Ho Tam

Visual Art:

 Cartes de Visite

Cartes de Visite

Archival inkjet print mounted on aluminum, 36 x 22.5 inches, 2010

Set of 6 images


Exhibited at Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto


"Cartes de Visite is based upon a fictitious traveller/explorer from an ambivalent time. Dressed in the 19th Century clothing, the travelergoes back and forth in the timeline visiting and investigating cultural and historic sites. The photographs are the documentation of his various trips.


In the first series (China 2010) is a set of archival photographs that seem to be taken at various iconic sites of various continents. Further inspection reveals the sites to be merely replicas of the real locations. In fact, the images are all taken in a miniature theme park (Windows of the World) in Shenzhen, China. The situation presents a paradox of double takes, playing with the ideas of "travel" and "tourism." The layers and the reconstructions question the perception of time, space and identity.


The title of the work, Cartes de Visite, refers to the old time "visiting card" popularized the 1900s. In this work the size of the photographs is substantially magnified while the title suggests multiple readings."  - Paul Petro Contemporary Art