Cherry Au Hon I: PEOPLE, PLACE, TAKE UP SPACE

1 – 12 February 2022

Private View Wednesday 2 February 6 – 9 pm

Gallery 1

PEOPLE, PLACE, TAKE UP SPACE is a solo exhibition by non-binary Macanese born, London based photographer Cherry Au Hon I. Presented as part of LGBTQIA+ History Month, the exhibition will be brought to life with a series of performance events, talks and film screenings from queer collectives and performers.

PEOPLE, PLACE, TAKE UP SPACE is a collection of intimate portraits that present subjects in their own environments – whether that is a houseboat on London’s canals, a caravan in Berlin or a vintage shop in Taipei. The link between these disparate environments is their emotional connection to the subjects. For many LGBTQIA+ people, finding a space where they can be their authentic selves is a challenge, this could be impacted by the country they live in, societies’ influences, or their cultural backgrounds. This exhibition weaves together a map of international experience and celebrates the resourcefulness of queer individuals in building for themselves a space in which they belong.

The exhibition retrospectively presents Au’s documentary practice from the past six years and brings together their series focusing on different parts of the queer community. This includes ‘DYKE’, a collection of portraits and interviews from self-identifying dykes exploring the many interpretations of this term. And ‘Queeroes of London’, which showcases the elder members of London’s LGBTQIA+ community as a way of preserving queer stories through the generations.

A constancy that defines Au’s photographic style is the sitters’ defiance to the camera as if daring the viewer to look. These images on their own are an intimate, almost voyeuristic glimpse at an individual’s private life, but when presented together in PEOPLE, PLACE, TAKE UP SPACE the viewer is confronted with the power and vibrancy of the queer community. 

Au began the portrait series in 2015 as a way of counteracting how isolating London can often feel. Photography became a tool for forging new connections and discovering community, as well as recording life stories and archiving queer histories. Au started casting people they met in the street, at queer spaces such as Dalston Superstore and Heaven, and through dating apps like HER and Grindr. Au interviewed each sitter to gain an insight into their individual experience of queerness. The resulting photographs are both deeply personal and contextually rich. This project has continued to expand, now including images of 250+ queer people from across Europe and Asia of different ages, races and backgrounds, from accountants and drag kings, to tattoo artists and nurses, they are all united in their desire for representation and confidence in showing the world how they exist within it.

 

Events:

The Exhibition will be brought to life with a series of performance events and film screenings.

Saturday 5 February 4 – 6 pm: The Voices Film Program Presents Queer Portraits

A selection of short films that paint nuanced portraits of queerness. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the creative teams.

Wednesday 9 February 6 – 9 pm:  QW’ER SCRATCH

open mic and photographic happening

QW’ER host a open mic of performance celebrating the queer community. 

Sign up to perform or simply come along and enjoy the show!