While we are slowly recovering from the pandemic, our day-to-day lives are still strange, to say the least.
Gone are the days when we could go out maskless or not hear the automated "normal temperature" announcement before going into shops and restaurants.
Those times can only be reminisced for the time being.
Exploring the notions of time, history and memories, Contemporary by Angela Li is currently hosting Future of The Past, a joint exhibition by seven local artists of different generations.
"The name Future of the Past highlights the contradictions of 'now.' On the one hand, it seems to be frozen in its tracks, and on the other, it seems to be changing rapidly," said curator Eric Leung Shiu-kee.
"Over the past months, the world appears to have stopped temporarily, and life has been put on a rest sign due to the pandemic. Facing the uncertainty of the future, everyone seems to still be frozen in anxiety and hesitation and imprisoned in the dimension of the present.
"However, at the same time, our society is undergoing tremendous change. 'The present' is constantly flooded with different shocking messages, pushing it further away from the past and growing rapidly toward the future."
Edward Cheung Ho-keung's 2020 06 08 HK 22.303522, 114.180368 depicts a scene that looks more like a dreamscape. It is through deciphering the cryptic title that we pinpoint the time and location of said scene.
Inspired by Paul Klee's Angelus Novus and Walter Benjamin's interpretation of the work, in which an angel looks helplessly into the catastrophes and wreckage of the past as it is hurled into the future by the storm of process, the artist hopes to look back on present time in an imaginary future where "the present" becomes history.
Ying Wong Ying-sheung's Viewing is a sculpture of her own hand creating an "o" shape - a gesture that refers to the imaginary telescope from our childhoods.
Looking through the telescope, one's sight is limited, yet more focused, much like how we isolate and focus on specific moments when we look back on the past.
But history does not only exist in human memories - it is also recorded in media and literature.
Paper on the wall by Giraffe Leung Lok-hei looks into the idea of memories and social media. We often upload photos on our social media, not only to share them with our friends, but also as a record of our daily lives. But with the amount that we upload every day, do we still remember all those moments?
By uploading and downloading the same image repeatedly on Instagram, the photos become blurry and distorted by noise. Through this, Leung explores the idea of memories and their distortion by their vessels, not only in computers, but also in the human mind.
Looking into traditional media and its captivating headlines, Wong Chak-hung replaces the front pages of newspapers with world-famous artworks.
Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Dora Maar now sits on the front page of Sing Tao Daily, and Piet Mondrian's neoplasticism painting adorns the front page of the South China Morning Post.
"I hope that through the artists' unique artistic techniques, they can capture their feelings and thoughts at certain instances in response to this special historical moment from different perspectives and inspire the audience to think from a different angle."
Future of the Past is available at Contemporary by Angela Li until August 7.