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