Exhibition Visit – Building the Civic




Aesthetically the most pleasing of the photos, the contrast between the 2 young bodies (and their facial profiles) and the murky blackness in the background was strong and attractive.

The photo asked me questions such as : Are these two lovers? Are they just friends? What is the difference? How does it relate to democracy and conflict?

There are lots of concrete structures in the photo, with strong lines , giving a harsh inhuman feeling which contrasts with the two figures.

Closer inspection of the photo revealed that what I d initially viewed as a placed wreath was actually a model of a black headless sitting body, wrapped like a mummy but looking black and greasy. Was this a symbol of other pro-democracy protestors such as the Buddhist monks who immolated themselves as a protest to religious inequality in Cambodia (Fig 2) ?

This photo powerfully juxtaposes youth and beauty with death and horror. The effect is magnified as from afar the headless body cannot be clearly seen and it is a shock to discover it within the photo.

buddhist monk

Fig. 2 Buddhist Monks Self-Immolate



Fig. 3 Photo 2 from ‘the Umbrella Salad’.


This was the least aesthetically pleasing of the photos

It is untidy, having few clean lines and clear forms and what it represents is confusing. It’s much harder to connect with the photo (unlike photo 1) on a human level.

Perhaps the jumbled umbrella structure represents the chaos of the fight against the authorities, and the authorities are represented by the more solid and organised backdrop of shadowed concrete buildings and pavements?


University of Liverpool (2017), ‘South Ho: the Umbrella Salad’ online at : nihttp://vgm.liverpool.ac.uk/exhibitions-and- events/special/look17southhotheumbrellasalad/ [accessed 28/4/2017]


Fig. 1 A thumbnail sketch of Photo 1 (by me)

Fig. 2 Tran, P (n.d) ‘Buddhist Monks Self-Immolate’ [photograph] online at https://sites.google.com/a/ggusd.net/history/buddhist-monks-self-immolate [accessed 28/4/2017]

Fig. 3 Ho, S ‘The Umbrella Salad’ (2014) [photograph] online at

http://www.sixsixho.com/works1/the-umbrella-salad/ [accessed 28/4/2017]




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