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When the Language Fails to Express the Meaning

When the Language Fails to Express the Meaning

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Animality

Animality

“The rage that people feel against their own mortality and animality is often enacted toward them, whether by humiliation or, in addition, by physical violence.” from article Body of the Nation, by Martha C. Nussbaum

Form of Pressure

Form of Pressure

Photographs on artist made objects

They are made of clay and old strings. Skin textures marked on the clay when I squeezed and pressed with force. The organic forms resemble to our flesh and nature elements.

Seizure

Seizure

In the photographs my hands imitate the conditions in seizure. The bones and joints are in great stress. The intense poses give a neurotic feel and also almost resembling to organic forms. It reminds of nature of how trees and plants grow.

Bondage

Bondage

Experiment of tying a pillow in frog-tie bondage symbolises woman in a passive position where they are vulnerable.

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Empty Bed

Empty Bed

The beds are empty due to children died under suspicious circumstances.

Quotes from a staff who witnessed the abuse of children in a mental institution.

Left: “She wanted to get out of it. She has, you know, struggling and she slided down on the floor, you know, so she started crying…”

Right: “She was tied up on the bed. She was crying for help, for help. They didn’t do nothing.”

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Rapid Eye Movement

Rapid Eye Movement

A nightmare of an attack of a gigantic insect. A dream occurring during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that results in feelings of strong terror, fear, distress or extreme anxiety.

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I Can't Stand Cotton Balls

I Can't Stand Cotton Balls

2014, ink, acrylic, chalk on paper, 66 x 51 cm each

Some people have a fear of pulling cotton balls apart or seeing them or hearing the pulled apart it gives them goose bumps like a nail against a chalk board. The face represents appeal of illness and the fragility of our physical being.

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Celine's story for book Tofu & Violence

Celine's story for book Tofu & Violence

說到豆腐,我只想到家。是習慣是口味還是回憶,我也分不清。外邊有各式各樣的精巧菜式,可我只想到婆婆弄的釀豆腐,記得她那雙滿佈皺紋的手輕輕的把一磗磗豆腐翻來覆去,每一口都盛載許多關懷與期望。期望,是兒孫圍在一起吃頓飯。婆婆她獨居,雖然兒孫都住在隔壁,可是有種寂寞,不是單說距離的。問她要不要搬來跟她親一點的女兒同住?她說:都是外嫁女。說她是執著,可我又何嘗不是?在她身上,我看到媽媽,也看到可能的那個自己。聽說很多性格是天生的,生活歷練再扭少許。她的雙腳給她很多苦,讓她常常皺著眉,嘴角也愛下垂。可她一生不缺愛,心裡滿滿的是早早遠去的外公與她一起三十載的人生。

有說人生五味雜陳。嚐盡珍百味,還偶會想尋回差點遺忘的清淡。婆婆愛回憶。這個我最像她。但願將來我臉上的皺紋跟她一樣美。

Tofu to me, is home. Is it a habit, a taste I grow up with, or is it memory? I can’t really tell. There are a lot of exquisite tofu dishes out there, but all I remember is the homemade stuffed tofu by my maternal grandma, and how she delicately made it with her wrinkled hands. Each bite is made with care and hope, a simple hope of the elderly longing for her children and grandchildren be home round the dinner table with her. My grandma lives by her own. And though her sons and grandsons are nearby, there is a kind of unspoken loneliness that cannot be measured by mere distance. When asked if she’d love to move in with her daughter? She said, you girls are all married to another family. You may say she is stubborn, but aren’t I? I see my mother in her. I somehow see the future me in her. One said that our personality is in-borne, perhaps later life gives it a tweak. Her legs have been giving her pain all these years, that’s why she always wears a sadden face. But her life is never a day without love, with her she carries the 30 years of loving memories with my long passed grandpa.

People say that life is like a mix of tastes. Once in a while I have this longing for the most original and simple bite. My grandma loves falling in her nostalgia, I guess I’m most like her in this. I wish that I could smile with charm like her in the days when my face is filled with wrinkles.

- Celine

Picture taken by Claire

David's story for book Tofu & Violence

David's story for book Tofu & Violence

I didn't think much about tofu before Claire asked me to be involved in this project. For me it has always been a foodstuff. Something that was a bit"alternative" when I was growing up, and something I had come to appreciate more since coming to live in Hong Kong. We all set parameters around things. Food is, well, food. Clothing is clothing and furniture is furniture. But, when you think about it the last two can be anything but. Both clothing and furniture can be so much more. They can even aspire to being works of art.

