Four contemporary Hong Kong photographers showcase the city from every angle

Photography-quadrupled will be the theme at Central’s Picture This Gallery for the next 10 days, as four Hong Kong-based photographers team up in a bid to capture the iconic density of our skyscraper jungle.

From one lens to the next between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5, “Patterns of Living” will bring us four distinct interpretations of the architecture that surrounds us.

The works speak for themselves, but what do the artists have to say?


David Elliott

 


Hong Kong In Living Colour (XVII), Yau Tong (2015)

Canadian David Elliott, 43, has been living in Hong Kong for 12 years. Travelling as an actor and model, he gradually converted his skills in front of camera to those of a photographer.

He specifically captures the vibrant aesthetic of public housing estates and industrial buildings in his series “Hong Kong Living in Colour”. His photos draw together local aspects of old and new, clutter and order, to provide a multidimensional picture of the pattern and structure of (his vision of) Hong Kong.

 


Hong Kong In Living Colour (XVIII), Yau Tong (2015)

What makes Hong Kong a unique city to photograph?
I feel the rate of development in Hong Kong is unheralded. It’s a race against time to document many subjects which are here today and gone tomorrow, thus making the imagery more original.

What aspects of Hong Kong’s architectural environment inspire and fascinate you the most?
As much as I can appreciate the modern architecture, it’s been the tong lau’s [old-school tenant buildings], public housing estates and factory buildings which have really inspired me with their beautiful colors and patterns.

What does the exhibition title,“Pattern of Living”, mean to you in relation to your art?
In exactly two ways. The patterns are very apparent throughout the series, but I also like the idea of what’s behind the facade of the building – the people and how they live.

How do you expect (or hope) the audience interacts with your photos?
I would hope the audience is firstly captivated by the aesthetics of the images and then their minds will carry them to a place of wonderment as the focus looked deeper into the image.


Stefan Irvine

 

To Kwa Wan Street (2014)

 

Stefan Irvine has been a photographer for 15 years, the last 13 of which he’s spent in Hong Kong. With a background in photojournalism and commercial photography, his current focus is on fine art photography. His work has been published widely (National Geographic, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal), and he was the winner of the Independent on Sunday/Oxfam Photojournalist Award in 2000.

In this exhibition, Hong Kong’s architectural culture is depicted through Irvine’s panoramic snaps. With help of post-production expert Jörg Dietrich, photos were merged into one final image to show an entire block of varying building facades.

Ki Lung Street (2014)

What makes Hong Kong a unique city to photograph?
Hong Kong is a very 3D city. Because of the density of so many tall buildings, each time you go up a new high rise, you are presented with a brand new perspective on a familiar location. On top of this, there is simply so much life in the streets and back-streets, day and night, that there is always something new and unexpected to see.

What aspects of Hong Kong’s architectural environment inspire and fascinate you the most?
I am naturally drawn to elements of the environment with some history, ranging from ancient village houses, to post-war tong lau shop-houses. I am excited by the way local people are increasingly interested in preserving this architectural heritage.

What does the exhibition title,“Pattern of Living”, mean to you in relation to your art?
I think the title has two meanings; as well as the obvious visual patterns which emerge from the architecture itself, there are the richly varied patterns of life which are taking place in every one of these panoramic photographs, which aim to show a multitude of dwellings and existences simultaneously.

How do you expect (or hope) the audience interacts with your photos?
I hope that Hong Kong audiences will relate to the work in a personal way, and that I can jog their memories of growing-up or visiting the districts in which I shoot. I also hope that viewers will share my enjoyment of looking on these buildings as pieces of heritage worth celebrating and protecting.


 

Eleanor McColl

 


Scarlet Sky (2015)

British-born artist and photographer Eleanor McColl is a Hong Kong resident who founded the art school Chameleon Workshop.

Her photos in this exhibition include a montage of Jardine House in Central and a circular geometric pattern – a colorful, funky and retro take on a building that was once the tallest in Hong Kong.


Fuschia Sky (2015)

What makes Hong Kong a unique city to photograph?
For me, it’s the sheer visual diversity in such a compact space. Loud crowded markets stuffed with colour, glittering towers disappearing into the clouds and banyan roots busting out of their concrete prison. The photo opportunities are never ending.

What aspects of Hong Kong’s architectural environment inspire and fascinate you the most?
Whether peeling or pristine, I find all Hong Kong buildings inspiring. I am slightly obsessed with the layers of colour and texture found on old peeling walls, creating a kind of accidental art. However, for this series, I chose to focus on my favorite skyscraper, Jardine House. It’s bold, unique, retro and I love it.

What does the exhibition title,”Pattern of Living”, mean to you in relation to your art?
The primary focus of my work is buildings, but it’s the human traces found within that fascinate me. Whether business or residential, the pattern of daily life going on in and around this high density city is something to behold.

How do you expect (or hope) the audience interacts with your photos?
It’s always scary revealing your work to others. It’s a personal love that you hope others will appreciate. Looking at this series makes me happy and I hope others can derive the same joy.


Harold De Puymorin

 


Sustainability (2014)

Harold de Puymorin, originally from Toulouse, France, has a birthday gift – a camera – to thank for inspiring the roots of his professional photographic pathway.

For “Pattern of Living”, de Puymorin’s “miniaturised” tiltshift photos play on pausing the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. This magnifies the question of the “realness” of this city, as the name “Puppeteer” also suggests.


Ants (2013)

What makes Hong Kong a unique city to photograph?
Hong Kong offers so much, visually speaking, from classic skylines to more subtle patterns passing through contrasted lifestyle… I guess the most complicated thing for a photographer in Hong Kong is to find a proper style, a signature, something unseen or very well built, like a documentary or a long term photography project.

What aspects of Hong Kong’s architectural environment inspire and fascinate you the most?
I guess, of course, the contrast between the modern and the old; that describes most of the big Asian Cities. I really like playing with lines and geometric shapes.

What does the exhibition title,“Pattern of Living”, mean to you in relation to your art?
I like the concept of putting together four different artist with their own vision of Hong Kong. We’ve all been living here for a while, we learnt how to adopt HK and we now try to interpret our vision through different yet very original artworks.

How do you expect (or hope) the audience interacts with your photos?
I hope people will be curious and will show interest in what is a new interpretation of Hong Kong. Far from classic Hong Kong  photography, these artworks will be pretty unique. I hope there will be nice interaction and I am sure it will be a very nice exhibition.

What: “Pattern of Living”
When: Aug. 26 – Sept. 5 (Opening cocktail Reception Aug. 26 at 6 pm-8:30pm)
Where: Picture This Gallery, 13th Floor, 9 Queen’s Road Central  (Google Maps)
Price: FREE


Got a tip? Send it to us at hongkong@coconuts.co.


Show your local Hong Kong pride with our new City Logo Tee! Available on sale until September 30 at The Coconuts Shop.

READ MORE

CITY: HONG KONGCATEGORY: LIFESTYLESUB-CATEGORIES: ARTS

Leave a Reply

Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on
MOST POPULAR

Send this to a friend