When You Leave
Wong Chung-Wai’s book “Hong Kong After Hong Kong”, published by GOST, asks the question: ‘What do you want to stay with you if you are leaving a place?’
When he decided to leave Hong Kong, where he grew up, Wong Chung-Wai used photography to keep a record of the city, its structure, atmosphere, and the shore his parents had reached 40 years before. “It was midnight, June 1st, 1980, in the town of Shajing, Shenzhen, China. My parents waited for the guards at the border to rotate their positions. At the right moment, they dove into the water of Shenzhen Bay, beginning their illegal escape to Hong Kong.”
Writing about the reasons that pushed him to leave, he adds: “You may ask the reason for the shared fate of these two generations, uprooting themselves from their homelands. I would answer that this was not an outright rebellion—we did not dare—but rather a kind of stubbornness, a refusal to be deceived.” One of the most chaotic cities of the world looks calm through Wong Chung-Wai’s lens, almost solitary, as the photographs focus on the experience of individuals, mostly the youth who will shape the city’s future after his departure.