TKH exploring urbanities

Macau-born TKH (Kuok Hou Tang) is a photographer with a BA in sociology. Tang is the founder of the Macau photo collective – “Dialect”. He has participated in more than 60 arts exhibitions in Macao and overseas besides five solo shows. He takes on themes such as the city, time, memory and local culture and explores them through the man-made landscape, the interconnection among urbanites, landscapes and human existence versus Nature.

How do you feel your background in sociology has impacted your practice as a photographer?

I think sociology has given me a chance to discover the society that we are living in, combining the landscape from a different angle. I learned a lot about the complexity of our society and how we create public spaces and monuments from different ideologies. That is the charming part when you know you can combine the theory and some indescribable personal experiences through photos.

What are the major themes in your work? How did they become your focus?

My projects focused on the cityscape, and how we balance nature and build a common space in the city is my major theme.

Hence, the elements such as electricity/ light are also one of the main themes in some of my projects. To further elaborate on this concept, I would hope that people think about how electricity could help to light up a lightbulb and the way that the light reflects or projects on architecture. My themes look separate when you read independently, but I would like to describe them in different chapters of our society.

There is an absence of humans in physical form in your work, although their presence is always strong. How did you make this decision?

I discover the place by visiting there many different times and trying to find the right angle to describe how to link up the connection with the people and the place. That is why the presence is strong in my photos, so you do not need to see any people in the photos, but I will try to find the evidence and some hidden hints in the details.

How do you find inspiration in your daily life? How do you come up with ideas?

I always get inspired by wandering around. When I wander on the street, I will observe where people will go and how they “interact” with the place.

I also try to analyze which elements would catch my eye when I took the photos, so I could dig deeper inside my projects.

What about the collective you co-founded?

I co-founded a cooperation called ‘Dialect’ in Macau, which is a space to collect photography books and share them with others. Furthermore, we will also organize events and exhibitions to promote photographers from different countries and share their photos simultaneously. For instance, we successfully organized a group exhibition and published a photography book called ‘Mǎorganic’ in Macau in 2017.

What is your dream project to work on?

My dream project is about the impact of my photos on the audience. From my point of view, creating a project is not hard. However, the challenging part is how to discover more about the place “inside” and the themes as well.

If I find the right angle for my photos, that means my audience can get my hidden message from my photos and how they got inspired through my works, that’s the Dream Project for me.

IG: @tkh0917/