All Yen Exhibition, Control?

This was a project that I helped develop and then worked on with a group of students during my time as the Visiting Artist at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) in 2013. It was an interesting and, I must also say, fun experience for me, and hopefully the students as well. The project concluded with a short exhibition at the Asia One PhotoBook store in Chai Wan, Hong Kong.


All Yen collective @ AO Bookshop

All Yen is an artist collective based in Hong Kong that explores the concept of collaboration in art and art practice. For its current project, ‘Control?’, we worked with artist David Boyce and together embarked on a project exploring chance and the limits of control. We utilised Holga cameras owing to their limited options, unpredictable nature and idiosyncratic optics. A series of three experiments was developed by discussion.




The first, Time, was simple in its premise. Each member was given a set series of times to photograph and, regardless of where they were or who they were with, had to take a photograph. Themes emerged and diverged. Control was, theoretically, limited to one factor - the clock.

Directions provided members with more and, paradoxically, less control. Each participant was assigned a series of directions that guided their image selection, but still allowed personal interpretation to come into play.

With Exchange, All Yen wanted chance to play a central role. By photographing and then repeatedly exchanging cameras in one location and allowing run on and double exposures we attempted to create a communal vision of Kowloon Park.

The last step of this collaboration was piecing the work together. It is at this step that chance made its its final appearance. The mistakes and imperfections shaped the work and added character.

What impact this collaboration and these experiments will have on us as individuals only time will tell. This project has opened new ways of working; where this will lead remains open and unknown. Maybe we will leave this to chance.