The Funeral Portraits of Cities


  • Sat 12-07-2014 to Thu 24-07-2014

Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery

Free admission


The Funeral Portraits of Cities

Photographers are always in pursuit of taking a good picture of which the best moment of the scene is captured, no matter it is a designed long exposure or a quick shot. When such a precise moment encounters a vanishing city, a contrast is seen: The best moment in the last second becomes a funeral portrait in the next.

LAI Yat Nam, the founder of “Photo Now”, is presenting his photography project “Kwun Tong: Funeral Portraits” which has been shot for 2 years. Kwun Tong sounds like a familiar name and a familiar place. However, nothing out of the ordinary had happened here and now she is aging. What draws the public’s attention to this place now is the redevelopment project undertaken by the Urban Renewal Authority. When wandering around the center part of Kwun Tong today, you will only see empty buildings standing in a depressing ground. LAI would like to say farewell to this district before the memories fade. It is a record of vanishing scenes. Let’s mourn her before her disappearance.

In recent years, the term “invisible cities” is used to describe the rapid changes of cities. LAI hopes to capture these invisible and vanishing portraits of Kwun Tong as well as other cities around. Photo Now will also show the funeral portraits of Taipei, Tokyo and Prague.

LAI does believe that photographs serve as a dialogue between context and life. It is also a platform showing the change of cities from past to present in both old and new memories. Therefore, it is not just a photography project, but also a “database of cities images” of all the collective memories among the residents and the general public. 



LAI Yat-nam was born in 1978. He enrolled in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) in 1997 for Diploma in Film and Television. Upon graduation, he continued studying in Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television, majoring in Cinematography/Lighting Design and graduated with honor in 2002.

In 2003, he joined Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK, a publicly-funded broadcaster) as Director of Photographer. 2007 his HD Drama “Below the Lion Rock: Farewell Shek Kip Mei” got Chicago International Television Silver Hugo Awards in Special Achievement at Cinematography / Videography.

In addition to be Director of Photographer of RTHK, he insist on creating script and directing his own films. His first short film “Weight Of Light” is an Official Selection of the Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2007. In 2008, he joins the Fresh Wave short film workshop project, which is organized by the Hong Kong International Film Festival. And his second short film “Until the Weeping Day” was awarded “Special Mention” in the competition.

2009, he participates in the co-production project between NHK and RTHK TV station. It is a two-hour HD drama, shooting in Hong Kong and Japan. He is the Director of Photographer in this drama.

His first photo exhibition “Tell Me How Not to Think About Her” was display at Fringe Club Hong Kong on 2010. It is about the last moment of Ngau Tau Kok Lower Estate (Hong Kong Public House). A Photo Book will publish this year. He started taking iPhone photographs a year ago. Six months ago he fell in love with using Hipstamatic for street photography.

By using the new technology, he hope through “The Underground Scene 2012” exhibition, to highlight a new approach to photography.

2012, four featured photographers include Lai Yat Nam, set up 「PHOTO NOW」Group. The principles of Photo Now is using documentary snapshots, exploring each corner of the city and recording each special moment. That moment of time is captured each time the shutter is pressed.

Right now he have been preparing his first feature length film “Messiah”.

Short Film


《Until Dying Day 》2008

Feature Film


Series Photography

《Tell me how not to forget her》2011

《Taipei Story》2012

《The Underground Scene》2012

《Photo Now》2012

《Distortion & Montage》2013

International Photo Festival

2012 China Pingyao International Photography Festival

2012 Hong Kong International Photography Festival

2013 Kaohsiung The Piert Art Centre「SNAP * HERE & THERE」



En  |    |