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Viktor Sjölinder: Chinese New Year

Hong Kong


Hong Kong is firmly positioned on the China coast, where the Pearl River Delta meets the South China Sea, but for every year that passes it’s drifting further away from the west.

It has become a sad reality in recent years, as the PRC escalates it’s power over the autonomous region, that Hong Kong’s core and essence, the integration of western ideas and asian society, it’s yin and yang, is being oppressed and turned into it’s own contradiction.

In my teens, a couple of years after the British handover, I moved with my parents to Hong Kong, and it’s been on my mind ever since, but for every year that passes my memories are drifting away. I can’t help to think of my photography as part of a self-defence mechanism, as a means to refresh my memory, and as a medium to hold onto them.

The places, people and objects that I choose to photograph attracts and fascinates me on two levels; both on an introvert and an extrovert level. They are on one side emotional and nostalgic subjects from my memory that I am afraid to forget, but they are also subjects representative of unique characteristics that I fear will disappear from Hong Kong society, and what they both have in common is an anchoring in the fusion of east and west.

The residential complexes, where me and my friends lived, named after far away cities like Paris and New York, act like colossal reminders of Hong Kong’s international spirit and mindset. The Chinese new year decorations in the americanised shopping malls, where I hung out as a teen, become a spatial representation of the beautiful magnetism between east and west. The American international school and its students, which cast an everlasting spell on me in my teens, are bi-products of Hong Kongs treated role as an international business hub.

In the end this project becomes a metaphorical examination of Hong Kong and myself,

it takes place somewhere between memory and reality, between past and present, on a small island where East meets West.

Edited by Viktor Sjölinder