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A Holly Lee and Lee Ka-sing online magazine. Published on Fridays.




Sushi Grass in Paradise (A story)

written by Holly Lee
with photographs by Lee Ka-sing

(45) Borderlines

Without saying much Mrs. Bento felt the sadness in Chai’s heart. Their city was burning. No news was good since June and the whole situation has gone completely out of hand, providing further grounds for the government’s tighter grip on the protestors. Qi, Chai’s father had bad news. A week ago he took a false step and twisted his ankle. At the doctors advice he stayed at home and took rest. In any case, many forms of transportation have ceased to operate since there are disturbances and road blockages in many parts of the city. Chai has a lot in common with some of her friends, who mostly express their views, or side with the protestors but not the will to take more drastic action. Or perhaps she is too far away from the core of action? Would she join the thousands if she’s in the city? Was it a worthy cause until now? She has already been blamed by her more progressive friends for staying away. Yet she has never felt the lack of freedom back home. Or, has she overlooked the freedom she so used to gets slowly boiling away? What is the extent of liberty anyway? Is there truly liberty and who has the authority to give it? Who is the giver and who is the receiver? Can a line from a 1994 Joni Mitchell’s song give her some answers? It said All liberty is laced with borderlines.

Chai felt more relief after whatsapping her father and knew he got much better, his job also secured. Qi would avoid going out on weekends and Sundays, when most events scheduled to break out. Focus on your work Chai, encouraged his father, make best use of your freedom when you have it! Yes, I am lucky, I’m staying now in a free, and the most cultural tolerance city in the world! Chai said to her father, sobbing. But I worry about you, and lives of others over there. How long will it take to get back to normal? This ‘adjusted’ normal the city must earn and learn the hard way.

Atrocities and political uncertainties have created huge movements in global migration. While some arrive in a new country replete with resource, as investors or self-employed, those have-nots or plain refugees find it exceedingly challenging to begin a new life. Even though Mrs. Bento rarely thinks about these issues she has become more and more aware of such facts. Here is calm waters, even in the coldest of Winters no one is depleted from getting some warmth from the communities. There are hands to give a lift, ears to listen to stories and shoes for those who walk bare feet. Shoes, oh yes, she remembered the shoe tree in front of the house on Gladstone Avenue. It was a day well-spent with Chai, exploring the street she has been living on for more than a decade. This house, with a tree draping different kinds of shoes turns out to be Adam House, a charitable organization that provides refugees clean, safe temporary accommodations. They would never have known it had they not explored that street. And on that slightly cool and breezy day, just a bit south they would hit another borderline - Dufferin Park Avenue, enter Dufferin Grove Park and venture further to meet the park’s public bakeovens.


"Sushi Grass in Paradise" is an on-going story. To read the full length version with previous chapters, please visit- https://oceanpounds.com/blogs/sushi-grass-in-paradise



89 • The Golden Lotus • Footsteps of June (1989)
Photographs by Holly Lee

This photo project was within a larger, multi-layered project sparking off a dance performance accompanied with live music, and an art installation - all centred and created around the Chinese classic novel The Golden Lotus. Composed in the early 17th Century the novel is considered one of the six major classics of Chinese literature.

When I was asked to join the Golden Lotus Project, the Tiananmen Square protests had just started in China. The portrait series I proposed to make of the performers and musicians was never direct interpretation of the characters in the book. But the six weeks of protests ended in bloodshed did affect the way I felt and the feelings injected into these photographs, and the title of the exhibition echoed these thoughts.

89 • The Golden Lotus • Footsteps of June is not a big series, it consists only of fourteen prints. But looking back, it was a pleasant collaboration with the artists involved in this project. It was shown at 97 Brasserie and Le Cardre Gallery (1989). A few years later, three images from the series was exhibited at Contemporary Photography from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (1994, Hong Kong Arts Centre) as C-type prints in a bigger size (image 18"x36", frame size 50"35").

