Sun, 04 Nov 2018 07:28:49 +0000On the Chopping Block, Sham Shui Po
Look into any siu mei shop in Hong Kong and you will inevitably see something similar to this scene. A chef hard at work with his cleaver quickly chopping succulent roast meat for delivery to the table. Char Siu, siu yuk, siu ngap, the bright colours of the roast meat shop can be found in every district. What’s your favourite?
Sun, 04 Nov 2018 07:24:25 +0000The Tailor, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
This gentleman runs his tailoring business on the roadside in Tangalle, a beachside town on the southern tip of Sri Lanka.
The town still bears the scars of the 2004 tsunami, with vacant plots in the town and the shells of buildings near the coast.
This is the ninteenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – tailors, boat builders, bakers. You get the idea! More in the gallery.
Sat, 20 Oct 2018 13:00:42 +0000The Young Delboy of Bagan
Some people can succeed anywhere, no matter what the odds. So it is with this boy who we encountered selling postcards in a temple in Bagan. Not just any postcards – the worst postcards I have seen for sale anywhere – and I’ve seen a lot of crap postcards on my travels. I mean postcards on the cheapest card, saturated colours which had subsequently faded with age, and photos lacking any artistic merit. Whilst my wife was wowed by Delboy’s younger friend’s cute hand drawn postcards and immediately bought a few, young delboy managed to not only sell me his crap postcards at a double the price of those available at the adjacent gift store but also managed to fleece me of a handful of sweets too. And all the while with that cheeky smile. This time next year he’ll likely be a millionaire.
More Myanmar photos in the gallery
Wed, 17 Oct 2018 07:24:24 +0000The Umbrella Movement, Hong Kong – Four Years On
Hard to believe this was four years ago – so much has happened since then. For 79 days in 2014, the centre of Hong Kong as well as parts of Mongkok and Causeway Bay were shut down by sit ins by demonstrators demanding a full choice of candidates for election. The Chinese government on the other hand stated that all candidates would need to be pre-approved by the central government. Following the end of the protests, and the governments failure to meet any demands of the protestors, young people in Hong Kong turned to political means, a few getting elected to the Legislative Council. Hopes were dashed when many of this new breed of legislators were removed by the courts following a re-interpretation of the Basic Law by the Chinese government. The ramifications continue with the recent outlawing of the newly formed Hong Kong Independence Party, a political party promoting Hong Kong’s independence from China. Meanwhile, physical links between Hong Kong and China have been strengthened with the construction of the 55km Hong Kong -Macau-Zhuhai bridge and the recent opening of the Express Rail project linking Kowloon and Guangzhou.
Silence on Queensway – only a few solitary figures can be seen, a barricade stretches across the road. In the pedestrian overpass, the advert ironically encourages people to “Join us to Celebrate”.
30 September 2014 – Outside Hong Kong Government Offices – Harcourt Road Flyover, Connaught Road, Queensway – The roads, usually busy with traffic, are thronged with thousands of black clad protestors. On the night of 28 September, riot police had used tear gas to disperse student protestors. Now the Hong Kong people stood with the students.
1 October 2014, China National Day
Outside Hong Kong Government Offices – Harcourt Road Flyover – The road, usually busy with traffic, is thronged with protestors. Tents and shelters have sprung up and the protestors have organised. Makeshift food banks and water points, medical areas. Lawmaker Emily Lau gives an interview to the press outside the government headquarters. A little over a week ago this street was filled with tear gas and riot police. Today, the police presence has dissolved. A sense of disbelief fills the air.
15 December 2014 – End Game
Connaught Road, and Admiralty – Court injunctions in hand, police and bailiffs move into protest areas to clear demonstrators.
Thu, 27 Sep 2018 15:55:03 +0000End of days, Kowloon
It was dusk and the activity in the market was pretty frenetic. The dying embers of a golden sunset could be glimpsed between the buildings above the darkened alleyways. The storm was bearing down on city but you wouldn’t know it – except for the urgency of the stallholders, struggling to shift the last of their stock before the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut. The fishmonger’s shop sat alone, tucked away from the main throng but with a steady stream of loyal customers. The server exchanged pleasantries with each customer, a warm smile sealing each purchase. I stood outside the stall – and for a few minutes photographed the customers interacting. For a brief second, a pause in trade, I take a few steps forward, the vendor raises her face towards me, and locks eyes with the camera. A single shot. The next customers arrive, she returns to her work.
