fredag 26. juli 2019

‘I Love HK but Hate It at the Same Time’

This project on Hong Kong began in Paterson, New Jersey. In 2016-2017, I was studying at the International Center for Photography and photographing the place I grew up. I wanted to find a way to connect with local gangs. I began making portraits of people in Paterson and having the subjects write on the photos in order to tell more expressive stories about themselves and their community. Some of my portrait subjects are aspiring rappers, many others are not, and they all face adversity through various forms of oppression. In Paterson, oppression comes in the form of racism, violence, poverty, corruption, and addiction.

After graduating in 2017, I returned to Hong Kong, where I have now been living for around 13 years, and I continued the project here. Individually, the portraits and text may tell a simple story about daily life or address larger issues such as universal suffrage or inequality, but as a whole I hope they tell a nuanced story about Hong Kong and its people. The current political situation in Hong Kong has affected the direction of the project, pushing it to include how Hong Kong people feel about the receding of freedoms that in the past felt secure: freedom of the press and expression, the right to assembly and to participation in political affairs, and an independent judiciary.