Our man in Hong Kong
A limited number of signed and numbered copies of the beautiful art book Ad Infinitum of Belgian photographer Kris Vervaeke are now available on our platform.
The 'Ad Infinitum' series is a selection from more than 1000 photos taken of portraits found on the tombstones in Hong Kong cemeteries. Permanent cemeteries with thousands of graves. From early Chinese immigrants till today. Cemeteries are essential features of Hong Kong’s cultural landscape. They are a symbolic place, powerful and feared. A link to the afterworld. The only prime property in Hong Kong that is deserted most of the year.
These cemeteries house many tiny portraits. Memorial portraits on porcelain that show the person in real life. Portraits, personal and often intimate. The portraits have been isolated from the headstones on purpose, out of the context of the cemetery. The focus lies on the portrait itself, people in their present. Over time the portraits are exposed to sun, extreme temperatures and humidity. In the end, we are left with the simple abstract beauty of the image as such.
The portrait series exposes both the strength of the individual face and the perishable nature of the individual human body. The clear images make us want to connect and know their stories. The fading images reference mortality of human life, and the limitations of our impact. Subconsciously, our interest in the individual fades as the portraits become less clear. It is quietly replaced by our draw to the beauty of the abstract image. We will be remembered only by the children of our children. As the faces fade further, anonymity returns and once again we become part of nature... ad infinitum.
The book 'Ad Infinitum' was nominated for the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation First Photobook Awards and exhibited at Athens Photography Festival and listed in PDN Photo Annual.
Photographs of the 'Ad Infinitum' series have been exhibited in Venice Biennale (Italy), Singapore, San Diego (USA) , Jaipur (India), Copenhagen (Denmark), Antwerp (Belgium). Limited edition prints in various sizes available upon request
Kris Vervaeke, photographer: "I love to make photo stories that capture some of the humanity and goofiness I’ve discovered in cultures around the world. With an eye toward storytelling, I use my camera to take you to some strange and wonderful places that you may not experience in your own day-to-day life. I was born in Belgium, but I’ve lived in many places, including 13 years throughout Asia. I’m happy to be based back in Europe now, but I’m often traveling, with an eye for the extraordinary. My personal work tends toward in-depth projects that become books and exhibitions. For commissioned work, I give the assignments lots of personal attention and energy."