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Hang TAM: Playground (Covid-19)

Born in 1978, Hong Kong.
Currently lives and works in Hong Kong.


Playgrounds and the meaning of it exist in various forms in our lives taking shape at the intersection between time, space and self. According to photographer Hang TAM “a playground, no matter how we try to explain it, is always the place to fill the emptiness in time and our minds.” In the years between 2011 and 2015, he documented various playgrounds in Hong Kong resulting in a comprehensive photo book reflecting upon play and joy in public space. In extension of his project, he created a sequel series of photographs documenting when playgrounds in Hong Kong were closed due to covid-19 – the playgrounds lost its function but were left as a symbol on the disappearing joy of play in the period of isolation.

Hang TAM believes photography is the only way for him to feel his own existence. It fills up the emptiness in time and soul of his life. He rediscovers and reinvents himself, one picture at a time. it is, perhaps, the reason why he keeps taking pictures. Back in 2002, a robbery happened when Hang worked as a escort. His neck was cut and the right carotid artery was bleeding heavily. Fortunately, he escaped from the hand of death, but the anxiety remains in his subconscious and pictures ever seen. He deeply believes photography is not about prettifying an object. Neither does it clones the reality as it is. He thinks every camera has its limitation and one may not see the subject fully when he/she takes the picture. To him, photography is the art halfway between coming across a subject and recreating the reality. Hang TAM has published numerous photo books that have won several prizes and been featured in several photo exhibitions in Hong Kong. 

Click here to follow Hang TAM on Instagram

Edited by Tofu Collective