【明報專訊】In 1997, Wong Kar-Wai (王家衛) released Happy Together (《春光乍洩》), titled after The Turtle's 1967 hit by the same name. The movie depicts a gay couple, played by Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung, decamping from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires in order to renew their relationship, only to end up in cycles of turbulent clashes leading to their eventual separation. Many forlorn and sensuous cinematic moments later fondly remembered were captured by photographer Wing Shya (夏永康), who first became the set photographer of Wong's film with Happy Together and went on with several other movies. His exhibition under the same title is now on view at Blue Lotus Gallery in Sheung Wan.
Despite its title, the exhibition features Shya's set photographs from different movies, as well as his commercial works. Half of the works capture moments of intimacy and togetherness between two people. As if suspended in time, these images empower the fleeting moments by sparing them from the capriciousness of the future. They celebrate the many coincidences that manifest themselves in the meeting and happenings between two people. But as we all know, unlike what The Turtle's lyrics suggest, a throw of the dice is often less promising. The next turn or event can be a cradling wave, or a turbulent swirl. Perhaps that is why a hint of vulnerability could be spotted in the photographs, however united their subjects may seem. In his other works in the exhibition, Shya also captures solitude and the painful longing for love, as if reminding us of the flip side of the coin.
Earlier this month, Wong Kar-Wai announced a sequel to his much loved 1994 comedy drama Chung King Express. Perhaps it is a good time to revisit some fond moments of his earlier films through the lenses and reinterpretation by Wing Shya.
"Happy Together" is on view at Blue Lotus Gallery until 11 October, 2020 (Sunday).
Mona C. has a strong appetite for stories. Feed her enough.