Tony Mak (b. 1991) is a Chinese visual artist grew up in Guangdong, China and currently lives and works in London, UK. He works with mediums such as still images, films and explores on cultural landscapes, urban developments, regional history and local communities.
Travelling between east and west in recent years, he often struggles with an identity of being an 'outsider' in both culture. He returned to Southern China as an estranged 'insider' to reconnect to an identity through exploring local folk culture, geography and history. In London, he tried to understand the past and the future of his local neighbourhood to connect himself to the community as a newcomer. He likes to imagine an 'elsewhere' with different time and space using photography, which, to him, becomes a way of self reflection and realisation.
MRes Filmmaking, Photography and Electronic Arts (Distinction) (2019)
MA Photography: Image and Electronic Arts (2014)
- Goldsmiths University of London
Photo Fringe OPEN20 SOLO, Shortlisted
BJP International Photography Awards 2021 Exhibition, SeenFifteen Gallery (London, UK), November
Cluster Photography & Print (London, UK): To The West Of The Solitary Sea, March
Centrale Festival 2021 (Fano, Italy): Video Installation : Qing Ming (To The West Of The Solitary Sea), June
Rotterdam Photo Festival 2020 - Transition (The Netherlands) : To The West Of The Solitary Sea, February
Photo Fringe OPEN20 SOLO (Worthing, UK): To The West Of The Solitary Sea, October
Photo Fringe 2020 (UK): The Legacies, October visit>
Another Place Magazine: The Legacies visit>
But Tony’s presentation is anti-didactic. There is no insistence on utopian harmony, nor undue focus on the irreconcilable visions of what Stratford should be. His subject is spatial reality—life and land as they coexist in individual moments. A neat row of docked hire bikes overlook an office landscape. On a building site, heaps of rubble wait to be transported to relay terrain, powder grey stretching from earth to cloudy sky.
- Ravi Ghosh, Photography Author, 2022 (on After The Olympics)
Retreat to Fish Island and Hackney Wick, and you find yourself back in the realm of the human, with buildings, boats and wildflower-sided paths that may be a bit scruffy in places but were clearly made with people in mind. As was all the sharp new waterside housing, even if it does look a bit lost in the industrial angle of the A12.
Tony Mak’s collection of photos in After the Olympics catches the fractured mood of this social cusp that remains a decade on from 2012.
- Sarah Birch, 2022 (on After The Olympics)
What is attractive, though, about your document and your thinking, what is noticeable, is that they act on a broad intellectual spectrum. At times, I would say, you are a common sense phenomenologist, especially when you take photographs, a medium that has a phenomenological bias.
- Ian Jeffery, Art Historian, 2019