The two commercial towers rising up on both sides of the Vic Harbour are vehemently hated by the former Director of Planning. Such an eyesore is like putting Yao Ming, the Chinese NBA player, among the contestants at a beauty pageant. Wrong subject, wrong place. It is said that the tallest buildings at a place speak the essence of its attitude towards what is important. In the old Europe, it used to be churches which have invariably given way to commercial buildings. The norm in Hong Kong has always been such buildings which are gradually rebuilt into sunlight-blocking commercial towers in competition of altitude. Why on earth businesses need buildings that high is a myth.
(Leica X1; First day of work after the Chinese New Year holiday and it is still freezing at 8 degree centigrade)
With the advent of cameras painted in different colours, the reason for the traditional black colour is almost lost. Just in the unlikely case that you don't know, it is to minimise the light reflected by the camera body onto especially the surface of a close-up subject. But the camera in black still has a special charm to most male photographers. Cameras targeted and supposedly made for serious photographers are unanimously black in colour; "supposedly" because there are the likes of the Fujifilm X10. Some X10 users have complained that it is a camera targeted at serious photographers but probably does best on autopilot. The author has no first-hand experience on the camera except having tried out briefly for its viewfinder. It is a brilliant design that the VF is mechanically linked to the lens during zooming. But the VF is obviously more for ornamental purpo…
(Leica X1)Showcased at the West Kowloon Bamboo Cinema (opening session ended yesterday) are the Portraits of Cantonese Opera done by Michael Wolf, a photographer born in Munich and currently living and working in Hong Kong. A two-time winner of the World Press Photo Award Competition in 2005 and 2010, he has been engaged in photographing various aspects of Chinese cultural identity and local urban architecture.In this Portraits of Cantonese Opera, Mike utilises his lens to capture the essence of Cantonese opera and its locally celebrated performers, documenting the specificity and individuality of each character and their costumes. His approach of juxtaposing the tradition of Cantonese opera against the backdrop of the old neighbourhood conveys his reflection on the city and its diverse cultural contexts.The Bamboo Cinema was a one-off project, now finished, to provide spectators with performances at the old-day price. Cantonese opera performed in the setting of a bamboo cinema is…
Fake monks from Mainland China begging for "charity donations" in the street is a known issue in Hong Kong. The author stumbled upon two police officers stopping such a monk, who showed great remorse on his face.
In Hong Kong, the unwritten rule is that on the first day of the Chinese New Year, drivers are licensed to do illegal parking. Unless the car is parked in the middle of the road, no police officers will stop it. This no-punishment rule obviously doesn't apply to fake monks.
(Leica X1)Tomorrow is the start of the Chinese New Year. The city is heavily decorated in red and rosy colour which culturally augurs well for the new year.The new year will be the Year of the Dragon, which is an auspicious fictitious creature possibly originated from the totem of the ancient Chinese tribe. According to a retired curator of a local university, the painting of cloud on the bronze utensils in the ancient days may be related to the emergence of the dragon concept.While it is the year of the important creature, the new year is also special in that it will have 384 days since it is a double leap year – a leap year according to both the solar and lunar calendars.For further reading about the lunar calendar calculations, visit this page.