But food products? Not really. So, I didn't know what to think as I approached this. But I had been thinking about my father who died in 1978 a lot recently. So I decided I would think about my relationship with him while I held the tofu. My plan was to think about how slippery and difficult a teenagers relationship with his father can be, and how, in hindsight, opportunities had slipped through my fingers. Opportunities that will never come back. I had expectations of what might happen. Some things did, some things didn't. What surprised me was the part that holding the tofu played. Rather than being an inactive prop it seemed to want to draw me into doing something with it. It substituted emotions that I felt but couldn't externalise at the time. It went from being an inanimate object to being something that, briefly, had a sense of life and loss.

- David

Picture taken by Claire

Saffron's story for book Tofu & Violence

Saffron's story for book Tofu & Violence

眼睛,眼簾,是最敏感和脆弱的 ...

當豆腐放了上眼簾時,除了... 呼吸到她的氣息,同時豆腐就變得強起來,她帶給眼睛觸感和溫度 ... 使眼睛在壓力下感到一種莫名的平靜 ... 和她很接近 ...

喜歡看海,聽海 ... 因也從海得到平靜 ...

在豆腐與海的同時,在心處有種靜止了的狀態 ...

- Saffron

Picture taken by Claire

Viki's story for book Tofu & Violence

Viki's story for book Tofu & Violence

At first I had thought all I wanted to do was to protect it, to maintain its shape. I would hold it, cradle it, try as much as possible to keep it together.
I was so gentle with the firm tofu, thinking of stillness, and maintaining,
my hands were a nest, watched over by sparrows.

When I held the silken tofu a different urge overtook me.
It was so yielding, its fragility was begging me to break it.
You can't go against an object's nature.
If it is firm, hold it steady, if it wants to break, let it break.
My hands were cupped around the tofu the same both times,
but the second time I held as hard as I could, tighter and tighter, until its waters flowed down my arms and onto the ground below.

-Viki

Picture taken by Claire

Louie's story for book Tofu & Violence

Louie's story for book Tofu & Violence

Unappreciated, often times taken for granted.

This is how a lot of people see tofu, and often times how I see myself.

Yet in tofu there is so much character, subtle flavour hidden, a faint but longed for taste, quality not easy to describe.

This is how I connect with tofu, and my setting being underwater is simply because as a swimmer I feel at one with it. Tranquility once under it, free from the madness of the surroundings.

Tofu as a fragile substance held underwater. Too many contradictions, I don't think anyone bothered to ever do this before.

- Louie

Picture taken by Claire

Amandine's story for book Tofu & Violence

Amandine's story for book Tofu & Violence

'When thinking about tofu, the keywords that immediately come to my mind, without any filtering, are ‘Asia’, ‘vegetarian’, ‘plain’. Tofu reminds me of this restaurant I once went to in a Buddhist temple in Kyoto. I associate tofu to simplicity and balance. I eat tofu every other day.

For the tofu project, I wanted to evoke something soothing and reassuring, such as massaging the hand of a young child or an elderly person. Infancy and old age have a lot in common. I decided to wear a ring that was my grand-grand-mother’s ring. It was passed down from mother to daughter for four generations. I wear it but it does not belong to me, I’ll pass it to my daughter when she is a young woman.'

-Amandine

Picture taken by Claire

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RITUAL - Poetry in English & Chinese

RITUAL - Poetry in English & Chinese

The more we search for truth in life, the closer we are to fears. To overcome it, one must learn to embrace, understand and accept it. Therefore I offer a poetic ritual, to stir and comfort the inner unrestful world.

RITUAL

Poetry collection to accompany the art collection SACRIFICE

English & Chinese, 2012, Softcover, 28 cm X 20 cm, 103 pages
500 limited edition each signed and numbered Xuan paper sleeve with red ink Chinese stamp. Published in Hong Kong

In stock. Ship to international. Please contact for details.

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Tofu & Violence Books for Charity

Tofu & Violence Books for Charity

Through project "Tofu and Violence" Claire has tried to present tofu as a metaphor for gentleness and nonviolence against violence. A limited edition set of 3 books "Tofu & Violence" was made to document the project. During exhibition period, all proceeds from sales of the book after printing cost, was donated to RainLily, to support its services to sexual violence survivors.

A set of 3 books, English, 2013, Softcover
40 cm X 28 cm English & Chinese
300 limited numbered edition. Published in Hong Kong

In stock. Ship to international. Please contact for details.

Tofu & Violence - set of 3 books

Tofu & Violence - set of 3 books

A set of 3 books containing a series of 9 mixed media paintings and over 60 photographs. The photographs capture each Tofuese’s unique dialogue with the tofu linked to stories of their lives. The paintings present tofu as a metaphor for gentleness and nonviolence against violence. The energy of calmness has brought the two extremes to confront each other in the paintings..

