and identity in Indonesia. Her work has been exhibited at DongGang International Photo Festival, Korea (2016), Jakarta Biennale (2015) and Noorderlicht Photo Festival, the Netherlands (2006). In 2014, Ng published her first photobook, titled Illusion.

黃鑽治於1972年出生印尼東爪哇的玛琅,現居雅加達,是一名攝影人兼導師。她透過個人創作試圖在印尼剖析自己的宗教背景和身份認同。她的作品曾在南韓的東江國際攝影節(2016年)、雅加達雙年展(2015年)和荷蘭的Noorderlicht攝影節(2006年)參展。鑽治在2014年出版自己的第一本攝影畫冊《幻影》。

Ng is an active member of PannaFoto Institute, a non-profit foundation in Indonesia that focuses on photographic education and visual literacy. She also served on the World Press Photo selection committees for the Joop Swart Masterclass (2016) and the 6×6 Global Talent Programme in Southeast Asia and Oceania (2017).

鑽治是印尼非營利組織PannaFoto學院的成員,其組織致力推廣攝影和視覺文化教育。她也常以提名或甄選委員的身份參與世界攝影基金會的活動,包括2016年的荷賽大師班和2017年東南亞兼大洋洲區的6×6國際攝影人計劃。

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Curatorial Statement

It is relatively uncommon for someone born in Java during Suharto’s New Order (1966-1998) to go by such a Chinese-sounding name, like that of photographer-educator Ng Swan Ti (b. 1972, Malang, East Java), spelt in this manner to render the Hokkien topolect. The name of her father, originally from Jinjiang (晉江) in Quanzhou, China, was written as Oei Lian Teng (黃連登 / 1914-1979), with “Oei” being the usual way of transliterating the surname of Huang in Indonesia. Arriving in Java before 1942, Oei passed away as an alien because he kept his Chinese citizenship. After independence, the successive Indonesian governments remained reluctant, for the most part, to see the Chinese enjoy equal status as citizens. Ng only attained her citizenship in 1996, which meant that she was not compelled, like other Chinese, to adopt an Indonesian name. Till today, she does not know why her surname is rendered as “Ng”, which is more common in Malaysia and Singapore. Of course, she has no use for learning to write her name in Chinese characters in Indonesia. It is only when she worked on this project that Ng reacquainted herself with those alien characters.

在蘇哈托的新秩序時代(1966-1998)出生爪哇的華人一般不會象攝影人兼導師Ng Swan Ti(黃鑽治/1972年出生東爪哇的玛琅)那樣使用華裔姓名。就連她姓名的拉丁字母拼寫也有別於一般在爪哇音譯福建話的方法。她的父親黃連登(1914-1979)是泉州晉江人。在印尼,他的姓依據當時的慣例被音譯為Oei。他在1942年之前來到爪哇,最後因為選擇保留自己的中國籍而以外僑身份在印尼過世。獨立後,印尼的各屆政府始終不太願意看到華人平等享有公民權,所以多方刁難。 黃鑽治到了1996年才取得公民權。正因為如此,她無須象其它華人一樣為自己改取另一個印尼文名字。至今,她仍然不知道她的姓為何被譯為Ng,因為這樣的音譯法在新馬比較普遍。當然,她在印尼沒必要學習如何用漢字書寫自己的名字,直到她在拍攝這組照片時才再度認識那幾個陌生的文字。

In her personal work, Ng has always been interested to understand her religious identity within the context of Indonesian Catholicism. In My Surname is Ng (2016-17), she embarks on a related tangent, exploring, for the first time, her ambivalence towards her Chinese-ness. The impetus for this work came unexpectedly when the two families that Oei had left behind—one in Jinjiang, the other in Malang—decided to re-establish contact. When her nephew decided to visit Oei’s ancestral village during the lunar new year of 2016, Ng decided to tag along. Her half-sister from Jinjiang made a return visit to Malang on the following year. During the two visits, members from the two families finally met for the first time.

黃鑽治在個人創作中試圖透過自己的宗教信仰理解印尼天主教的發展。她在《我姓Ng》(2016-17)裡做了相關的延伸,首次剖析自己對“中華性”的矛盾心理。創作的動機實為偶然。 她父親在晉江和玛琅留下的兩家人在斷訊多年後突然恢復聯繫。當她的姪兒在2016年的春節到訪老家晉江時,鑽治便尾隨而行。隔年,鑽治同父異母的姐姐也由晉江到訪玛琅。兩家人通過這兩次的聚會首次碰面。

On one level, the photographs in this project document the two family gatherings that Ng participated. Through the making of this work, Ng traces her father’s sojourn and experiences how the shifting politics of Indonesia and China had impacted his life. Dreamy images of the volcano and blue seas hint at the imaginary space between different lands and cultures, which she finds herself in. Growing up in Wajak, a semi-urban village some 35km away from Malang town, she fuelled her imagination through her reading habit. Photography has allowed her to experience the world. Ng writes, in her artist statement: “I don’t belong anywhere but, at the same time, I feel like I belong everywhere.” As someone from the middle class, this is not a statement of privilege. It articulates the complexity of a person’s identity and her desire to fully engage the world beyond parochialism.

這組照片記錄了黃鑽治所參與的這兩次聚會。她在作品中重塑父親的一生,試圖體驗印尼和中國不斷變動的政治局勢下如何左右了他的際遇。照片中出現夢幻般的火山和藍色海洋,隱喻鑽治身處的一個介於各文化和地域的幻想空間。她在離玛琅市35公里外半城鄉的Wajak長大,閱讀啓動了她的想像力。後來,她透過攝影體驗世界。她在作品簡介中寫道:“我不屬於任何地方,但同時我也覺得自己屬於這個世界的任何一處。”身為中產階級的一份子,鑽治沒有炫耀的意思。她所表述的是一個人其身份認同的複雜性,並重申自己想要超越圍籬去體驗世界的渴望。

Zhuang Wubin / 莊吳斌

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You can download the brochure of this exhibition here.

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11 April 2018 / Day one of exhibition setup

11 April 2018 / Hong Kong Day one of exhibition setup

11 April 2018 / Hong Kong Day one of exhibition setup

11 April 2018 / Hong Kong Day one of exhibition setup

11 April 2018 / Hong Kong Day one of exhibition setup

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13 April 2018 / Ng Swan Ti is seen writing the captions onto the walls.

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13 April 2018 / Hong KongTweaking the lights
13 April 2018 / Tweaking the lights
14 April 2018 / Hong KongMaking a short video to introduce this exhibition
14 April 2018 / Making a short video to introduce this exhibition
14 April 2018 / Hong KongArtist talk and exhibition opening
14 April 2018 / Artist talk and exhibition opening

14 April 2018 / Hong Kong Artist talk and exhibition opening

14 April 2018 / Hong Kong Artist talk and exhibition opening

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15 April 2018 / A day after the opening, Ng Swan Ti conducts a small workshop as part of the exhibition. It begins with a portfolio review of the participants’ works, followed by a detailed sharing on how she uses her photographs to pursue personal projects.

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