Artist Statements

Black City

Black City reflects the dark and gritty nature of urban life as well as the zeitgeist of Hong Kong’s political landscape. The city can be a dark place.  Shadows emanate from the soul of the city and paint darkness onto the streets, onto us.  Buildings are so tall that they block the sun, obscured by polluted skies that have grown dark from factory overproduction in nearby Shenzhen, China.  

We are city dwellers and we don’t look up because we are self-absorbed.  Our gaze is constantly directed inward. On the ground, the darkness creeps into us, through us.  The images in this series reflect these observations around the city and how everything in the city has become black. 

At times, it's easy to feel blanketed by the darkness of the political landscape marked by struggle and strife from the Umbrella Revolution and Occupy Central movements of 2014. The Central Government in Beijing has begun to meddle in Hong Kong's freedom of speech, and political process.  Nevertheless, the fight continues.  The light at the end of the tunnel that leads to Hong’s Kong’s freedom and autonomy is dim.  The spark of hope is fading. 

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Distant Figures

Distant figures is a series of images incorporating a single figure placed in the complex geometry of urban life. Although Hong Kong is one of the most dense cities in the world in terms of population, it is commonplace to find oneself alone in the concrete wilderness. 

For the expatriates that pioneer new opportunities and forge a new life, away from friends and family, their journey isolates.  The resulting experience can be described as one of solitude and feelings of being small and insignificant prevail. The loneliness fuelled by the intensity of work, so common in Hong Kong, is quelled by self-absorption to the point of self-obsession.  Again, the resulting feeling is one of emptiness and isolation.  

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Abstract Nightlife

Abstract nightlife is a more optimistic outlook of Hong Kong expressed through the energy and intensity of the creative and colourful landscape characteristic of nightlife.  Motion and colour are punctuated by emotion.  Through these images I attempt to paint a picture.  The subject of these pictures is the collective passion that is released from each weekly cycle of work and creativity from Hongkongers from many different walks of life. 

The true spirit of humanity reveals itself on this stage and yearns to keep hope alive. 

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Urban Angles 

Hong Kong is Asia’s World City.  At the intersection of East and West, Hong Kong is a small territory in the South China Sea of 7 million inhabitants.  Its beautiful and modern structures represent the collaboration of countless local Cantonese and Western workers.   The architecture can be controversial as in the case of the Bank of China Tower thats failed to prescribe to common feng shui design elements with its sharp edges. 

Hong Kong is colonial and reminiscent of the old British rule from the mid-19th and 20th centuries.  Our fair city juxtaposes mirrored high rises alongside squat, dilapidated, and moss covered concrete slabs.  Nevertheless, this is home. 

Herein lies a modest collection of Urban Angles from this pearl of the orient. 

 

jhg

February 2016