Nana Chen gives an unfiltered look at life inside the Chungking Mansions
The Chungking Mansions might be Hong Kong’s most notorious property. After the fall of the Kowloon Walled City in the 90s, the Mansions attained the dubious honour of being Hong Kong’s last ghetto. A 17-storey limbo for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and, before the advent of CCTV, a shelter for bandits, druggies and deviants spinning in its own galaxy among the luxury high-rises reshaping Tsim Sha Tsui. These days the Mansions are no longer a haven for criminals. With restaurants slinging underrepresented cuisines, nearly 2,000 guestrooms providing cheap accommodation for travellers and mom-and-pop shops that allow immigrant families to make by in one of the world’s most expensive cities, the Mansions stand as both a testament to the globalised world we live in and a lifeline for the city’s underprivileged. In 2009, shortly after a Canadian tourist disappeared from Chungking Mansions without a trace, Taiwan-born photographer Nana Chen began wandering its corridors using her camera as a guide. Chungking Mansions: Photographs from Hong Kong’s Last Ghetto is the fruit of her labour. The book gives a glimpse at life in the Mansions that few ever get to witness and adds colour to an environment we often view in black and white. Chen talked with Time Out recently about her creative inspiration, as well as the journey that took her inside the heart of the Mansions. What drew you to Hong Kong for this project? Did it happen organically, or did you have a vision to do
Top art exhibitions to see in Hong Kong this month
Hong Kong is bursting with incredible art and there’s no shortage of world-class art galleries and independent art spaces in the city. It can be a bit overwhelming, so why not get some inspiration with our pick of the best art exhibitions and shows on display in town this month.