Spirit of the years in focus

Local | Bernard Charnwut Chan 5 Aug 2020

Hong Kong is surely one of the most photogenic cities in the world. We enjoy a dramatic geographical setting of sea and mountains, a stunning city landscape, and an extraordinary quality of light and shadow that's inspired famous Hong Kong photographers like Fan Ho and Yau Leung.

This year's Photographic Heritage Foundation Calendar showcases the work of a less well known but no less talented photographer, Brian Brake.

A New Zealander who based himself in Hong Kong during the 1960s and 1970s, Brake's portfolio is a historical treasure. His vivid color photographs document a key period in our territory's history, when Hong Kong left the poverty of the war years behind and entered its "golden era" of manufacturing success.

The TPHF's yearly photo calendars are always a delight, but this year's "Spirit of Hong Kong" is especially so. Brake's street photography catches Hong Kongers at moments of work and play: shopping in markets, packing toys in the street for export, exercising in housing estate courtyards.

He is no less remarkable as a landscape photographer, capturing mages of our classic cityscape from the Peak as well as a stunning shot of mountains looking out to Double Haven bay. (See his pictures and past calendars at https://www.photo-heritage.com/calendar/)

These photographs delight us with their beauty and connect us with our heritage by transporting us back to another time - not so long ago - when Hong Kong people also faced challenges and overcame them with pluck and spirit.

Bernard Charnwut Chan is chairman of Tai Kwun Cultural & Arts Co Ltd.


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