Is This Hong Kong’s Most Instagram-Friendly Exhibition?


April 13, 2018 | BY Lee Williamson

Four popular Instagrammers have come together to exhibit photos of Hong Kong life in a new group show

Generation T lister Kevin Mak is among four Instagram-famous photographers who are exhibiting their work at a new Mid-Levels gallery this weekend.

The exhibition, called Up // Down: Hillside Hong Kong, is the first show at a new space called, well, Nu Space.

Mak’s 83,000 Instagram followers is all the more impressive when you realise that photography is his side hustle. By day, he’s an architect at global firm OMA, with big-name projects such as the Taipei Performing Arts Center in his portfolio.

Mak (@kingymak) is joined by photographers Jeremy Cheung (@rambler15), Sunny Liu (@sunnyliu) and Hans Leo Maes (@typicalplan) for the collaborative show, which is inspired by the gallery’s surrounding topography.

“This topic stood out because we wanted to work in something related to the gallery, which is situated in Sai Wan, a hilly area,” says Mak. “The urban context encourages visitors to give the topic more thought as they step out of the gallery.”

The collection of 16 images explores Hong Kong from both upward and downward perspectives while also highlighting social, historical and human ‘ups and downs’.

“Turning our phone-sized digital works into large physical prints is a great chance for us, as well as the audience, to rediscover the topic,” the artists say in a statement. The snapshots of local life, which are presented unapologetically unfiltered, have been selected to deliberately challenge the “oversaturated, visual candy trend” of Instagram photos.

Not that the exhibition is anti-Instagram. Mak is a vocal advocate for the potential of the platform as an aid for creatives.

“Instagram definitely helps creatives reach out to a more diverse audience—people outside of their real-life social circles,” says Mak. “Plus, like-minded collaborators can easily connect through the platform. The four photographers in this exhibition all met through Instagram; a lot of our followers probably know our Instagram names better than our real ones.”

Up // Down: Hillside Hong Kong is at Nu Space (73-83 Bonham Road) on Sunday 15 and 20-22 April.

Main image: Jeremy Cheung/@rambler15.

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