feature
Published December 31, 2018

Exploring Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a perplexing, remarkable city. It’s the chaotic amalgamation of extremes: British colonialism and Chinese culture, dense uninhabited jungle and tightly packed skyscrapers, old-world values and modern technology. There’s an unending energy that envelops the city and keeps it right on the precipice between order and utter disarray.

In cities like Paris and Tokyo, I’m an observer. The city is the host organism allowing me to travel within it, but always reminding me in small ways that I’m alien. In Hong Kong, I was immediately accepted. I traveled its streets, trains, hills, and escalators, never once feeling like I didn’t belong.

Hong Kong hasn’t tried to distill its identity into a clear image but instead accepted that their identity is full of contradictions and gray areas.

It’s like the surface of the earth. Layer upon layer of cultural sediment has built up. In some neighborhoods, I could only see the newest layer: international chain stores, imported cars, foreign tourists. In others, artifacts spanning a century of history live side by side like the layers of rock on a seaside cliff. That juxtaposition of old and new was most evident in Kowloon, where decades-old neon signs still survive alongside brighter, cheaper, factory-made LED signs.

Hong Kong is hands down my favorite city to walk through and photograph. The photos that follow capture my perspective of Hong Kong on a few days in May 2018.

01 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/60 · ISO 2500

02 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/4 · 1/15 · ISO 100

04 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/60 · ISO 800

05 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/1.7 · 1/1000 · ISO 100

06 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/60 · ISO 250

07 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/7.1 · 1/60 · ISO 100

08 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/2 · 1/125 · ISO 100

09 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/15 · ISO 250

10 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/8 · ISO 100

11 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/9 · 1/60 · ISO 1000

12 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/60 · ISO 2000

13 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/5 · ISO 100

14 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/9 · 1/60 · ISO 160

15 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/7.1 · 1/60 · ISO 400

16 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/6.3 · 1/80 · ISO 100

17 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/5 · 1/60 · ISO 2500

18 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/1.7 · 1/100 · ISO 100

19 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/10 · 1/60 · ISO 1600

20 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/60 · ISO 250

21 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/2.5 · 1/60 · ISO 1250

22 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/11 · 1/60 · ISO 10000

23 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/3.2 · 1/60 · ISO 2000

24 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/4 · ISO 250

25 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/1.7 · 1/200 · ISO 100

26 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/3.2 · 1/60 · ISO 4000

26a Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/7.1 · 1/100 · ISO 100

27 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/60 · ISO 800

28 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/5 · 1/640 · ISO 100

29 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/3.5 · 1/60 · ISO 640

30 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/11 · 1/60 · ISO 1250

31 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/5.6 · 1/800 · ISO 100

32 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/60 · ISO 100

33 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/9 · 1/60 · ISO 500

34 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/6.3 · 1/60 · ISO 320

35 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/10 · 1/60 · ISO 320

36 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/80 · ISO 100

37 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/1.7 · 1/320 · ISO 100

38 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/7.1 · 1/60 · ISO 640

39 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/2.8 · 1/80 · ISO 100

40 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/16 · 1/60 · ISO 6400

41 Hong Kong · Leica Q · f/8 · 5 · ISO 100

Liked this? Subscribe to the arun.is email newsletter.