ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Blue Lotus Gallery proudly presents the newest project of Hong Kong-based photographer Romain Jacquet- Lagrèze: “36 Views of Lion Rock”. This body of work will be bundled as a book, the debut publication of the newly established publisher, Blue Lotus Editions, and will be presented as a solo exhibition at Blue Lotus Gallery.
With this project, Jacquet-Lagrèze captures a rich visual narrative of how the Hong Kong people interact with and create their perception of the famous mountaintop. As per Mona Chu (who wrote the foreword in this publication): “Lion Rock, an oddly shaped mountain straddling a few districts in Kowloon and the New Territories, is perhaps the biggest myth embraced by the pragmatic Hong Kong people. Like any myth, it is a fluid body of narratives by generations of eager writers. Conversations around the Lion Rock continue to evolve as different people are seeking to redefine it.
The Lion Rock became a pop culture icon through the television series “Below the Lion Rock”, produced by public broadcaster RTHK in the 1970s. Each episode would feature the daily lives of grassroots, reflecting their circumstances and social conditions of the time. Though unintended by the producers, the characters of the show and its eponymous theme song came to symbolise the collective determination to work hard for prosperity, while helping their communities in times of adversity. Over time, many people who resided in Hong Kong came to see Lion Rock as a representation of the city’s collective spirit.
As Jacquet-Lagrèze explains, “Throughout the years, I regularly visit my in-laws for birthday dinners and traditional Chinese celebrations. Many of these gatherings take place in Wong Tai Sin where the grandparents live. Each time we would get out of the MTR station and pass Lung Cheung Road when heading towards the banquet restaurant. We could not help but see the imposing vision of the crouching lion atop the mountain, quietly watching over the city. This view has left such a strong imprint on me and at each experience, I kept thinking to myself that I must bring my camera and try to capture that feeling.”
Under the artist’s lens, the lion has many faces. The rock peeps through gaps of high-rise buildings, overlooking the city as the local neighbourhoods and markets bustle with energy. Other times, it is enveloped by a sea of clouds during dusk. These mundane scenes are all those that Hong Kong people may have seen or recognise - perhaps on their daily commute, or right outside their window.
This book and exhibition is not only an exploration of the many narratives the Lion Rock embodies, but also serves as a reminder for those who resonate with Hong Kong as home.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze was born in Paris in 1987 and graduated with a Masters in Creative Media at the East Paris University. In 2009 he moved to Hong Kong, which inspired him to photograph the different aspects of his new home city.
Stunned by the architectural race to the sky and the three dimensional character of Hong Kong, where lifts connect so many people and business they earn street names, he published his first book with Asia One: ‘Vertical Horizon’ (p. 2012). The work was a hit a on social media and soon after his photographs spread like wild fire over the internet receiving attention from heavy weight local and international press.
Motivated by the international bravo he continued to make new projects exploring Hong Kong’s unique landscape. His newest project, 36 Views of Lion Rock (p. 2022) showcases the unique dynamic between the symbolic mountain of Hong Kong, its city and inhabitants.
Romain’s work has received attention from both local and international press such as National Geographic, Lonely Planet, El Pais, Le Figaro, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Stern, South China Morning Post, Apple Daily, Herald Tribune, and many more.