A city trapped between two cultures – in a perpetual sense of adolescence, trying out new styles to see where it belongs. Faux-traditional decorations everywhere speak of the eroding identity of its 7 million people.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, I left for England when I was 17. In the decade that followed, I’ve rarely returned to see my parents and friends. I began documenting my visits back home during the Christmas of 2013 and 2014.
My old jacket, haggard trousers and roll-up cigarettes seem half a century away from a world permeated with business suits and the latest street fashion. During the balmy December day I would visit my old stomping grounds with the few friends still in touch, retracing our teenage footsteps in Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay. Shopping malls standing in smog are joined by yet more shopping malls sprouting up, their strange names a reminder that I am now a foreigner in my own city.
My visits are always brief. As I sit on the flight bound for Heathrow, I look at the strange yet familiar night sky one last time, hoping it won’t get too unrecognizable the next time I am back.
By Derek Man