Wong Wo Bik

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Wong Wo Bik

Wong Wo Bik (Chinese: 王禾璧) is a fine arts photographer and one of the few active female photographers in Hong Kong. She is best known for her photographic documentation of buildings and architecture with historical and cultural significance in Hong Kong. Her work also involves artistic manipulations, as these photographs retell her experience and stories at the sites.[1] In 2013, she received an award from the Hong Kong Women Excellence in the Six Arts, Hong Kong Federation of Women. Wong also has a long and active career as a curator, researcher and art educator.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Hong Kong, Wong Wo Bik received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Printmaking at the Columbus College of Art and Design, Ohio, USA in 1977 and Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA in 1979.[2] She currently lives and works in Hong Kong.

Life as a photographer[edit]

History and memory[edit]

She began her photography career in the 1980s, capturing photographs of historical architecture and landscapes in Hong Kong. Instead of preserved heritage buildings, she is interested in exploring old buildings that may be destroyed or demolished as time goes by.[3] Her works are not just a historical record of old buildings but a reflection of her own experience "vanquishing time and space" at the site.[4] She tries to use art as a way for her to express and shed perspecive on these various destinations because she believes that the architecture she sees around the streets of Hong Kong reveals stories about the people who lived there. Through artistic fabrications, by only setting up two lights and flaw angles,[5] she attempts to reinvent and retell these stories as well as her own subjective narrative of her experiences during her exploration at the site.

Directional photography[edit]

Wong becomes interested in the missing images after one of her friends told her that she remembers seeing a family photo taken back in the 1930s but had been lost. Photography, to her, is not an instrument of memory but also a tool for the invention of memory. At the Woman Wanted exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, she display the photograph reconstructed by her in a way that she recruits her friends to simulate the original in the 1930s. She also create the Polaroid series to simulate crime scene in a still frame in a way that mimic thriller film.[4]

Light and meaning[edit]

Wong has her persistent interest in spatial and temporal exchange. Her work uses light, coming in through different forms and materials and with space and non-space to symbolise transitions from the known to the unknown, especially for the photography taken during her travel journey. Viewers of the work tend to turn around the work having their focuses unknowingly shifted.[4]

Advisory and education[edit]

Wong is also one of the founding members of Hong Kong International Photo Festival (Hong Kong Photographic Culture Association), and has been the Museum Honorary Advisor for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department since 1996.

Wong had also taught photography and communication at Hong Kong Arts Centre and multiples universities in Hong Kong, such as The University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong and worked as a researcher at Hong Kong Heritage Museum.[4]

Awards and Achievements[edit]

  • 1975-77 Columbus College of Art and Design - College Grant
  • 1977-79 Tyler School of Art, Temple University - Fellowship and Scholarship
  • 1994 Asian Cultural Council - Fellowship
  • 1995 International Institute of Education - Fellowship on Chinese Women Leadership Programme
  • 2010 The Certificate of Commendation from the Secretary of Home Affairs, Hong Kong
  • 2013 Hong Kong Women Excellence in the Six Arts, Hong Kong Federation of Women


Solo Exhibitions[edit]

  • 1981 "Colour Images", Hong Kong Arts Centre (Presented by the Polaroid Far East Limited), Hong Kong
  • 1985 "Photography Exhibition by Wong Wo Bik", USIS American Library, Hong Kong
  • 1986 "Impression", Alliance Francaise de Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 1988 "Plastic Motion”, a photo-installation collaborating with a dance performance aurelo, City Contemporary Dance Company’s gallery and theatre, Hong Kong
  • 2009 "Seized Moments: The Photographic Journey of Wong Wo Bik", Hong Kong Fringe Club (Organized by Asia One Product & Publishing Limited), Hong Kong
  • 2011 "Memory and Fiction", Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong
  • 2014 “Not Just a Fashion Parade”, Lumenvisum, Hong Kong[6]
  • 2017 "City of Exchange: Liverpool/Hong Kong", Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK, as part of the Liverpool International Photography Festival

Group Exhibitions[edit]

