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Joy Mei En Lai at Disorder Gallery

Nighthawks photographic exhibition

Where
Stanley St
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Australia
Door 108, Corner Bourke and Stanley St, Darlinghurst
When

Wednesdays to Saturdays, 12pm to 6pm Thursday 13 June to Saturday 29 June

Cost

Free

Sydney photographer and compulsive nighthawk Joy Mei En Lai’s latest exhibition opens at Disorder Gallery on 13 June 2024 revealing the unsettling stillness and beauty of our city between dusk and dawn.

Nighthawks showcases a photographic series taken between 2020 - 2024, mainly around Lai’s inner-city neighbourhood. Each image captures a seemingly ordinary location and a quiet moment, vibrant in the darkness with crisp detail. A suite of motifs punctuates the series, from breezeblocks to bridges, shipping containers to abandoned cars.

Lai’s works are composed with the eye of a painter and executed with the technical mastery of a professional photographer. Every Nighthawks image thrums with possibility: something profound happened seconds ago or is on the cusp of occurring. Like Lai, we are both witnesses and prospective participants.

Australian photo-media artist, Anne Zahalka writes: Nighthawks takes us on a voyeuristic flight through the alleyways and streets of the city. Hovering behind the photographer, we see what she sees. Joy Lai captures her street scenes of the urban, ordinary and strange, with a keen and curious eye. She is hawk-eyed!

ABC Radio National’s Kate Evans shares: Joy Lai’s photographs glow: with colour, light, attention to the beauty in the everyday and the unexpected. The angle of a staircase, graffiti on brick, the texture of cars, metal, asphalt and our urban lives. What a delight.

Award-winning author and artist George Haddad says: Joy’s photographs are high-octane narratives. To look at them is to be immersed in a multiplicity of stories and to be enraptured in what is beyond the image. The photographs raise feelings and questions, they do not serve to answer. 

The opening of the Nighthawks exhibition coincides with the launch of Lai’s limited-run book of the same name. Lavishly produced, it includes the complete series forwarded by an essay from acclaimed writer, Mireille Juchau. This hand-numbered, hard-cover edition will be available through Disorder Gallery and www.joymlai.com

Nighthawks runs from 13-29 June 2024 at Disorder Gallery, Door 108, Corner of Stanley & Bourke Street, Darlinghurst. Open 12-6 pm, Wednesday to Saturday. To chat with the artist, Joy will be attending the gallery each Saturday until close.

For further information: info@joymlai.com

Gallery: www.disordergallery.com

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Joy Mei En Lai at Disorder Gallery

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