Listening to the Silence

Dialogue in the void.


從2013年的新人作品《Maybe a Sentence or Something》,以至後來的《Stairs》,《聽靜》是鄧浩倫第三本攝影集。一如以往的嚴謹設計態度,《聽靜》採用燙銀雪花紙作封面,白地銀光,低調中別具韻味;書腰上則使用和紙,通透的材質,使層次更為分明、豐實。至於字體上也是將心獨具,選用香港設計師許瀚文開發的「空明朝體」,單單從封面上「聽靜」二字來看,就躍然出一陣古樸的味道。




Three years ago, Tang Ho Lun began to collect nails on the streets. Some are in good condition, as though being dumped on the streets before even proving themselves useful; even more are rusted and bent, just like unfortunate losers in a battle who have been through the hardships of life. After three years of nail-picking, Tang Ho Lun put together his latest work titled Listening to Silence based on these nails.

Following his debut work in 2013 titled Maybe a Sentence or Something, and subsequently Stairs, Listening to the Silence is the third compilation of his photography works. Staying true to his serious and strict approach to design, Listening to Silence features a cover with silver foil stamping on art paper, with glistening silver color against a white background, being low-key yet stylish. Its tummy band is made with Japanese paper, whose translucent quality makes the layering richer and more pronounced. In addition, the use of a font called sora-micho, which is developed by Hong Kong designer Julius Hui, also demonstrates discerning consideration. The two printed Chinese characters on the cover for Listening to the Silence alone radiates a sense of classic simplicity.

As reflected in his two previous works, Deng is accustomed to using static objects as his point of departure, which is always associated with extended consciousness and indescribable sadness. In Listening to the Silence, nails at times look lonely, and at times appear as a group, like people from all walks of life. But in nature, they are useless objects, or at the very least objects that are unable to speak for themselves. Look at those pedestrians passing through in a hurry, they never spare a direct glance at these little nails.

However, rather than simplifying such states as sadness, it seems more befitting to see those nails as escapers from shatters, or even objects of reference for personal cultivation. I still remember one time when I was having a conversation with Deng, he said: “Modern people have a huge fear of silence, and they always attempt to use dialogue and music to fill up the void of embarrassing moments of silence. However, I believe such silence should be observed and paid attention to instead, and thus the title Listening to the Silence.” The contemporary world celebrates and encourages conversation but ignores the blank space outside of conversation. However, in the process of appreciating this photography album, we can see that blank space actually has the hidden ability to guide us; during moments of silence between the end of a conversation and the beginning of another one, we can still hear the answer.

“I am still collecting nails,” he said.