THIRTEEN exhibitions - ink on paper, oil on canvas and the inside of umbrellas, photography straight and manipulated, ceramics functional and fanciful, installation art, public space and private parts. The Fringe Festival is less than a week old, but there are more than three dozen exhibitions to go in venues across the territory. A bit like a carnival tombola, you sometimes win a prize of value, most often you come up with less than what you hoped for. But it is a gamble worth taking. While young artists often wear their moral hearts and conceptual minds prominently displayed on their sleeves - intentions outstripping execution - there is the occasional artist, such as photographer Tse Ming-chong, where vision fulfils the purpose and promise of the Fringe Festival. Gender stereotypes, their meanings, boundaries and social construction, is a post-modernist pre-occupation very much in evidence at this year's festival on stage and at exhibition venues. Despite its title, Femme Fatale, Shieh Ka's eight ink on paper drawings of actresses and singers in the renovated lobby of the Fringe Club appear more quizzical than cunning, more demure than demonic. Ka's women are individual and appealing but hardly cutting edge. Among other issues, David Lui and the Tix Group at the Heineken Gallery explore in Hong Kong Sur-Reality, with photographs and small scale constructions, the body and sex as a commodity in consumer society. The slick images are hardly distinguishable from the assaultive advertising they are attempting to deconstruct and deflate. Much more successful in their exploration of the feminine form, along with other natural and geometric forms, are the white porcelain and earthenware sculptures at the Pottery Workshop by Anissa Fung, the first Chinese to earn a masters degree in ceramic sculpture from London's Royal College of Art. She plays with ideas as well as clay with confidence and subtlety. Her earthenware cacti representing aspects of Hong Kong womanhood from the spiky to the fertile, the open feminine forms of the Flowers and Fruit series and her Geometrical Services are witty, accomplished works. Lee Kwok-chuen's brightly coloured canvases and painted umbrellas in his Extended Space installation signal an artist worth keeping an eye on. Paul Lau's colour photographs of Tibet, Sichuan and southern China portray the immensity of the land and the almost inconsequentiality of man with his expected cool and controlled formalism. But the photographic and artistic highlight of the festival's first week is Tse Ming-chong's Hong Kong 94: Photo Diary, running until January 22 in the first floor lobby of Central Plaza. One part of Chong's exhibition consists of 12 monthly sets of small contact prints that chronicle, from a fixed point, changes in Victoria harbour during 1994. As the encroaching landfill gobbles up the sea, these photographs remind us how much we miss or take for granted as we move about the city. Too often the city is like a growing child is to its parents - something where the changes are so close we cannot see them. In Outlying District Serving Pier a series of 30 blown-up contacts, show a group of people staring out through windows, among them a man who, spying the photographer, cups his hands like binoculars and peers back - it is a wonderfully witty sequence of 'decisive moments'. In the sequenced images of On the Ferry - Victoria Harbour, the Union Jack is whipped and whirled by the wind, the clouds appearing to be slowly devouring the symbol of British rule. This exhibition is the perfect mesh of images, place and presentation. People going about their daily routines stop, arrested by the large images and the innovative use of the glass walls. That is what the Fringe Festival is all about: breaking boundaries, shaking up our taken-for-granted lives, bringing art to the people.