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Contextual Drawing-Half Innocence (2013)

TAM Wai Ping, Lukas

A Big Banyan Tree, Sending Postcards from Hongkong, Dripping (three set of artworks)


am space


am space, Hong Kong

Confronting history with a sense of innocence, Tam re-presents history with used objects, images and texts, outlining a history that did not and could not exist. Doubting the authenticity of history, man surrenders to a cycle of ‘half-innocence’, thus responding to the outside world with a degree of helplessness.

But what is the inner state of mind of man? Life begins in a state of innocence that man strives to shake off, only to reach a half-innocence state later. Perhaps man does not care for the essence of things, one simply indulges in the world of the carefree, searching for some kind of outlet, and a choice of not having to choose. Tam contemplates the origin of life, attempts to be close to Nature, and seeks the home of the inner being. He says, “The emphasis is to be close to the essence of things, and Drawing can reflect such a state of being.”

  • Artist Statement

    I asked my five-year-old daughter, “why are you crying?” She replied, “I’m tired and sleepy.”

    Driven by physical senses, she had tears rolling down her face. It reflected the most natural state of humans – the state which is not overridden by rationality. Doing whatever one desires can be perceived as innocence of the young. It is also the most intimate response to life and it’s miraculous.

    This period of innocence is ephemeral. We are in the constant pursuit of growth – the pursuit of survival, etiquette and knowledge. The pursuit rids us of innocence and fills us with desire (Note 1).   What happens afterwards? The majority of us are equipped with knowledge, but we become numb. For those whose senses still remain acute, they are in pursuit of purity and simplicity. People who manifest such qualities are the True Man (Note 2).

    Yet, I believe my daughter will grow up to be just like most people and me. She will be exposed to a society full of complexity, hypocrisy, lunacy and injustice. When she is aware of life’s vagaries and even hypnotized by them, how will she know her true nature? When she is aware of the brutality, she will be likely to feel a sense of powerless, loss and speechless.