Book of the week–Lost and Found Hong Kong

Over the years I’ve collected gorgeous photography books about Hong Kong. Two of my favorites are Kenneth Lo’s Nathan Road (MCCM Creations, 2007) and Ian Lambot’s City of Darkness (Watermark, 1999).

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.



  1. says

    Sounds very interesting – my wife badly wants to go to Hong Kong, but we just don’t seem to have the time!

    It’s all the TVB shows she watches on line… they seem to portray the place as some magical shopping mall, where nothing ever goes wrong (or goes wrong for too long).

    • Susan Blumberg-Kason says

      It would be a great place for an anniversary holiday! It’s the best of both worlds–shopping for her and great food for you both. One of the things that surprised me when I first moved there was the huge variety of Chinese food. There were a ton of Chiu Chow (Chao Zhou) restaurants, a Ning Bo restaurant, and others that I’d never find outside Greater China. There is also a slew of Aussie pubs, if you ever feel like that. They have a great literary scene, too.

  2. says

    I’ve seen this book in the stores here. Hong Kong has so much material for photographers. I agree that night shots are particularly striking here. Do you have any plans to visit HK again in the future? Perhaps your kids would like to see it in person some day.

    • Susan Blumberg-Kason says

      I totally agree! My husband loves photography and I’d love to take him to Hong Kong. I get super excited when I think of all the great photos he could take there. Alas, it’s difficult to get away for more than 5 days because of childcare. One of these years, though, when my kids are older. Of course, I dream that if my memoir is ever published, I could return to HK like Chris Thrall on a book tour!

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