Offering an attractive and charming range of styles and frames of reference, portrait photography allows the photographer to observe the subject with their camera while at the same time instigating a process of analysis, discovery and reflection. What portrait photography reveals goes beyond the boundaries of pure art to reflect certain values of humanity and society, and its meaning within contemporary society has recently become the subject of a more far-reaching discussion.
Following on from The Verve of Light and Shadow and City Flâneur, the museum is now hosting Beyond the Portrait as the third exhibition in its Hong Kong Photography Series. Put together by three prominent photographers and educators in the field, Wong Wo-Bik, Yvonne Lo and Lukas Tam, as guest curators, the exhibition is divided into four categories – 'Portraits of the Society', 'Artistic Portraits', 'Family Portraits' and 'Self Portraits' – and includes the early studio photos to contemporary works by 18 well-established and up-and-coming artists to illustrate the development of portrait photography in Hong Kong over the last century or so. Incorporating a wide variety of perspectives and an in-depth examination of the topic, the exhibition sets out to stimulate a dialogue with viewers on portrait photography and provoke their thoughts on this often underappreciated art form.