As the Union Jack was gracefully lowered onto a flagpole for the last time, the five-star red flag was simultaneously raised to the song, "March of the Volunteers.” It was a rainy night in 1997, and I was sitting in front of the television at home. The reporter told me that this historic handover ceremony ended the 156 years of British rule.

 

How could the construction of a memory occur without the occasion of an anniversary? I was only eighteen when the handover took place. Perhaps I was too young then; all I remember now is that, after watching the ceremony, I met my first lover online. Since then, my memory of the handover always goes hand in hand with my personal history: the best "how we met" story coherently comes with the most historically-significant day of Hong Kong, giving an ordinary person a taste of a seemingly epic love story.

 

For many Hong Kong people, the imagery of the handover can be recalled like it was just yesterday; the red and blue backdrop is the place where the memory immortally resides. For others, this significant moment, although caught in time, has not remained static. Rather, it has been extricated and reshaped between memory and reality countless times, forming a logical verisimilitude of the past.

 

One way or the other, the year 1997 appears to reside within that imagery. In the past twenty years, images of the handover were commemorated, simultaneously reenacted over time, and relentlessly relived in the present.  As for memories of 1997, fragments of truths were conjured both for and against the event, neatly rationalized and imbued with the official and mythical narrative of history. 1997 is thus embodied either as an authentic experience or as evidence of history’s failure, secretly upheld by the romance of our familial gaze.

 

As of here and now, time is maintained through celebration. Our memories are mediated again and again by visual evidence, coming to terms with power as if they are quietly making an attempt at an historical truth.

 

Perhaps the experience of 1997 is irretrievable and it was only unfamiliar in connection with the unreconciled present. Does the memory of 1997 allow history to come forth, or does history create our collective memory? When 1997 is caught in time within an image, is that image an equivalent of memory?

 

31 June 1997 charts an alternative historicization of Hong Kong’s visual and social memory. By problematizing the past, David Clarke, together with Oscar Ho Hing-kay and Xu Xi create an nostalgic, poetic, and, at times, paradoxical experience for the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover. Drawing on image politics of the handover and a constellation of historical fragments, this exhibition is an attempt to bring alive a captivating simulacrum of 1997, with an agenda to unpack our desire to fix history in place.

Isaac Leung

(原文請參照英文版本)

隨著米字旗最後一次被優雅地降落至旗桿下,五星紅旗伴隨著「義勇軍進行曲」同時被升起。這是1997年的一個雨夜,我在家中坐在電視機前。記者告訴我這個歷史性回歸儀式結束了英國156年的統治。

如果沒有周年紀念的情況下,記憶的建構怎辦發生?當回歸進行時,我只有十八歲。也許我太年輕了;我現在記得的是,在觀看儀式後,我在網上遇到我的第一位情人。從此以後,我對回歸的記憶總是與我的個人歷史挽手而行:最好的“我們怎樣遇上”的故事與香港最具歷史意義的一天是一致發生,給普通人一個看似史詩般味道的愛情故事。

 

對許多香港人來說,回歸的想像回想起來像昨天發生一樣;紅色和藍色的背景是記憶不朽地留存的地方。對於別人來說,這個重要的時刻,雖然被及時捕獲,但並沒有保持靜止。相反,它在記憶和現實之間已經被擺脫和重塑過無數次,形成一個合邏輯又逼真過去。

 

無論如何,1997年似乎留存在那想像內。過去二十年來,紀念回歸的圖像,隨著時間的推移而重演,現在又無情地重現。至於1997年的回憶,支持與反對事件的雙方喚起了真相的碎片,巧妙地合理化與貫穿了歷史的官方和神話敘事。因此,1997年被體現為一個真實的經驗或作為歷史失敗的證據,被我們的家族凝視的浪漫秘密地守護著。

 

在此時此刻,時間通過慶祝來維持。我們的記憶一再被視覺證據所介導,如像他們靜謐地作出嘗試,從權力中建構出歷史真相。。

 

也許1997年的經驗是不可還原的,與它只是不熟悉的連接著不和諧的現在。 1997年的回憶允許歷史出現或是歷史創造了我們的集體回憶?當1997年在圖像中被及時捕獲,那圖像是否等同於回憶?

1997年6月31日展示了香港的視覺和社會回憶的一個另類歷化。通過問題化過去,在香港回歸二十週年之際,祈大衛與何慶基及許素細創造一個懷舊、詩意,以及時常矛盾的經驗。借鑒於回憶的圖像政治和歷史碎片的群集,這個展覽試圖為1997年的迷誘擬彷物賦予生命,目的為紓解我們修復歷史的欲望。

​梁學彬

© 2017 by Videotage
 

Unit 13, Cattle Depot Artist Village,

63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2573 1869
 

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now