Sharon Lee

If Tomorrow Never Comes

If tomorrow never comes,
then today, I’ll make every effort
to remember you from tomorrow.

I turn into a camera
the remnants of yesterday you’ve given me.
For you, with this, I shoot a portrait,
one that belongs to tomorrow.

If Tomorrow Never Comes presents a paradox inspired by my own misreading of two simplified Chinese characters: 来, which means “come/future,” and 末, which means “end/apocalypse.” Ironically, this misreading captures very well the underlying anxiety of our time. To leave or not to leave, to forget or not to forget, these questions constantly waver between solitude and itinerant belongings in a diaspora worlding. . For all we know, we may now bid farewell by saying, “If tomorrow never comes…”
I shoot a portrait of tomorrow as a slow farewell to our shared yesterdays. Each participant entrusted me with an object from their past, which I turned into a pinhole camera. Putting aside the decisive moment, the exposure time of each portrait is determined through a conversation with the sitter about an imagined future.
I subvert the tripartite dynamics among the photographer, camera, and sitter. Using a primitive optical system with no lens—the camera obscura, Icreate relational portraits based on trust, gaze, and communication.
The unknown future unfolds in shared resonance: How are you tomorrow?

Sharon Lee (b. 1992, Hong Kong) is an artist with a cross-disciplinary practice based on photography. Concerning history and memory on cultural identity, Lee works with images, objects, text and sites.
Her artworks were presented at local and international art institutions, including Tai Kwun Contemporary (2022), Hong Kong Art Promotion Office (2020–2021), Peer to Peer: UK/HK (2019), Hong Kong International Photo Festival (2018–2021) etc. Lee debuted her solo exhibition "The Presence of Absence” (2017) and received the Lumenvisum New Light Award. She won the WMA Masters Award with The Crescent Void series (2018-2019). Lee received grants from Hong Kong Art Development Council and HKSAR Talent Development Scholarship. She participated in art residencies in Austria, Germany, Taiwan, and the United States.

Kyoto Art Center

546-2 Yamabushiyama-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Open: 4/15-5/14 11:00-19:00
Closed: 5/8

11:00 - 19:00