Curated by Dayang Yraola, my first solo photography exhibition was held from June 1 to July 3, 2016 at the lobby gallery space of the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) Main Library. This collection of 60 photographs of Hong Kong was also exhibited at the Gallery of the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong from 4 to 8 September 2016 and at the Foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong on 25 June 2017.
Curatorial Statement by Dayang Yraola
The first group are images on how Hong Kong can be experienced on the surface—focusing on scapes and objects, because they are either too familiar or strangely unusual; in either case, Joni maintained a perspective informed by his city of origin.
The second group of images captured how he negotiated his way into the crowd of moving bodies, spaces and signs, until he was able to discern which of those he can relate to, make sense of, and use as a “handle” in his conception of Hong Kong.
The third group are images that tell a story of how familiarity to Hong Kong enables one to focus on details; the mundane—that which is not anymore unusual, and the nostalgic—that which reminds one of past home/s.
In this project, Joni’s Hong Kong lifeworld resists terminality. His stages of home-ing will not exactly bring one to realize how home is defined, but rather sample how stages of encounter shape one’s imagining and imaging of place and time, and how one positions oneself in this present, coming from or going to another.
Artist Statement by Joni Gutierrez
Taking an intuitive route into the Hong Kong lifeworld entails a certain degree of vulnerability.
Wandering around Hong Kong has become my path in connecting with its lifeworld – something that I cannot satisfactorily express in words. The photographic medium, however, because of its dual affinities for the concrete and the indeterminate, offers a way for me to invoke this elusive sphere. The ensuing panoramic mosaic in this exhibition manifests an ongoing attempt at a creative conversation with the Hong Kong lifeworld.