Light Matters


An iconography of women confronting the dark


In Light Matters, Val creates a site-specific, multi-media installation that articulates an unfolding and critical narrative of our times. Val’s project originated from having won a photography residency in Hong Kong in 2019, at what turned out to be the start of one of the most fraught periods in Hong Kong history. Over the next three years Val entered ito an intensive dialogic inquiry with Hong Kong women from across the social spectrum, seeking to understand their life realities and hopes. In close collaboration with her protagonists, she creates intuitive video works and photographs within a vibrant and digitally obsessed Hong Kong. At a time when words are becoming increasingly vetted and distorted, Val has offered her protagonists an alternative means of expression by inviting in the language of the body and the spontaneous engagement with found elements of the site. In that specific moment of care and witnessing, the site is transformed into a space of shelter.

The project’s journey, evolving in a shifting world intensified by the continuing tremblors of the pandemic eventually takes Val to London, an important location for the Hong Kong diaspora. Lastly, she situates Light Matters in the contemporary, European context, finding resonance in the experience and voices of women seeking sanctuary from the violence in Ukraine.

In Light MattersVal’s installation of multi-channel videos and of photography portrays a young generation in its confrontation with the world and in its aspirations for freedom. Experiential portraits come together and move apart, forming and reforming different constellations of light and dark. Each delineating the inner and outer realities of these individuals and illuminating the ground of human encounter.

Accompanying the exhibition, a catalog will be published by Mörel Books, London.