After Barthes

IMG_20130226_0028 800 by 600

One day, quite some time ago, I happened on one of my photographs of myself. At that moment, I thought: “I am looking at a photograph of myself taking that photograph.” I realised then, that it is possible for me to use my photographs as provocations for thinking.

It is so easy for me to be self-indulgent. A street photograph is a photograph by and of the self even as it is a photograph of others. One could shift back and forth, between that reflection of myself and those of my other fellow passengers behind me on the double-decker bus. I could choose to look at the vehicles on the road and remember I am on a journey. (The act of looking and writing are odysseys in themselves.)

I have been haunted by that moment since. Is it possible to go beyond what I see and hence go beyond myself? I decided there is a possibility here for street photography and for Hong Kong. What can Hong Kong teach me about street photography, and what can street photography teach me about Hong Kong?

Hong Kong Lucida, as the title implies, is inspired by Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida