I have been living in Hong Kong since I was born. I grew up in a background learning that this beautiful city was the result of our ancestors’ hard work. My parents and grandmother used to tell me about Hong Kong’s golden age, when everyone works very hard to build this city and all the communities with pride and honor. A time, which, hard work pays off, people cherish traditions and social ties.
I grew up around the neighborhood of Yau Ma Tei. I was able to observe it closely and developed strong bonding with this decaying yet beautiful district. It has always been my inspiration and the theme of my artworks, especially photo work. Hong Kong is a city that keeps changing. Economic and social developments have become the main forces that sculpt the city. They affect how people live and interact. They also alter the landscapes of neighborhoods. Rent has become unaffordable to many locals, traditions and old buildings have been torn down and replaced by shops that no longer aim at serving the community. As time goes by, and as I grow up, I start to doubt the needs of development.
In this project, I used the large format camera to document the neighbourhood. The large format camera has a long history of being used as a tool to record history. The process of using a 4x5 camera is slow and decisive, like any other old traditions that are vanishing. In this documentary project, I hope to record those that might soon be part of the Yau Ma Tei history, and to invite the audience to think about the idea of community and development.