Made in Hong Kong

Gallery Semmingsen
Oslo, Norway 2014

This exhibition presents Christine Istad's latest photographs and video works, which all derive from her long study trip to Hong Kong this year. The themes of the works focus on the contrasts currently found in some of Asia's most modern and innovative metropolises, where tradition and technology are thrown into sharp relief.

Istad's close-up photographic studies of Hong Kong's towering architecture and densely packed urbanity implicitly reveal her interest in investigating mankind's capacity to confront and adapt to alienation. What happens to inherited traditions and fundamental values when high technology and efficiency become the defining powers in our lives? And how is the balance between man and nature maintained when the individual is increasingly defined as a "mechanical figure"?

The contrasts between modern trends and traditions are also reflected in Istad's choice of technique. While the photographs refer to momentary incidents occurring in hypermodern and hectic city life, several of the video works are a harmonious counterbalance to this by depicting for example Tai Chi concentration exercises, symbolising the close contact between body and mind.

The exhibition comprises eight large-format C-print* photographs on aluminium and three new video works. Both the photographs and the video works are analogue and refer to the real time and place in which they were taken. The motifs are not manipulated, yet appear abstract in form due to their detailed sections and optical effects.

*Colour photographic print which has at least three emulsion layers of light-sensitive silver salts.
Hong Kong - Wan Chai from Istad Art on Vimeo.