The streets of Hong Kong pt: 2

Posted on by Bellamy


The streets of Hong Kong pt:2
In the continuation of the piece that I did last year about my love of shooting the streets in Hong Kong, I have a few more images that I think are starting to define my vision of what the city is to me.

As part of my ongoing love affair with shooting the streets on Hong Kong, I have finally got around to going through some of my images that I took the last time I was there in January (I know, I know, I am busy).
I find that I am far more prolific when I am shooting in Hong Kong. Maybe it is the unbridled chaos or the heat that makes me lose my senses, but I feel like I can walk there forever, and continue to find great scenes. I cannot stop shooting and I often find that I will come back with a ton of rolls. Which makes a change from my Tokyo tempo.

During my last visit I caught a very bad fever and was completely knocked out for a couple of days. I was hallucinating and swinging in and out of powerfully vidid dreams which were a scramble of noise darkness and debris, an apocalyptic future of some kind. It was shortly after this that my fever broke and threw myself out onto the streets of Mong Kok, Jordan and Kowloon. The market streets are always hectic and it always seems like they are on every side street. It felt like I was searching for that dream that I had.
The wet market is perhaps one of my favourites, for the the fact that you can get really really close to people, you have to watch your feet (they will get wet), and nobody even notices that you are there.

Another big draw for me is the architecture. A mixture of old and new, but it seems like sometimes that the climate is more that happy to try and reclaim some of the buildings as its own. The heat and the moisture cause and abundance of growth that gives Hong Kong a wild feeling of man against nature.

Yet there are some many people crammed into the city that they are living cheek to jowl, that they constantly have to build, knock down and re-build. The buildings get taller each time I go, like something out of a dark dystopian future.

I don’t really have a direction when I shoot in Hong Kong, there is not really a set definition as I see it. I find the whole place so fascinating that I feel like I am in the otherworldly, exotic mega city that I always imagined it would be. I had strong visual notions of what I thought Hong Kong was through my friends at school in the UK (I went to a school with a lot of ex-pat kids), so for me to actually walk the streets I found that it is as I imagined it would be. Disheveled and disorganized, broken and brash, loud and dirty, yet exciting, alluring and dripping with an ants nest of activity to take in during this visual feast.

I am continuing to shoot on this work and I hope to have a number of images finished this year that I will be able to put together in some form of coherent vision of the city that I have come to love like a slightly dysfunctional family member.

Thanks
Bellamy

8 Responses to The streets of Hong Kong pt: 2

Colin Corneau April 21, 2013 at 9:35 am

Really cool shots, and interesting to hear your views about the place. Thanks for sharing them both.

My first trip to China started and ended in Hong Kong. I spent a total of about 2 weeks there, and I saw a big variety of places – from the wet markets and crowded areas you mentioned to the newer (less crowded) business/skyscraper areas to fishing villages and Lantau Island…it’s a very dense place and alive. Would love to go back and your shots remind me!

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Peter March 7, 2014 at 10:04 am

Thanks, Bellamy, for showing your images of Hong Kong. You certainly seem to have captured the essence of the place. I recently (Oct 2013) had my first visit there and I can’t wait to get back. My prior expectation was to see a concentrated and more gritty version of Singapore, which I have visited many times, but the reality was quite different. I found it more “Chinese”, i.e. less “British”, than I had expected which I guess is a reflection of the large numbers of mainland Chinese who have “immigrated” there over the last 17 years and a deliberate policy of the Chinese government to ease HK into mainstream China.

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