Ah Hong Kong, you are surely the Jackson Pollock of the cityscapes! 7.4 million people crammed together, each of us contributing to express ourselves: gossiping, smiling, yelling, laughing, burping, staring blankly, discussing politics, trading, building, celebrating. All of these activities somehow blending into one unique city noise, accompanied by the rhythm of the Ding Ding.

However many times I walk over you, dodging the bamboo constructions which support the high rises, avoinding a moltitude of people coming from many different countries and walks of life, I will never feel tired. The distraction, the curiosity imprint my memories.

Walking through the streets of Hong Kong offers a sense of wonder. Has civilization evolved much since the 1900s? The chaotic arrangement of goods, the random mix of storefronts, the friendly newspaper stands, the bamboo constructions, all seem the same as many years ago. On the other hand, at each moment the same place feels absolutely, uniquely different. As times passes, people shuffle across. The change in season and in weather each paint a scene of its own, depicting both the everyday chaos and the calmest moment after a rainstorm. 

This fast paced efficient metropolis nonetheless retains its culture and festivities, allowing myself as a Chinese descendent to reminiscence the celebration of the local Festivals. Civilisation has imbedded harmoniously within the nature landscape and it still blows me away how close the mountains are to the tall skyscrapers’ front doors.

Sometimes getting outside and sweaty and immersing myself among the masses of people feels somehow restful.


French photographer, of Chinese descent, Thien-Ty Ly was born in Hà Tiên, a small Vietnamese town in the Kien Giang Province neighboring the banks of the Mekong Delta. After a brief passage in Thailand, his family emigrated to France, where Thien grew up. A two years stint in China led him to move to Hong Kong, which has now become his home and the main source of inspiration that keeps him continuously captivated.

Thien has been documenting the city’s life through street photography for five years, allowing him to connect himself to Hong Kong while wondering its busy streets.

A a film enthusiast, Thien uses a 135 B&W film, with 2 different formats, the standard 24x36mm and the panoramic 24x65mm, to capture and narrate the moments of his streetscape stories.

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