The recent extensive social movements and crackdowns have brought Hong Kong to international attention again. Amid tremendous developments, this city has undergone multiple sovereignty transfers and occupation. People and places which appeared in the historical photographs not only remind me of this winding history but also of the critical moments Hong Kong people are facing now and then.
Coincidentally, photography was born almost at the same time as when Hong Kong became a British colony. This new form of visual documentation made the early stage of Hong Kong fascinating, vividly like personal memories, since photographs preserve both evidence and emotions.
Due to technical limitations, however, nocturne had never been an early photographic subject. At the time when lands were barely silhouetted against the moonlight, oil lamp or candle was the only illuminant in the dark, I believe the people in the early 19th century could hardly imagine this barren island could develop into a brilliant city today.
“What if the people of 1841 could ever witness our iconic night views today?” This hypothesis brought about my idea of doing what is missing in the early impressions of Hong Kong—to photograph it in the eternal moonlights. The exposure value for full moon illuminance is EV −3. Literally, adopting such a low value will fiercely overexpose the city lights, and the blurry outcomes render the scenes unfamiliar. There was never a predictable result by doing so, but more an embrace to allow my emotions at this moment to surface.
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