Project Description


PhD Thesis


This practise-based research seeks to investigate how light is more than a physical matter or circumstance. How light in the context of our lived-in environment should rather be conceived as an aesthetic perception and a cultural experience that frames allusions of site and context and considered as ‘lightscapes’. The research analysis and integrates atmospheric narrations of site, light and colour situated in the context of contemporary Hong Kong through theory and creative practice.

The theoretical and investigative notions of landscape and atmosphere as phenomena that impair depths, integrating spatial and sensory human experiences provide the methodological framework to analyse existing light conditions as well as conceptualise and produce new works of (light) art. Lightscapes and their study entails the development of culturally specific aesthetics unique to their place. They reveal knowledge and insight about our everyday life, about our behaviour and conceptions of our environment. In lightscapes light and colour may become an experiential carrier of meaning that narrates the quotidian in a culturally specific way; they are comprehensive tools that aid in our understanding of the visual, the tangible as well as the intangible and experiential aspects of the places we inhabit.

To begin, a visual ethnographic investigation of Hong Kong’s lightscapes is traced, analysed and then expanded through creative practice. In additional artistic research, conducted through smaller artworks as well as exhibition contexts, the phenomenon of light and colour is probed to substantiate how and what we perceive in light and lightscapes. The final outcome – the Lightscape Sequence ‘Fragrant Harbour’ – is an artistic experiment, an investigation to attune to and think with light: from understanding light and colours in their natural and artificial forms in the context of contemporary Hong Kong to translating the found lightscapes into an embodied and reflective installation reflecting a diversity of narratives.

Key Words
atmosphere, spatial qualities, light, colour, perception, aesthetics, narrativity, site-specific art, lightscape, light art

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