Interview with Tse Mingchong by Leung Chiwo Warren

At the beginning of the interview, artist Tse Mingchong recalls how he was fascinated with and curious about television and images when he was young. In high school, he gained much exposure to drama and often performed on stage. Later on, he worked for a radio station in hopes of launching a career in the entertainment industry. At the same time, he enrolled in photography courses at the Hong Kong Christian Service Kwun Tong Vocational Training Centre and film courses at the Department of Extramural Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Subsequently, he became a commercial photographer, working for a hotel (4:40–9:20). The turning point in Tse’s life was a transcontinental journey across Asia and Europe. Tse also talks about his reflections on being a Christian, existence, and purpose in life. He also drew inspiration from his farming experience in Israel, he says (14:28–22:37). Tse went to Beijing and captured on film the moment when the Portrait of Chairman Mao was splashed with red paint and the vacant space when the portrait was being replaced. Two experiences in the past motivated Tse to do it: first, the June Fourth Incident in 1989, and second, the mistrust of television media which he had developed. The Beijing episode also allowed him to contemplate on the meaning of photography and led him to his second backpacking journey in Europe. During this time, he participated in photography and videography workshops, which offered training in both theory and techniques. This learning experience enlightened Tse. For instance, he began to think about how documentary photography differs from general photography. Tse also attempted to develop other modes of production in photography (24:00–33:48). In the middle of the interview, Tse mentions three teachers who have influenced him tremendously when he studied drama, photography, and film respectively (33:48–41:20). Tse then talks about his experiences of exhibiting photographic works and installation works at art museums and galleries. Although he is an advocate for exhibiting artworks in public spaces, these potential exhibition spaces are replete with limitations. For this reason, he thinks artists must take the initiative to talk to stakeholders (45:24–1:02:04). 


藝術家謝明莊在訪問開首講述自己自小沉迷看電視及對影像充滿好奇,中學階段已接觸戲劇並經常得到演出的機會;及後投身電視台,期望在演藝上作發展,同時報讀了觀塘職業訓練中心攝影班及香港中文大學校外進修部的電影課程,後來在酒店從事商業攝影工作 (4:40-9:20)。謝氏的人生轉捩點是從橫跨歐亞的旅程開始。他也提到自己如何作為一個基督徒去反省存在的意義及使命和他在以色列務農時所受到的啟發 (14:28-22:37)。謝氏又解釋因受「六四事件」的影響及對電視媒體的不信任,故曾親身前往北京,並拍下天安門毛主席肖像被潑油後與更換前期間留下空白痕跡的一刻,並讓他深思攝影的意義及再一次離港往歐洲浪遊,其間報讀有關攝影與錄像理論和技巧的工作坊,啟發謝氏思考紀實攝影與純攝影的分別,亦開始嘗試發展不同攝影方式 (24:00-33:48)。訪問中段,謝氏提及三位曾在戲劇、攝影及電影幾方面學習中影響他至深的老師們 (33:48-41:20)。謝氏接著談到在美術館及畫廊展覽攝影及裝置作品的經驗,並主張在公共空間展示作品,但這些展示空間始終在很多限制,因而認為藝術必須主動尋求溝通 (45:24-1:02:04)。 

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Spoken language



oral historyHong Kong

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interview documentation, 

event photograph/recording

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Interview with Tse Mingchong, 16 November 1998 (Part 1), 訪問謝明莊,一九九八年十一月十六日(第一部份)

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