Published here, are images directly scanned from the suite which was originally exhibited at Le Cardre Gallery. Print size is 12"x16", reversal photographs directly printed from colour transparencies. The first image below in a frame, was the original piece from the exhibition at Le Cardre Gallery in 1989. However while working on this feature we cannot locate Peter Suart's solo portrait, which is presented here as the last image in the series, 
using a scan from a smaller dye-sublimation print (8.5"x12").


89 • The Golden Lotus • Footsteps of June  八九 • 金瓶梅 • 六月前後


Mui Cheuk Yin 梅卓燕, performer

Kung Chi Shing 龔志成, musician


Kung Chi Shing 龔志成 and Peter Suart 彼得小話, musicians


Sunny Pang 彭錦耀, choreographer


Pia Ho 何秀萍 and Margaret Lee 李翠玲, performers


Frances Tao 陶馥蘭, performer


Margaret Lee 李翠玲, performer


Robert Fung 馮萬剛, performer


Lindsay Chan 陳令智, performer


Norman Fung 馮唸慈 and Sunny Pang 彭錦耀, choreographers


Pia Ho 何秀萍, performer


Norman Fung 馮唸慈, choreographer


Miguel Zermeno, performer


Peter Suart 彼得小話, musician


Photograph in frame, size: 50"x35", C-type photograph

Documentation from an exhibition at GALLERY 50, Toronto (2015)
This was one of the three original photographs showing at the "CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY - MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN" (Hong Kong Arts Centre, 1994)


Hand made invitation card, supergloss reversal print, texts over printed with copying machine, size 4"x8"


2012年,應香港文化博物館之邀,為「香港攝影系列三︰一人像.一故事」的展覽場刊冊子寫了一篇文字關於黃楚喬的肖像攝影。文中只是重點陳述了黃的主要兩個系列,即她所展出的黑白肖像(館之新近藏品)「我的朋友,藝術家及其他」,以及另外一組為香港文化博物館早期所蔵 Hollian Thesaurus 系列。當時由於字數所限,不能寫及她在1989年拍攝的「金瓶梅 • 六月前後」,此實為她前後轉接期間一組較主要的肖像作品。後來因為某個空檔,補充續寫了一點,又因當時使用的iPad遺失了,也遺失了包括當時正在撰寫中的文稿。「金瓶梅 • 六月前後」的照片,均採用4乘5機拍攝,使用6cm乘12cm片盒放120膠卷。換句話說照片是所拍來的不加裁剪。當時是前電腦加工年代,我們使用傳統的疊片方式,簡單的說,是用兩張幻燈正片疊在一起得出來的効果。這種技法在我們當時的工作室已使用了相當一段日子,操作起來也駕輕就熟。當然,也是我們一眾助手團隊的努力,包括曾曾,幸記等人。我的不少拼貼照片也是用到這項疊片技術。楚喬拍攝「金瓶梅 • 六月前後」作品的先後,也使用這個技法及美學採向,拍攝了不少時裝照片個案。如何在個人創作及工作個案之間調校,組合和互動,是我和楚喬各自先後,在自己的範籌努力的方向。行使起來不易,不過也是因此我們的工作室建構了一個鮮明的形象。這回發刊的,是當年在 Le Cardre 畫廊展出的全組作品,直接從原本照片掃描。其中半身的主題照片,由於還存放於畫框,也就連框拍攝不拆下作掃描,另一張彼得小話獨照,原來也是留在框中不曾拆下,可惜即時未能找出,今改從一較細的照片掃描所得。這回同時發刊了當時的展覽開幕𨘋請簡,由於該展覽的照片由某照片冲洗公司贊助,我們生了一個想法,請簡使用原件照片,每張照片我們用影印機把文字疊印上去。發出了大約一百張,不知當時有多少人有先見而保留了原件,如今算是珍本了。(李家昇)


Café de avant-garde
A poem and wood block print by Lee Ka-sing
 14"x28", in edition of 5 (1976)






Issue 1227-2019

A Holly Lee and Lee Ka-sing online magazine. Published on Fridays.
Published by Ocean and Pounds and archived at oceanpounds.com
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Holly and Ka-sing currently live in Toronto with their daughter Iris, and their cat Sukimoto.