Chung-Wai Wong bids farewell to Hong Kong in his new photography project
We talk to the photographer about his recent move to London and how he wishes to turn his project So Long Hong Kong into a book.
- Joey Levenson
- 6 October 2021
- Reading Time
- 2 minute read
What does it mean to look back on a home left behind? London-based Chung-Wai Wong’s new photography project So Long Hong Kong, So Long is a sweeping reflection on the process of one’s home slowly changing as departure approaches. “I just moved to the United Kingdom this summer from Hong Kong,” Chung-Wai tells It’s Nice That. The photographer and filmmaker first found their footing in the medium during their time at design school and then subsequently during their work in movie production in Hong Kong. “Taking photos of various locations has always been an important part of my job,” he explains. In the series, Chung-Wai’s home of Hong Kong becomes a character in and of itself: the many different facets of its geographical and social make-up are presented in each photo through a loving, albeit forlorn, lens.
“The idea of this project came when I decided to leave Hong Kong,” Chung-Wai explains. “I thought I should create a photography project to say farewell to the city I love.” But what started as a project to document the things in Hong Kong which he didn’t want to forget eventually developed into something bigger. “It somehow shifted to something less personal,” he says. “It became a wider study of my own identity and the cultural roots of Hong Kong and the people here.” In the end, the project became a two-year endeavour. “Photography is so amazing and powerful – it has the ability to share the message of the photographer or artist in just a split second,” says Chung-Wai. “If that image is able to hit or connect to its audience, then it can stay in one’s mind for a very long time, almost forever. “
Whilst Chung-Wai’s cinematic background has certainly informed the types of images he takes as a photographer, literature is what was most key in his inspiration for the project. “My works always shift between photography and writing,” he says. “But literature and the sense of atmosphere changing in the world always urged me to make my own works.” During the creation of this series, it was Gao Xingjian’s novel Soul Mountain that provided this impetus. The novel’s sense of discovery and reflective nature is evident in the photographs of So Long Hong Kong, So Long . “I was trying to capture the enhancing sense of powerlessness and loss of hope within the city,” Chung-Wai says.
Now, Chung-Wai is looking to publish the project in photobook form. With his incredible talent for capturing locations and their inhabitants, we have no doubt that the photographer will be successful.
GalleryChung-Wai Wong: So Long Hong Kong, So Long (Copyright © Chung-Wai Wong, 2021)
Chung-Wai Wong: So Long Hong Kong, So Long (Copyright © Chung-Wai Wong, 2021)