The Solitude of Metropolitan Hong Kong Through the Lens of Bohan Qiu

Hong Kong is a city of paradoxes. Grotesque and skinny high-res buildings sitting on a tiny lustrous island full of tropical greens, it never fails to impress and inspire anyone visiting. But for many living in the city, it is also a city that always gives you a sense of solitude. Yes it’s the most densely populated places on the planet, and the city always attracts people around the world from all arrays of lives, but small living spaces and a hard living condition makes togetherness harder to nurture. Perhaps when we reach a limit of population, we stop caring for others as the thousands of souls passing by everyday simply cannot and do not have time to leave imprints on you.

Bohan Qiu, one of the co-founders of TOTEM COLLECTIVE, is based in Hong Kong. After living in the city for more than 6 years, he learned to adopt a different perspective of the city than someone who is only passing by.

“Hong Kong is an amazing city to live in, but the transient nature of the city makes it difficult to feel at ease at times. It’s a city that moves so quickly, but at the same time it doesn’t know where it’s going sometimes. And that can reflect on ourselves too.”

A main subject of Bohan’s photography is the neon lights of the city that’s known around the world, but repurposed in a different way that emits a sense of solitude and the blues of life. “The night changes the city complete. With neon lights being something that’s on the edge of extinction, they no longer stand together flourishing with their own characteristics. As the city tears down more and more neon lights and shops shifting to LED signs for cheaper options, even the neon lights that you spot once in a while feels lonely and emits a light of old-time glory.”

Enjoy the photos below, and let us take you on a journey of a different kind of Hong Kong night.

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