At first sight, we are seduced by the colourful softness in Cecil Ka’s images, and the ingenuousness of the moments shared. But the peaceful atmosphere of childhood parties soon fades away and is replaced by something stormier and more heterogeneous. Turmoil follows frivolity, graveness supplants innocence.
If they don’t fail to evoke childhood festive pleasures, the pictures of this series are not a mere depiction of an inexpressible happiness. This familiar and everyday intimacy turns into a facetious and sometimes savage world. Threatened by violence, made up by moments of joy but also haunted by some anxiety, Celebration Day depicts a colourful portrait of what youth is.
Childhood is less than an antithetic image of what middle age is. And it is here seen as a particular moment, a transition between two states of being, thus responding to the photographic urge for remembrance. This desire to preserve - a desire so fundamentally parental - wards off the ghost of a double disappearance: the disappearance of children’s innocence; and, more radically, the disappearance of the loved one, that absolute treasure. Far from the aesthetics of a family album, without resorting to staging, the photographer goes beyond the expected codes of the « family photography » genre to reach universality. Cecil Ka focuses on everything that can be part of a celebration day, with its hopes and disillusionment. Accessories, fancy dress and symbols give shape to these temporary spaces of playing, their margins and their twilight zones.