  • 1978 "East Coast Consortium", Tyler School of Art, Temple University, USA[4]
  • 1980 "Montage Dancing”, Hong Kong Independent Film Festival, Hong Kong
  • 1980 "Asian American Contemporary Photography Invitational”, Camera Vision Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 1982 "Colour Photography - Two Photographers", Museu Luís de Camões, Macau
  • 1982 "Chromo- Vision: Two Photographers", Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
  • 1983 "Contemporary Hong Kong Artists Invitational 1982", Tangeman Fine Arts Gallery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  • 1983 "Self-Portrait Invitational", Hong Kong Landmark Plaza, Hong Kong
  • 1984 "Images of China by Hong Kong Photographers", Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
  • 1984 "Women in Art", I-Club, Hong Kong
  • 1987 "Instant Creativity - Polaroid Images", Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
  • 1988 "Out of Context - Mobile Art Show", Yan Oi Square, Tuen Mun; MacPherson Playground, Mong Kok; Victoria Park, Causeway Bay; Chater Garden, Central, Hong Kong
  • 1988 "A Sense of Place", Department of Fine Arts, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 1989 "Turn of a Decade - A New Generation of Artists of the Eighties", Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
  • 2003 "Woman Wanted", Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong
  • 2005 "Hong Kong Four-Cast", University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2006 "Hong Kong Photographers, 50 Years of Photography in China", Beijing Photography Association, Beijing, China
  • 2006 "Between the Observer and the Observed", Lianzhou International Photography Festival, Guangdong, China
  • 2006 "Hong Kong Four-Cast", Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
  • 2006 "Creative Spirit: Hong Kong Visual Arts", Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong
  • 2010 "If You Park Here”, Shatin Galleria, Fotanian Open Studio 2010 (Organized by Sino Group), Hong Kong
  • 2010 "Hong Kong Photo Series 2 - City Flâneur: Social Documentary Photography”, Hong Kong Heritage Museum,Hong Kong
  • 2012 "Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Novosibirsk, Russia
  • 2012 "Different Dimension - International Festival of Contemporary Photography
  • 2013 "Relativity in City", Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
  • 2014 "Long time no see, Victoria", Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong
  • 2014 “Life of Photography, World of Dream”, 14th Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, China
  • 2014 “Women’s Voices”, Fu Jen Catholic University Art Gallery, Taipei and Soulangh Cultural Park, Tainan, Taiwan
  • 2015 “A Room With a View”, Koo Ming Kown Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
  • 2015 “Arte Laguna Prize Finalist’s Exhibition”, Nappe Arsenale, Venice, Italy
  • 2016 “2016 Jimei X Arles International Photo Festival”, Jimei, Xiamen, China
  • 2016 “Les Photaumnales Festival – Hong Kong Photographers”, Galerie Nationale de la Tapisserie, Beauvais, France
  • 2016 “5th Singapore International Photography Festival - curatorial project showcase: ‘A Room With a View’, ICAS Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore
  • 2016 “What Do You Want For Tomorrow”, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, organized by 4th Hong Kong International Photo Festival, Hong Kong (as a curator and artist)
  • 2016 "A Permanent Instant: 1980s-2000s HK Instant Photography”, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong
  • 2017 "Women & Photography", Chiesa di San Francesco, Udine, Italy



  • Tam, Eve; Wong Wo Bik (2009). Hong Kong/China Photographers – Volume Four – Wong Wo Bik. Asia One Product & Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-988-17998-5-2.[4]
  • Wong Wo Bik (1983). Color & Consent. Polaroid Far East (HK) Limited.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Artist Biography". Blindspot Gallery. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Wong Wo Bik". Blindspot Gallery. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Wong Wo Bik". Art Consultant. Mention PR Consultants Ltd. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Eve, TAM (2009). Hong Kong/China Photographers – Volume Four – Wong Wo Bik. Asia One Product and Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-988-17998-5-2.
  5. ^ "Wong Wo-Bik". Time Out Hong Kong. Time Out Hong Kong Ltd.,. 18 Jan 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Not just a Fashion Parade: Wong Wo Bik | Lumenvisum". Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  7. ^ a b "About". Wong Wo Bik. Retrieved 2019-03-09.

External links[edit]