Lynette SHUM

 
 
 
 

Jade and gold - so quintessentially Chinese, exquisite to look at, but also imbued with meaning.

These two bangles I never take off.  The gold bangle is part of what my Ma, my father's mother JIE Yeut Shi (沈謝月十 [馬太娘]), gave to me when I married.  It is soft and has become misshapen through wear, but is still beautiful. I love the colour of the jade, and its translucency.  My mother Jean SHUM (沈楊文鳳) wore this before me, never taking it off, and it came down to me.

When Ma came to New Zealand around 90 years ago, she had in her trunk two of these indigo glazed cotton tops.  I believe she never wore them though I don't know why.  Perhaps in coming to a new country, she realised she needed a different look, a more western one, to cover her skin.  Or maybe, like me, she found it too tight around her neck.

The large framed picture is a copy of my paternal grandparents' bilingual marriage certificate.  I've never seen another as colourful or ornate, or with photos.  They married in 1925 at the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand in Canton.  My grandfather SHUM Ching Hoi (Gung, [沈清海, 沈馬太]) or Matthew SHUM, was 64 at the time, and my grandmother 22; it was the first marriage for them both.  I have often thought of how she would have felt, marrying a much older man who she had never met before, made pregnant, watching him leave, then being sent to join him and other strangers here in such a different place on the other side of the world when she was about to give birth to my father.

The individual photos in frames are of my parents, Jean and Sam SHUM [沈福英] both of who are now no longer with us, but who will always be missed. On the top right corner is a photo of my maternal grandmother (Por), Mrs Gwen Young (nee Joe, 周楊玉群).

Having objects such as these are not only a reminder of people who have gone before, but also my cultural heritage and who I am.

 

Lynette SHUM

2015

 

Lynette SHUM

When Lynette SHUM [沈寶蓮] showed me her grandma’s gold and mother’s jade bangles that she is now wearing all the time, an idea of a ‘family portrait’ sparked. I requested her to dress up in her grandma’s indigo top. It is an archetypal dress of a working class woman in China, in early to mid-twenty century. It became the background for her pair of hands and the two bangles. Lynette’s elegant pose has multiple representations: a spiritual encountering of the three generations, a Chinese maid’s pride and a caring mother.

 

When I photographed Lynette’s portrait at her home, I had her holding her grandparents’ marriage certificate in front of the photographs of her parents to mirror with the ‘family portrait’.

 

King Tong HO

2015


玉器和金器 — 典型的中国物品, 精致高雅, 又蕴含意义。

这俩个手镯我从没有取下来。金手镯是我结婚时祖母(我父亲的母亲)送给我的其中一件礼物。它很柔软, 虽因磨损有些变形, 但依然美丽。我喜欢玉手镯的颜色和它的通透。母亲沈杨文凤 Jean SHUM 把它传给我之前一直带着, 而从没有取下。祖母大约于九十年前来到纽西兰, 她的行李箱里有两件靛蓝色的棉衬衣。我相信她从未穿着过, 尽管我不知道原因。也许, 来到一个新的国家, 她认识到需要不一样的、一种更为西式的打扮。或者, 也许跟我一样, 她发觉衣领太紧吧。

这幅大的镶有镜框的照片是我祖父母的双语结婚证。我从没看见过如此绚丽并配有照片的结婚证。 一九二五年他们在广州基督教长老会教堂结婚。当时祖父沈清海 (马太) SHUM Ching Hoi 六十四岁,祖母二十二岁, 都是初婚。我经常想, 跟一个比自己年龄大很多, 又从未谋面的男人结婚、怀孕、看着丈夫离开, 然后在即将分娩的时候, 被送到异国他乡与他和其他陌生人一起生活, 祖母会有怎样的感受。

相框里的两张单人照片是我的父亲沈福英和母亲沈杨文凤, 他们都已不在了, 但我永远想念他们。右上角的照片中, 是我外祖母周杨玉群。

拥有这些物件不仅是为了怀念离去的亲人, 也是我的文化根源, 让我知道我是谁。

 

沈宝莲

2015

 

沈宝莲

当沈宝莲给我看她经常戴在手上的属于祖母的金镯和母亲的玉镯时, 燃起我替她拍“家庭照”的念头。我请她穿上祖母的靛靑色布上衣、一种典型二十世纪初至中期的中国劳动妇女的衣着, 以此作为双手戴着两只镯子的照片背景。沈宝莲优雅的姿态, 有着多重象征意义:三代之间的精神相遇、中国妇女的自信和母亲的关爱。

在沈宝莲的家, 替她拍肖像时, 我请她拿着祖父母的结婚证书, 背后是父母的照片, 合照成他们的“家庭照”。

 

何经棠

2015


玉器和金器 — 典型的中國物品,精緻高雅,又蘊含意義。

這倆個手鐲我從沒有取下來。金手鐲是我結婚時祖母(我父親的母親)送給我的其中一件禮物。它很柔軟,雖因磨損有些變形 ,但依然美麗。我喜歡玉手鐲的顏色和它的通透。母親沈楊文鳳Jean SHUM 把它傳給我之前一直帶著,而從沒有取下。祖母大約於九十年前來到紐西蘭,她的行李箱裏有兩件靛藍色的棉襯衣。我相信她從未穿著過,盡管我不知道原因。也許,來到一個新的國家,她認識到需要不一樣的、一種更為西式的打扮。或者,也許跟我一樣,她發覺衣領太緊吧。

這幅大的鑲有鏡框的照片是我祖父母的雙語結婚證。我從沒看見過如此絢麗並配有照片的結婚證。 一九二五年他們在廣州基督教長老會教堂結婚。當時祖父沈清海 (馬太) SHUM Ching Hoi 六十四歲,祖母二十二歲,都是初婚。我經常想,跟一個比自己年齡大很多,又從未謀面的男人結婚、懷孕、看著丈夫離開,然後在即將分娩的時候,被送到異國他鄉與他和其他陌生人一起生活,祖母會有怎樣的感受。

相框裏的兩張單人照片是我的父親沈福英和母親沈楊文鳳,他們都已不在了,但我永遠想念他們。右上角的照片中, 是我外祖母周楊玉群。

擁有這些物件不僅是為了懷念離去的親人,也是我的文化根源,讓我知道我是誰。

 

沈寶蓮

2015

 

沈寶蓮

當沈寶蓮給我看她經常戴在手上的屬於祖母的金鐲和母親的玉鐲時,燃起我替她拍「家庭照」的念頭。我請她穿上祖母的靛靑色布上衣、一種典型二十世紀初至中期的中國勞動婦女的衣著,以此作為雙手戴著兩隻鐲子的照片背景。沈寶蓮優雅的姿態,有着多重象徵意義:三代之間的精神相遇、中國婦女的自信和母親的關愛。

在沈寶蓮的家,替她拍肖像時,我請她拿著祖父母的結婚證書,背後是父母的照片,合照成他們的「家庭照」。

 

何經棠

2015