A ray of light pierces into a withered space,
reviving scenes that will soon vanish.
In the 1950s, public phone booths were installed across Hong Kong by the British Hong Kong Government. As technological advancements have provided city-wide network coverage, the gleams of smartphone screens are seen flitting in the streets. Scattered across the city are disused phone booths that are about one square metre in size, with broken lightboxes inside.
We wrapped a disused booth in a reflective cover, and added a coin from the colonial era with a hole drilled in it, turning the booth into a pinhole darkroom. Through the inverted images inside the booth, the viewer shuttles back and forth between different landmarks before and after the handover, tracing the endlessly shifting political relationship between ‘deconstruct’ and ‘construction’ in the city.
A discarded phone booth waiting to be dismantled,
a memento of the Queen still being circulated today.
Tang Kwong San (b. 1992) was born in Dongguan, and he is currently based in Hong Kong. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from RMIT University and the Mr. Jerry Kwan Scholarship in 2019. He explores the use of different media in his creative practice, including painting, drawing, photography and installation. Some of his artworks have been acquired by private collectors.
Yuen Nga Chi (b. 1994) was born in Hong Kong. She received a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Visual Arts from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2019. She employs photography as the main medium in her creative practice. She was shortlisted in the 6th Singapore International Photography Festival Photobook Open Call in 2018 and awarded the WMA Young Talent Award in 2019 (Graduation Exhibition of the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University).
Early this summer, a friend of mine who is a photographer met a kindred spirit online. Just as they were getting ready to meet in person, the social movement broke out in Hong Kong, and the two of them became occupied with their own lives. They made a joke that they should see each other only after at least two of the five demands were met. They began an experiment: until this goal is achieved they will only meet in a dark place. The only light source is the flash of an instant camera, as the vague impressions they had of each other from online continue in real life.
To this day, they have met in the dark several times, they each still have no idea of the other’s appearance or identity.
This photo series is the collaborative work of a photographer and an architect. Due to the anonymous nature of this project, detailed artist biographies are not available.
O’Young Moli, Julian
O’Young Moli (b. 1992) is an artist who currently works and lives in Hong Kong. Julian (b. 1988) is an architect who currently works and lives in Hong Kong.
Located in the bustling area of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Park is secretly known as a cruising spot for gay men wander who look for casual sex. The project observes Kowloon Park as a public space for recreation, as well as a ‘stereotopia’ – a place where for a marginalised group to escape from social norms. Gay men look for fun here like animals chasing after lights. But what are they really after?
Liao Jiaming (b. 1992) was born in Guangdong. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Sun Yat-sen University in 2016, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Media from City University of Hong Kong in 2019. He lives and works in Hong Kong. By using images as the main medium of his creative practice, he questions the relationships and connections between reality and virtuality. He is interested in the topics of urban life, minority groups and living space. Liaoʼs works have been exhibited or screened in London, Zurich, and Shanghai, among other cities.
BURNT is a photo diary recording the recent social unrest of Hong Kong. All photos were taken using only the first frame of the roll (the frame prior to the camera hitting zero on the frame counter), on a 35mm film camera.
Of these ongoing anti-government protests, one incident caught my attention in particular—a photo of a girl who was shot in the eye during a clash between the protestors and the police in the streets. The vivid image of her injury reveals a partial truth—it shows the result, but not the cause. No one can follow or digest the plethora of news that is being circulated. No one can tell if the news is showing the whole truth, or if it is a collage of fictions.
The making of these photos was both mechanical and chemical. When a roll of film is being loaded into the camera, the first few inches of the film are exposed to light, and consequently they cannot capture a distinct image. For this reason, many photographers discard the first photo taken with a roll of film. However, I like the dynamic of having a scar-like line dividing the photo into two parts, making the image partly seen and partly unseen. It presents only a partial picture, echoing the ambiguities in reality.
Wong Wei-him (b. 1975) was born in Vancouver, Canada. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from McGill University in 1999 and a Master of Architecture from the University of Hong Kong in 2001. In 2010, he established In-between Architects Ltd., a design studio based in Hong Kong. He is an architect and street photographer.
He writes: “At first, I used my camera to capture peculiar spaces and intricate design detail to use as inspirations for my design projects. Over time, I have developed the habit of bringing my camera with me wherever I go. When I see something that intrigues or touches me, I photograph it.
When I came across the work of Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt and Japanese street photographer Shin Noguchi, I was inspired by the portrayal of culture and humanity in their photography. It was then that I decided to take up street photography, and photography has been one of my passions ever since.”
Laws of Hong Kong, Cap. 503 Fugitive Offenders Ordinance
In 2019, the anti-extradition law movement erupted in Hong Kong. Life is now filled with feelings of hopelessness, anger and hatred, as we are confounded by graphic images from the news, day after day.
I am constantly confused by this inescapable reality. Using everyday objects, I reconstruct moments and scenes of the movement, which create a sense of security within myself.
Half of the images evokes anger and fear. The mundane is now unrecognisable, dehumanising and violent.
Yet the light among us has illuminated new meanings and values for our city – the Space Museum lit up by laser beams, the Hong Kong Way, and the Lion Rock which used to be a twisted symbol of the materialistic Hong Kong spirit but has now come to possess a new identity. It is heartening to see that materialism is no longer the only totem for Hongkongers.
Glory to Hong Kong.
Caleb Samuel Fung (b. 1994) is a freelance photographer born and based in Hong Kong. He graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts of the Hong Kong Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Visual Arts. His works mainly originate from his background and the environment, exploring humanity and the nature of life.
Caleb Fung was one of the winners of the 2018 WMA Open Photo Contest. His works were featured in an exhibition at WMA Space in 2019.