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Lost & Found: Seen Through Local Lenses

February 7, 2010

Recently I came across Lost & Found: Hong Kong edited by Janet McKelpin and produced by ThingsAsian Press. Janet was born in Hong Kong but left it when she was very small. She has visited many times, and loves the city, but wondered what it was like to live there. Lost & Found, was born out of the desire to see the city through the eyes of a local rather than a tourist. McKelpin asked five Hong Kongers to reveal their city through photographs: the streets they walk through everyday, their refuges, their rhythms, the things of daily life.

Hong Kong fascinates me and what I love about this book is that it is not glossy; that the Hong Kongers chosen are not professional photographers nor travel journalists.  This is not a glossy magazine spread on Hong Kong. They are regular Joes- or Jackies- and they give you a sense of the quotidian experience of living in the city.

It got me wondering what my own photos would be- what are the daily scenes and places that define and color my life? I take for granted that I will remember them forever, but the truth is, that they change, and that imperceptibly, many of the old scenes fade away.

One of my favorite childhood objects is two bristol boards that I made for my parents when I was about 8 years old.  They were on a trip and I decided to photo-document my days for them and make posters with captions explaining each activity.  Now faded and dusty in our home attic, they have become windows into a little girl I now only vaguely remember.  The rhythms of a daily life that is now lost to me.

Armed with a camera, what patterns and rhythms would I find in my daily life now?


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