Last week I found a new one that’s gone to the top of my list. It’s Lost and Found Hong Kong (ThingsAsian Press, 2010), edited by Janet McKelpin.
As I’ve done with the others, I sat my kids down and leafed through the pages of Lost and Found, pointing out the colors and flavors I remembered from my years in Hong Kong. They were quite the captive audience, even the 2 year old.
Using images from five photographers who’ve called Hong Kong home, the book is reminiscent of Christopher Doyle’s haunting cinematography in Wong Kar-wai films.
I love the night shots the most. For when I think of Hong Kong, it’s usually at night: the neon signs, the lit skyscrapers, the dark stairwells with rusted mailboxes.
Some of my other favorites include an old barbershop, the walls lined with red Chinese character banners and an old fan. Then there’s a close-up of a stove covered with clay pots. I can almost taste the delicious rice inside. And the lonely butcher standing under rows of hanging meat reminds me of early morning strolls through Kowloon side streets as these meat shops were just coming back to life after a short respite.
If you’ve never seen Hong Kong, this book is a perfect introduction. Besides the urban street scenes, a section is also dedicated to the quaint refuge of Lamma Island.
And if you’ve visited or lived in Hong Kong, I can’t think of a better souvenir of this special city on the underbelly of mainland China.