Collaboration: Joy Mei En Lai & John Dennis Photographic Exhibition

Mar 03, 22
Collaboration: Joy Mei En Lai & John Dennis Photographic Exhibition


Rewind Photo Lab is excited to present a new photo exhibition by local Sydney artists Joy Lai and John Dennis.

Born in Aotearoa, New Zealand, Joy Lai’s New Zealand series showcases spectacular glaciers encompassing just some of New Zealand’s breathtaking natural landscapes. Meanwhile, Lai & Dennis’s photographic collaboration photographing Sydney’s White Bay Power Station shows a gritty exploration of Sydney’s industrial past reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”.

Printed on Bauhaus Photo Metallic Paper (New Zealand Series) and Handmade Awagami Bizan Paper (White Bay Power Station Series) and printed by Rewind Photo Lab, Lai and Dennis said: “We are very grateful to Stephen Frizza, Ben Ali Ong and Rewind Photo for giving us the opportunity to breathe new life into these images. It has been years since we have looked so thoroughly at the film and we are thrilled to see these selections from our White Bay archive printed with such empathy and finesse.”

Joy Mei En Lai

Joy Mei En Lai is a photographer who has worked in Sydney's leading cultural institutions for more than a decade. Her images regularly appear in print, exhibitions and on the facades of prominent public buildings. Grounded in film photography and broad commercial experience, Joy’s visual practice encompasses a love for digital technology combined with a painterly aesthetic. With a degree in the Visual Arts, Joy’s eye is formally composed but reframes the traditional gaze of landscape photography. Her immersive works embrace Indigenous perspectives of Country and custodianship. She is drawn equally to wild places and the sparse intrigue of urban environments. Born in Aotearoa
New Zealand, Joy has also lived in Asia and Australia.

For more information, please visit

John Dennis

John Dennis is a Sydney based photographer, with a degree in Media Arts in Production from University of Technology. He now builds on more than sixteen years' experience in the photographic industry.

John’s commissions cover a broad range of subjects including; advertising, advertorial, editorial magazine shoots as well as moving picture corporate assignments. Throughout his personal work, John’s projects are inspired by transformative qualities of light. Photographing White Bay Power Station remains one of the most formative experiences in his development as a

For further examples of John’s work please visit


NEW ZEALAND SERIES: Artist Statement

When Joy was fourteen her family left New Zealand, Joy returned for the first time, fourteen years later. Sparked by her return 'Postcards from Aotearoa', is Joy's continuing series, and celebrates her aroha (love) and reconnection to her homeland. Based on Gadigal land in Sydney, Joy creates work from her own explorations and also welcomes commissioned assignments.



The White Bay Power Station came on line in 1917 and lived a full life until it was decommissioned in 1984. Standing at the gateway between the city and it's westerly approach, the station’s obelisques seemed like watch towers high above a long abandoned castle. Torn perimeter fencing beckoned potential adventure for the daring and foolhardy. We'd dreamed for so long to have access to this gritty jewel of Sydney's history; our expectations were not disappointed.

Once inside, the cavernous space opened up before us. A derelict amphitheatre that once housed machinery, now dismantled and removed thirty years prior. What remained was concrete and permanent, deeply greased machinery reminiscent of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Soft light diffused from filthy windows combined with stagnant air, almost overwhelmed us with it’s stillness. Tentatively, we sidestepped the remains of rats and pigeons, inching around decaying floors, danger ever present but not breaking the spell. We’d stepped through time.

Every space was so quiet and the outside traffic noise was so distant. The everyday world was beyond an invisible threshold. Time and space had become distorted. The scale of our surroundings was so strange. We were witnessing the relics of machines, built for long departed giants. Colours desaturated, the absence of ubiquitous modern plastics was strangely arresting. Instead rusted iron, wood, bakelite and glass made up what fittings were still intact. At the end of each day on exiting the building, we felt ourselves slowly recalibrate, acclimatising to our regular world. This is how immersed we were in the experience.

This exhibition was printed by Rewind Photo Lab by Ben Ali Ong.

For printing inquiries regarding Bauhaus Photo Metallic Paper and Handmade Awagami Bizan Paper, get in touch with Rewind Photo Lab via;

Ben Ali Ong
(02) 9008 1375

For all purchase inquiries for the exhibition:
Joy Lai: