Editor’s Showcase: Hongkongers’ Daily – Thien-Ty Ly

Thien-Ty Ly
Submission Title:
Hongkongers’ Daily
Hong Kong
Photographer Bio:
French photographer, a Chinese descendant, Thien-Ty Ly was born in Hà Tiên, Kiên Giang which is a small town neighboring the banks of Mekong. His family immigrated to Thailand before settling in Paris, France were he was raised for a large part of his young life. A four years stint in China led him to move to Hong Kong, which has now become his home and also his main source of inspiration that keeps him continuously captivated.
His photos delve into the hidden stories found in landscapes, lifestyle, portraits and far-flung travel destinations. As a practicing Architect, Thien-Ty Ly’s photography recalls the many qualities of architecture that touches the heart. Portraits that tell important, personal stories. Lifestyle shots that speak of cultural and societal perspectives blended with individual style. Landscapes and cityscapes that give indication of history and tradition, while also providing hints of a future yet to come.
“I have been documenting Hong Kong city life through street photography for six years. I am passionate to capture spontaneously by placing the human figure at the heart of my concerns and wonders about the relationship that people has with his environment in everyday moments. Inexhaustible subjects, the population of Hong Kong is very generous, as long as it does not insist too much, shoot fast, keep smiling and move forward.
I enjoy to shoot with a 35mm film cameras. For this first exhibition, I used a 35mm B&W film Hasselblad Xpan 24mm x 65mm panoramic format to capture and narrate the moments of my street photography stories.”
Submission Information:
Ah Hong Kong, you are surely the Jackson Pollock of the cityscapes! With 7.4 million people crammed together, each of us contributing to express ourselves: gossiping, smiling, yelling, laughing, burping, staring blankly, discussing politics, trading, building, celebrating. All of these activities somehow blend into one unique city noise, accompanied by the rhythm of the Ding Ding.
However many times I walk over you, dodging the bamboo scaffolds at every construction site, avoiding a multitude of people coming from different countries and walks of life, I will never feel tired. The distraction, the curiosity is imprinted in my memories.
Walking through the streets of Hong Kong offers a sense of wonder. Has civilization evolved much since the 1900s? The chaotic arrangement of goods, the random mix of storefronts, the friendly newspaper stands, the bamboo scaffolds, the neon signs, all seem unchanged from many years ago. On the other hand, at each moment the same place can feel uniquely different. As time passes, people shuffle across. The change in weather and seasons each paint a scene of its own, depicting both the everyday chaos and the calmest moment after a rainstorm.
This fast-paced, efficient metropolis nonetheless retains its culture and festivities, allowing myself as a Chinese descendent to reminisce the celebration of the local Festivals. Civilization has embedded harmoniously within the natural landscape and it never ceases to amaze me the close proximity of the mountains to the front doors of tall skyscrapers.
The moment I step outside in the humidity of Hong Kong, I immerse myself among the masses of people, and yet, I feel somehow restful and at home.
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