Matthew Atkin records an endangered way of life in Hong Kong harbour


Matthew Atkin recently took this photos of Causeway Bay typhoon shelter as the sun was going down in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour recently, no doubt with his current favourite camera, a FujiFinepix X100.

Here’s what he says about the shots:

At one time (at least up to the late 80s) this area was absolutely full of sampans with people living on them.

I think this lifestyle so close to the centre of Hong Kong is about to go, as the inhabitants of these boats are likely to be ‘moved along’, and so I have been keen to photograph them before they go.

The boats are very close to the financial district of Hong Kong, and there is an enormous amount of construction going on around the few hardy souls who remain living next to huge cranes and under flyovers. However, I should point out that living under a flyover is considered much more positively here than in the UK.

I rather liked the sampan next to the yachts, which creates a striking juxtaposition between the haves and have-nots, and the guy eating his dinner.

The expensive boats all belong to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club next door.

Also among this collection is the noonday gun, which is fired every day at noon – the idea used to be that it would enable sailors to know the time.  It is still fired by the property and investment group Jardine Mathieson, although it is now rather blocked from the harbour.

The gun was once fired by Noel Coward and is mentioned in his song Mad dogs and Englishmen.

Thanks for the photos brother Matt!

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