Tofu and Violence

A set of 3 books, English, 2013, Softcover
40 cm X 28 cm English & Chinese
300 limited numbered edition. Published in Hong Kong

Tofu & Violence, the Monologues, accompany the art collection of the same title

In Stock. Ship to international. Please contact for details.

Pop-up Charity Book Sale at UNAR Coffee

Pop-up Charity Book Sale at UNAR Coffee

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Art Workshop on Tofu's Philosophy & Creativity

Art Workshop on Tofu's Philosophy & Creativity

Tofu's Philosophy & Creativity : Art Tour & Workshop for RainLily
PubArt Gallery
2013

In this art workshop, each of the attendant will be given a piece of raw tofu and asked to use fingers with no tools, to sculpt the tofu into a different form. The exercise is to let the attendees to feel the tofu and explore it with a new eye and expression.

FIST - Poetry, drawings and photographs

FIST - Poetry, drawings and photographs

FIST is composed of a series of poetry, drawings and photographs in which the artist expresses her feelings about our society today.

"Our society is in a deepest solitude. Something is going wrong. I think about my mother, my homeland and people under pressure. My pen is my fist. I write to protest.”

Also, FIST is a monologue to respond to her art project UNDER PRESSURE. In the project artist creates multi media artworks inspired by research on people who suffered from different degrees of physical and psychological pressure.

FIST

English, 2014, Softcover, 21 cm X 14.8 cm, 28 pages
First Edition of 120 numbered copies Color digital print on wood-free paper. Printed in Hong Kong

In stock. Ship to international. Please contact for details.

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Poetry Reading & Book Launch for Hong Kong Book Fair event

Poetry Reading & Book Launch for Hong Kong Book Fair event

Poetry Reading & Launch of Artist's Book FIST , Cultural July event by Hong Kong Book Fair at Mur Nomade
2014

"Cultural July” is a wide array of seminars and activities held throughout Hong Kong during Hk Book Fair. Claire read her poetry and present her new book FIST with book signing after reading. FIST is composed of a series of poetry, drawings and photographs in which Claire Lee expresses her feelings about today’s society. This new poetry collection is a monologue responding to Lee’s art project UNDER PRESSURE.

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The Awakening - Art Book

The Awakening - Art Book

“A deep feeling of sorrow and compassion came over me when I recognized our souls' reflection in these beautiful beasts (bison); I feel echoes of the sufferer and of humanity’s experience in a brutal and manipulative World. But I also felt a warm sensation grow in my heart - the simultaneous qualities in bison of power and vulnerability relate directly to the human condition.”

- The Awakening

Art book The Awakening brings you an intimate journey of artist Claire Lee’s new series under the same title, which features drawings inspired by Bison. The book documents not only the full drawings collection but also the development of artist’s ideas, visual experimentation, sketches and thoughts on the artworks.

A4 size, Soft cover, 80 pages, Limited Edition, printed in United Kingdom.

In stock. Ship to international. Please contact for details.

The Awakening - Art Book

The Awakening - Art Book

Art book The Awakening brings you an intimate journey of artist Claire Lee’s new series under the same title, which features drawings inspired by Bison. The book documents not only the full drawings collection but also the development of artist’s ideas, visual experimentation, sketches and thoughts on the artworks.

In stock. Ship to international. Please contact for details.

In Between - Poetry Box

In Between - Poetry Box

“Solitude is like that last drop of water. It is sitting at the bottom of the well, being unnoticeable, it moves and transcends without a trace. My compassion to life appreciates the last drop to its self-fulfilled fullness.”

Preface in In Between

Claire’s new poetry collection In Between comprises of more than 30 poems written in English, reverse printed on delicate semi transparent paper. The soft appearance of texts expresses the emerging and disappearing essence in life. The poems draw your imagination on the imperfection and small things in nature and human. In the tango of life and death, Claire is in search of beauty and expresses compassion.

The poetry is packaged in a black box with a hole on the lid symbolizes the ‘in between’ position we are standing between light and dark in the midst of chaos of the world.

IN BETWEEN

2017, A4 size. Printed by artist in United Kingdom.

Limited first edition of 50

In stock. Ship to international. Please contact for details.

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Exhibition Opening - Music and Poetry Reading Performance

Exhibition Opening - Music and Poetry Reading Performance

Poetry reading jammed with Didgeridoo performed by Hong Kong musician Hakgwai in the opening night of exhibition The Awakening.

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ARTOMITY Reviews on The Awakening

ARTOMITY Reviews on The Awakening

ALTERMODERNISTS Artist Studio Interview by Miss Wong

ALTERMODERNISTS Artist Studio Interview by Miss Wong

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