Art » Another Side of Me

Voxfire Gallery, /F 52 Gage Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Another Side of Me

Over the past year Laura has photographed a small group of drag queens in Hong Kong. She is fascinated by their transformation, their energy, their exaggeration of expression and dramatic change in identity. For a man to dress in women’s clothes and wear makeup is a creative outlet of self-expression for performance reasons. It is not always because they want to become a female themselves, as the majority of drag queens are content with being a man. There is a link however, and a mutual sense of support and admiration between the drag queen community and the transgender community. The purpose of this project is to celebrate and bring awareness to both communities. For this exhibition, ‘Another side of me’, Laura has concentrated on the story of Simon becoming Cleo. Simon has created over the past 5 years the character and style of a Queen called Cleo. Over the past few months She has spent time with both Simon and Cleo, with and without her camera.

‘I fully support the Trans community and I am so delighted that proceeds from this project are being donated to the Transgender Resource Centre. Though, as a drag artist, I do not identify as Trans, I certainly identify with the need to express who I am. The character that I portray as Cleo Moans allows me show another side of me. In drag, we feel a confidence because we are protected by the mask we wear. But for Trans people, they are not portraying a character. They are not performing. Being Trans is real life – it is identity. And I completely admire the courage that it takes for Trans people in Hong Kong, and all around the world, to become who they are meant to be.’

Proceeds and donations will go to the Transgender Resource Center in Hong Kong and help to continue their work in community service, public education and advocacy of transgender rights. http://www.tgr.org.hk/tgr.org.hk

About Laura Simonsen

Laura is originally from Lancashire, England and she has lived in Hong Kong for 8 years. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2000 and since then She has had a career in CGI Visualisation for the Architecture industry that has taken me from Scotland to Ireland, Australia and Hong Kong. She feels very blessed to have travelled around Asia especially with her camera. She has loved photography since she was young and have fond memories of borrowing her Mum's Olympus Trip film camera. It was when she moved to Hong Kong and she could afford a better camera which enabled her to take her photography to the next level. It's not all about he camera though, it's about seeing. Living in Hong Kong has given her a passion for street photography. She loves taking pictures of the unnoticed, people alone or having a moment of solitude, a journey from A to B, a moment of desire or happiness which can be challenging in such a crowded fast paced city. I also love documentary photography, creating photo stories of subcultures and people's stories. Photography is a powerful tool and can be used to raise awareness, communicate and open minds.

Another Side of Me

穿帶女性的服飾、打扮、男扮女裝…易服當中的脫變、活力,強烈表達了他們於生活中,有如戲劇般超現實的身份。

過去一年,我跟隨著數個易服的「她」,拍照下是次展覽的作品。

社會的大多數都傾向將易服誤以為是變性;但兩者之間其實都抱有著不一樣的個性、傾向,對彼此都有著一種共同欣賞及支持。易服的他們,不單純是為了想成為異性,更不是一群不安於原有性別的人。藉著是次展覽,希望帶出對兩者的關注,借機給予屬於兩個小眾的派對時刻。

是次展覽主要展出有關Simon易服成Cleo的故事。五年以來,Simon如何創造出Cleo的性格與型格。數個月的追訪,鏡頭前後陪伴著的,都是Simon與Cleo。

「 身為易服人士,都希望別人可以多了解我們。我們雖然不會自稱為變性人,但當中一直都互相支持及尊重,是次展覽受益的更是Transgender Resource Centre。易服成Cleo Moans給予我機會去展現自己的另一面。易服給予人一種另類的自信,因為打扮成另一個人成了一個面具,去保護現實生活自己的身份。相對於變性人,他們所展示人前的,就再不是一個面具,而是真實不過的一個身份。 為了令自己成為心目中所想的,他們需要有更大的勇氣。不論是本地還是全世界的變性人,都因此而令我感到相當敬畏。」

捐款及贊助將撥捐香港Transgender Resource Centre,用以社區教育、服務及維護變性人士人權工作。 http://www.tgr.org.hk/tgr.org.hk

關於Laura Simonsen

Laura原藉於英國Lancashire,來港已踏入第八年。2000年畢業於Glasgow School of Art,隨後投身建築界的立體影像工作,先後於蘇格蘭、愛爾蘭、澳洲及香港工作。Laura特別喜觀以相機為伴,尤其於亞洲旅遊其間。對攝影的熱愛源於早年母親所借她的Olympus Trip照相機,直至來到香港以後,才有機會接觸些性能較先進的器材,令作品能昇華至令一個層次。

但Laura比較重視那份屬於攝影師獨有的觀點,多於器材。居港後更發現自己對街頭攝影的熱愛,尤其喜歡捕捉不為人所注目的畫面、人物獨照、目的地A與B之間的旅程、捕捉快樂時刻等畫像都極具挑戰性,尤其於生活速度如此急速的城市。

紀錄片式的攝影亦是我另一喜愛,一系列的次文化、人物故事之類。Laura相信,攝影是個有力量的媒介,能夠溝通、開拓視野、吸引眼球。

About the Show (Chi)
About the Artist (Chi)