Memories of Mong Kok

So, here’re some memories of Mong Kok.

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They were trying to create a better community.

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The streets announced their will.

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The exhibits were playful: this looked like an umbrella carousel.

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There were thoughtful moments like this at Mong Kok.

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There were hard hats with a tough message.

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There was a clear intention.

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There was energy.

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There were tents.

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There were floating umbrellas.

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Pretty umbrellas.

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The streets belonged to its people.

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The signs and umbrellas were there.

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There were ominous moments.

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The graduates were there.

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They were preparing for an eventuality.

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Yellow and blue went well together.

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There were selfie moments.

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He told me to take a picture and share it.

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Goodbye tents, goodbye Occupy Mong Kok.

 

Camera: Canon 600D

Legacy Lens: Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f 1.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occupy Central: A Monochrome Meditation

All images were taken with one camera, one lens, on the same roll of film and on the same day.

 

This is a visual meditation on Occupy Central.

Once upon a time, Occupy Central was an idea. It was an event that was yet to come.

It then became an event.

It will be an event that is always already present, even if it ends today or at some point in the future.

 

At Admiralty.

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At Mong Kok.

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At Causeway Bay.

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Thanks for reading.

 

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f 1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

 

 

 

Winding Down?

There’s definitely a sense that things are winding down at two of the three Occupy sites.

There’re fewer tents now at Mong Kok.

I’m focusing more on the objects this time – how do you photograph tents and people that are not there?

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At Admiralty, the tents are still holding forth, and the art works are still looking robust.

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Causeway Bay is a bit quiet these days, though there’re still people who would pause to read the messages.

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Thanks for reading.

 

Camera: Canon 600D

Legacy Lens: Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Lydith 30mm f 3.5

Revisiting Occupy: Mong Kok, Admiralty and Causeway Bay

The sites are being cleared even as I’m typing this.

So, this is going to be memory soon.

Mong Kok:

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Admiralty:

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Causeway Bay:

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Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Kodak Ultramax 400

 

 

 

 

Occupy: Mong Kok, Admiralty and Causeway Bay

So – I managed to go to all three sites on the same afternoon.

At Mong Kok.

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People are still smiling.

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Mannequins are still standing.

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Though there’s a sense that this might be over soon…

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I’ll never look at umbrellas the same way again.

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Umbrellas and street culture are now intertwined.

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Lots of artists have emerged.

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Every person an umbrella.

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We are all umbrellas.

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No violence, please.

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The hope of a generation is here.

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I’m ambivalent when it comes to the police.

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The police stands for law and order.

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I respect the police, but what happens when the law privileges a particular social order that is in question?

Over at Admiralty.

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An umbrella community.

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We’re all waiting and watching.

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We see the organic growth of a community.

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A community that stands for something.

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An artful and thoughtful community is emerging.

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Though it’s all eggs against a brick wall.

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Vigilance.

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Constant vigilance.

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A poem by Gu Cheng entitled “A Generation”: Dark night has given me dark eyes, but I’m using them to look for brightness.

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These are students of history and poetry.

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I see students like this on campus every day.

I teach them poetry and creative writing.

They’re somewhat goofy, always respectful, and many do have a strange fondness for Doraemon soft toys.

They bring these soft toys along with them for pictures on graduation day.

Now they’re a force of social change, graduating with honours.

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It’s not just the students, of course.

The carpenters show up to be carpenters.

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It is already done.

Even if the barricades are cleared and all have gone home, Occupy Central would be that powerful idea that will be always ever present.

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The rest is just documentation.

Occupy Central is already set in memory, in photographs, social media, in newspaper and government reports.

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The skeleton of the umbrella is strong.

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There are no wasted bodies on the streets.

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They know what they want.

At Causeway Bay.

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The Hong Kong people.

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The small business owners.

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The umbrella is looking somewhat tattered but the sentiment is strong.

Rough translation: the work is hard but keep going.

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In the end, history will decide.

 

 

Camera: Canon 600D

Legacy Lenses: SMC Takumar 24mm f 3.5, Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f 1.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mong Kok Afternoon

The umbrella is looking a bit battered today, against the big advertising capitalist billboard.

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Nonetheless, it’s still standing.

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I’ve seen him at it so many times, hard at work.

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Rough translation: let’s raise the umbrellas together.

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The exhibits are looking somewhat battered. Let’s hope this is not a sign of things to come.

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There’re still umbrellas on the ground.

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People are still waiting.

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People are still looking and thinking.

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Praying.

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Is the British Consulate supporting this, or is the British Consulate to be occupied next?

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Translation: protect the students, protect the journalists.

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The makeshift library is still operating.

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There’re even resting stations for those needing a break.

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A balloon exhibit.

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The tents are still here.

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A soft toy with a tough message.

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A mannequin manning the barricades.

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Look at that awesome camera!

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The mannequins are still waiting.

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The tents are waiting.

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The police, too, is waiting. What is the endgame here? Does anyone know?

 

 

Camera: Canon 600D

Legacy Lens: SMC Takumar 24mm f 3.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admiralty Again

Again I find myself walking around Admiralty.

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There are messages I’d like to read again and again.

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An expression of people’s will.

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A bicycle – I wasn’t sure if that’s an exhibit or simply a bicycle.

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That’s an exhibit for sure – I saw this same car on campus at CUHK the other day.

“Jan Po Suen” is the Cantonese pronunciation for true universal suffrage.

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George Orwell. Has it really come to this?

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Very creative.

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Translation: unity is strength.

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Pretty brollies…

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Colourful.

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The number of hours that must have been spent making these.

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But the medium is the message, I’d think.

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Meaning all of these are so fragile and vulnerable.

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Not unlike the will of a people.

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There’re obstacles.

That’s the People’s Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building – a very visible ominous reminder.

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Would a people’s determination be enough?

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History, we know, will sort out the villains and the heroes.

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They’ve even got a map, in case a visitor is lost.

Thanks for reading!

 

Camera: Canon 600D

Legacy Lens: Vivitar 24mm F 2.8