Just added a new photo gallery to the Hong Kong collection
Just to say, we’ve added a new photo gallery to the archive – TAI YUEN MARKET, HONG KONG.
As with so much going on here, this is not new work as in new work. The images featured in this gallery are part of a collaboration with the Link REIT, a real estate investment trust based in Hong Kong and is currently the largest in Asia in terms of market capitalisation. The purpose of this collaboration was to show off the unique features and innovative designs of the then newly refurbished market. Innovations included air-conditioning, sluiced drainage, high level power points as well as innovative signage and wide, uncluttered passageways to enhance the customer walk-through and experience. Most of the photography was done in 2011.
In a sense, I was allowed to “indulge” myself. And, for this, I must thank the Link’s management. In the process, I got to know not only the stall holders, but the market’s management staff and some of the regular customers who got to patronise this market. In one sense, this was a sort of a, “Day in the Life of…” exercise. Except that, we took this one stage further. In the process, we took a look at the whole food supply chain. In this, we went with the stall holders to source their supplies – be it for vegetables in the Fanling Wholesale Vegetable Market, for fruit in the Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market, for fish and seafood at the Aberdeen Fish Market and more of the same at the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Fish Market.
This collection of images is but a small sample of work from this particular collaboration. More images featuring Tai Yuen Market will be added to this gallery in due course. More galleries from other legs of this project will be added in the near future.
Regarding the featured image, this lady and her husband ran a vegetable stall in the market. If you want to know about busy, this couple give the term “busy” a new meaning. The husband does the buying. We joined him shortly after midnight at the Fanling Wholesale Vegetable Market where he does his buying. Here we spent a hour or so. His main task as sourcing his produce – by the Styrofoam box full. His main produce was fresh, green leaf vegetables – mainly bot-choy, pak-choy as well as lettuce, broccoli, celery and the like. Tomatoes, onions, potatoes and various squashes are part of the mix as well as other seasonal vegetables. Every box, create and punnet is checked for quality and freshness.
He gets back to the market before 6:00 AM and starts stacking stacking his shelves. When the market opens at 8:00, the wife takes over to handle the sales. A little later in the day, the husband returns to trim up vegetables and to restock the rather depleted shelves. The are 3 basic rush periods, the early morning, a period in the late morning and then, in the late afternoon through to closing time at 7:00 PM. As for their children, it’s the story of Hong Kong all over, their children are studying at college. This is the story of one stall. There many similar stories through out the market.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Much of the photography for this project was done using a Canon EOS 5D Mk II and several lenses [the Mk III came out in March, 2012]. This was the gear that I had at the time. Not the best for social documentary work. Part way through the project, I acquired and started using a Leica M-3 and a pair of lenses. Yes, I went back to using film. And the results, they were quite telling. Material for another post. Enjoy…