The Old Shops
In an environment where everything is changing so fast like in Hong Kong, it is hard to determine what is identity. Especially when the evolution of the city and the political decisions are making its culture disappearing and getting more and more diluted into another on. So in order to grab what could be an expression of Hong Kong identity, I decided to focus on what many people would consider as the remains of the past, of the era that many people would refer to as the golden age of Hong Kong.
Unfortunately these remains have been disappearing at an increasingly fast pace these last few years. Many of the popular districts from the past have been replaced by totally aseptic buildings and shopping centers. And unfortunately, the few remaining ones are greatly threaten to encounter the same fate in the near future. The street life itself is disappearing since most of the modern residential towers don't have any commercial space at their ground level to shelter shops that bring soul to a district.
This has caught my attention especially in 2013, when a long-time established Mahjong Parlor in Kwun Tung has reached me for a photo project of recording their districts before its destruction. The whole area near the MTR station of Kwun Tung was being taken over by the Urban Renewal Authority and its demolition was imminent. With the help of this Mahjong Parlor, I worked on recording what was the aura of that district and we naturally came to the idea of portraying all the shops that have been building the identity of this place for the last decades.