So Long Hong Kong, So Long

Chung-wai Wong

2020 - 2021

Since January of 2021, there is a minimum of three flights every day fully loaded with Hongkongers, leaving Hong Kong for the UK. It is expected that 250,000 to 320,000 Hong Kong residents will immigrate to the UK in the next five years.

This mass migration wave is a consequence of the pro-democracy protests in 2019 and a resistance to the increasing control from the mainland Chinese government.

I myself was one of the people on those planes. Leaving the city that I loved for my whole life, with the feelings of perplexity and depression of leaving my family, friends, and career behind.

All the photographs from this project ’So Long Hong Kong, So Long’ were taken during the time of such a dramatic change to the city of Hong Kong between January 2020 and May 2021.

In the beginning, I see this work as my farewell letter to Hong Kong, and also to the first half of my life.

But when I continue developing this body of works, I realized this work is more than personal, it is also about the complexity of HongKongers' identity and cultural roots. I was in a way trying to capture the enhancing sense of powerlessness and loss of hope within the city.

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  • A parrot with leg chains.

  • Teenage boys playing anime card games in a small shopping arcade.

  • Oscar and Kenny, waterfront at the western end of Hong Kong Island.

  • Shing Mun River.

  • A chained cat in a public housing courtyard.

  • Madam Wong, in front of her tailor shop.

  • Ashley, a student of a catholic secondary school.

  • Victoria Harbour, looking at the Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon side.

  • A hair Salon in Tuen Mun.

  • A Caucasian boy scout figure in The Hong Kong Scout Centre.

  • A little boy with his Filipino Maid.

  • Chan, 89 years old, is in his photo studio. The photo studio was opened in 1964, mainly provides family photo shooting services. This is one of the very few of its kind that still exists in Hong Kong.

  • Guanyin, the goddess of mercy. A Guanyin statue was reassembled by broken statues.

  • Pool cleaning, Kowloon Park Swimming Pool.

  • A teenage girl looking west, Sai Wan Swimming Shed, the western end of Hong Kong Island.

  • Sese, playing basketball on her own, a basketball court in a public housing estate.

  • A heart shape drawing on the beach.

  • An abandoned air-raid shelter, near Aberdeen.

  • A bird that was run over by a car.

  • The Big Cross of Tao Fong Shan.