Fion Hung Ching-Yan
MA Photography - London College of Communication, 2022
For Fion Hung Ching-Yan, The Skeletons in the Closet is an evocative title associated with revealing family accusations and breaking traditional taboos through the study of colours and body gestures in images. The work describes Ching-Yan’s emotional reflections towards ongoing family conflicts since 2016, the year of her grandmother’s departure. The courage to speak out to extinguish family shame was never easy for the artist, since she was surrounded by the social atmosphere of Chinese culture. Maintaining a keen awareness of her true feelings and the facts, she spoke out about what her extended family from her father’s side has done to hurt her and her parents.
In each image, the choices of objects, colours and body positions reference a set of Chinese folktales called 24 Paragons of Filial Piety. These stories, about sacrificing the individual’s life or desires for the benefit of family members, were rewritten by the Chinese government in 2012 to better fit the contemporary world. Ching-Yan has reinterpreted the stories to fit her family’s own situation. She used herself as the model in the photographs, constantly turning her body away from the camera in a subversive gesture towards her family’s betrayal.
In her work, Ching-Yan has used a surrealist approach alongside the method of photo collage, which has been a significant tool for image-making in her practice over the past two years, since the pandemic lockdown period.
"I hope the audience will be inspired to rethink and be curious about their personal and family history, as well as their relationships with their family members."