This is the eighteenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – boat builders, bakers, fishmongers. You get the idea! More in the gallery.
Sun, 05 Aug 2018 11:25:15 +0000The Xizhou Pizza Seller, Yunnan 2010
Dian Zi Fan, sells Xizhou Pizza, or Baba, a local speciality snack from her stall in the village square. With a choice of rose petal jam or ground pork, the snack is placed in a lidded pan before being cooked by a blast from a roaring heater. Taken on a morning walk with Brian Linden during a stay at the Linden Centre on a cold winters day in 2010.
This is the seventeenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – labourers, street sweepers, Xizhou Pizza sellers. You get the idea! More in the gallery
Mon, 23 Jul 2018 11:37:51 +0000The Boat Builders, Cam Kin, Vietnam
On the banks of the Thu Bon River and just away from the tourist hoardes in nearby Hoi An, life takes on a different pace in Vietnam. These men build and repair wooden boats using traditional methods on the side of the river. When we arrived they were busy putting bamboo fibres into the gaps between the wooden planks to form a waterproof seal. I had a go – it wasn’t easy, much to the delight of the boat builders. They were happy to pose for a picture before continuing their work.
This is the sixteenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – labourers, street sweepers, boat builders. You get the idea! More in the gallery
Tue, 10 Jul 2018 11:42:19 +0000The Market Stall Holder, Hoi An
Nothing beats a local market for meeting people and experiencing local culture. This lady in Hoi An was selling spices and other wares and had a lovely smile. I bought some tiger balm and shot her portrait in the early morning light.
This is the fifteenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – labourers, street sweepers, stall holders. You get the idea! More in the gallery
Thu, 22 Feb 2018 14:02:22 +0000Siu Yuk Barbecue Master, Kowloon
Scouting the street markets of Kowloon, there are always great characters you come across – they’re not always happy about having their photograph taken though. Deepest, darkest Kowloon this week, I came across this man – no idea of his name. A real character who also loved the camera.
I had earlier seen a pig suspended inside his shop ready for roasting and double-backed to get a better look. Roast meats are a mainstay in Hong Kong – you will see them hung up in the windows of restaurants in every district. This is the first time I have met a pig roaster though.
After having his photo taken on the pavement outside the shop, he beckoned me into the back of the shop, dimly lit by bare bulbs, the floor slick with grease. I left my vegetarian wife on the street as I made my way into a scene she would probably describe as a little shop of horrors.
Two huge gas powered cast iron barbecue ovens blazed away on one side of the room. He opened the oven door showing the pig carcasses hanging full length above the red hot coals. At the back of the room, another pig carcass hung in preparation for cooking. The chef sliced off the ears and through them past me into a bucket of water. He offered me a swig of rice wine – I thanked him and returned to the street as he continued his work.
This is the fourteenth image in the Fabric series, dedicated to the people who hold society together – labourers, street sweepers, Siu yuk barbecue masters. You get the idea! More in the gallery
Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:32:39 +0000Chinese New Year
Kung Hei Fat Choi! The Year of the Dog is upon us and a good time to catch up on some cool rituals associated with Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year flower markets are an integral part of the celebrations. Mongkok has a permanent flower market but temporary fairs are set up in urban parks.
Mongkok Flower Market, Ritual #8
The Chinese New Year parade takes place on the evening of the first day of Chinese New Year. Acts from around the world as well as local groups entertain tens of thousands of spectators in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Party Girls, CNY Parade Backstage, 2017 – Ritual #9
Octopus, CNY Parade Backstage, 2017
On the Up, CNY Parade Backstage, 2018
Nathan Road CNY Parade, Hong Kong
Lai see packets containing lucky money are distributed around Chinese New Year to Family, children and workers. In the lead up to the new year, stalls spring up around Hong Kong selling the brightly coloured envelopes.
Lucky Lane, Central – Ritual #10
After the house has been cleaned, decorations are pasted onto doors to welcome in the new year.
Door decoration, Ma Tau Kok – Ritual #11
This greeting was painted by the famous (infamous) Hong Kong artist Kwok Mang Ho, otherwise known as the Frog King.
New Year Greeting Decoration, Ma Tau Kok – Ritual #12
Wishing you happiness and prosperity in the Year of the Dog.
More ritual photos in the gallery