Break now the dawn uv print on silicone and tracing paper, rubber, mdf 2019-20
In “Break Now the Dawn”, Lam is interested in the notion of dawn in its political terms and in relation to time. The image of the dawn has long been a political metaphor for a new beginning, and has become ever-relevant to Hong Kong’s collective imagination for a greater, democratic society since the ongoing pro-democracy protest began in 2019. The dawn is not a fixed moment in time but is temporal and transitional, locked in the cycle of day and night. It is vital for Lam to materially experiment with the multiplicity of dawn; she intervenes and contests the image of the dawn through formal gestures such as folding and layering, while thinking about the language of the blind as a temporal screen separating the exterior from the interior. The resulting delicate arrangement of a reimagined dawn is handled with great sense of care and love; it is a collision of Lam’s photographic concern of light and time with sculptural exploration of colour, translucency, materiality and verticality. Lam’s gestural interventions and isolation of the formal elements of the dawn compound the process of unlearning the language of the dawn, questioning the efficacy of the metaphor: what constitutes dawn? Do time, absence and violence have form? If so, what could they be?