Out of sentiment to old kung fu movies I went to Hong Kong to look for those images that have ever since childhood captured my imagination. Walking the streets I started documenting everyday life, fascinating in its simplicity and contrasts. Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis, and rapidly changing. What stoke me the most was the ever present cycle of things, nothing goes to waste, new rubs shoulders with old, modern with traditional. This world is everything but linear.
Upon arrival my head turned upward and stay that way for quite some time. Impressive, up to 50 story buildings, mark the skyline of Hong Kong. They cast shadows on the streets, therefore pavements require 24 hour lighting. Not much day light is recompensed by plenty of artificial light. Surprisingly, some night pictures have better exposure thanks to abundance of neons, lamps and urban lights.
It feels as if people of Hong Kong have nothing to hide. They are willing to share, show and sometimes even show off. It was striking to me how authentic people appear there, relaxed, not stifled by shame, so different to western civilisation. The city is in constant movement; pavements are packed, literally one above the other. And yet I didn’t pick up much frustration, nervousness or agression. Looking straight in the eye of the camera seems the most natural thing for people from Hong Kong to do.
I came to a conclusion that even if I stayed sitting in one place all day, I’d still have plenty of interesting things to photograph. The city of Hong Kong is never boring. And its not the architecture that makes it so compelling, its the people. What makes it so remarkable, comparing to touristic cities all over the world, is that Hong Kong thrives for itself, by itself, it doesn’t need visitors. Its evolving, yes, but it doesn’t bend its ways to please the passerby.
Hong Kong is a town made for photographers. If you are interested in street photography this is the place to be. Some might say that its even overwhelming. Changing streets, is like changing continents. New and different scenes jump at you. While framing a picture, focusing at a subject the background is in constant, unpredictable motion. Many times I was surprised when developing a picture, how much details and life was capture in the back scenes. When I look at some pictures its almost like watching a movie, there is a rich story unfolding.
There is this one picture with a double-decker bus, driving somewhere late at night. On the top deck there is a girl standing, looking out the window. Each time people see this photo, they notice her and wonder who is she, where is she going, whats her story. The people of Hong Kong make you wonder and dream.
Its no secret that Hong Kong is a city that doesn’t sleep. To accommodate any need at any time streets are poring with food, corner teleshopping selling revolutionary mops, live animals and the biggest number of Channel stores in the world. There is as much smells as there is noise. The only place to get away from the racket is by walking into a temple. The blissful smell of incenses invites you to contemplate and appreciate the local ways.
With over 7 million people living in Hong Kong, the place is impeccably clean. Its cleaned seamlessly. There are people hired to clean the streets, malls, bathrooms, but there are also those that roam the streets all day with small barrows gathering carton boxes and whatever else they can later recycle and sell. The working hours of these people are long and the work never-ending.