Hong Kong & China Street scenes


These photographs were taken in 1994 as part of a world travel experience.  They are from both Hong Kong, before the handover to the Chinese, and also from the city of Xiamen, some 200 miles north by boat along the east coast of mainland China. The streets were always full of intrigue, opportunities and people who were mostly happy to have their photograph taken.  Sometimes lost for hours in places where nobody spoke English I always seemed to document my way back home.  I used ten rolls of black and white film in eight weeks, and I wish I'd shot many more. This edit of 36 photos goes some way to showing the wide range of people that live and work in this part of the world and the feelings I experienced whilst there.

Whilst writing my latest novel, ALONE AMONG EQUALS, I drew heavily upon my visual memory impressions of Hong Kong, in fact much of the book is about memory. Setting the story within an urban landscape was made much easier by the feel of the city that still remains in my consciousness. These photogrpahs in particular helped draw me back to the heightened reality I felt whilst taking documentary photographs at street level. Even though this travel exploration was some twenty six years ago, the photos and the memories made whilst taking them (they are not the same thing) are very clear. Although the book is set in the future the contrast between the ancient and the modern in this rapidly changing city is marked and inspiring. The modern and high tech life of its inhabitants are widely covered but in these images I wished to show the intense presence of a great old culture, at street level.

Click on photograph to enlarge.