A city from back–HK Photo Essay


Last year when I was still an exchange student in Hong Kong, I had taken hundreds of photoes to try describing Hong Kong to my friends in mainland. After they read though all pictures, they always concluded HK in those ways :"Oh, there are so many high buildings", "Hong Kong is a really high developed and modern city ", or "too many people, much too crowd".


But these were not Hong Kong in my mind, even these were derived from pictures which I used to describe Hong Kong. It was a strange feeling when you attempted to cover a city, but always defeated by your own attempts. Hong Kong is such a special city, that it can be greatly attractive and charming, but always turn puzzling when you try to describe it.


So when Andrew told us to use 15 photoes as a piece of HK photo essay, I was really excited but also nervous about this topic. How can I use mere 15 photoes to describe Hong Kong? Or just part of it? Which angel can be most effective and attractive? What story shall I choose to tell HK in my own opinion?


For several days, I moved from Central to Shang Wan, from Wan chai to Tsim Sha Cui, from Mong Kok to Kowloon Tawn, aimlessly, with a heavy camera around neck, to do nothing but just carefully look at this familiar but strange city. This city is famous for its modern high buildings, and traditional Chinese signals. But what differences? Despite from outside environments, if you were just sitting in MTR, how can you tell whether you were in Hong Kong or in Tokyo or in Shanghai?


The fact is, it does distinguish, through people themselves. You may find people’s expressions were totally different in MTR of Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The way they talk and walk is different, even their look-alike backs speak quite special language.


My idea of "A city of back" was set up in a normal street in Central, when I saw a woman waiting for the green light. She dressed so office-like, standing straightly, with short hair flaunting in the breeze. It’s hard to describe, but when I stood after her, from her back I just felt some sense of "Hong Kong".Why not just tell this puzzling city in a more puzzled way, from their backs? The old’s back, the young’s back, the office lady’s back, the poor worker’s back, or the beggar’s back–they should be special for themselves but the same "Hong Kong".


What came out finally is the 16 photoes in flickr, which you can find the link on the photo above. I have tried my best, although they are still not so satisfying. Anyway, it’s quite different when you focus on people’s faces and their backs. From their unconcious moves in back, from the least decorated parts in their bodies, no matter the old or the young, the poor or the rich, the sad or the happy, you may find another Hong Kong, which is a little bit different from the one in face.



————New Media Workshop的作业,到香港拍的第一组照片……


A city from back–HK Photo Essay 已经有一张纸条儿了

  1. Unknown 说:

    Cool, I have seen so many blog in msn, yours can be regarded as the coolest level. And, Take care in the very space! ^_^ May God bless u!


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