Hong Kong-based photographer and artist Ernest Chang has been making a name for himself with his stunning, visceral portraitures of the city and its many identities. Despite being colourblind, Chang has an extraordinary finesse in depicting his subject matter, creating heightened color contrasts that put the viewer into the scene. His paintings convey the fast-paced society and technology-driven mindset that makes up part of the identity of the city. But, for Chang, this is not Hong Kong's only identity.
As a local, Chang is also passionate about preserving Hong Kong's traditions and authenticity. It's in this capacity that he's partnered with The Blue House, a Wan Chai charity focused on bringing awareness to the oft-forgotten areas of our beautiful city and giving back to the local community. In early January, Chang was given the opportunity to photograph the namesake historical site, The Blue House, before its revitalisation.
Chang's photograph of the Stone Nullah Lane structure feels more subdued than his previous works and, while they don't contain any of his signature portraiture, these new works show his innate talent regardless. Here the pace slows down – no longer is Chang highlighting a society that is forging ahead, but instead showcasing another time in our city's rich history in a successful attempt to hold on a little longer to the past.
Through his use of close-ups, focus on details like cracking wallpaper, found memorabilia and the aging structure of the house, the viewer is forced to stop and look at what was. We are invited to take part in the experience of stepping back into The Blue House and seeing another side of Hong Kong.
To celebrate awareness of protecting Hong Kong's heritage, there will be an exhibition block party event this Saturday from 3-11 pm at the Stallery and adjacent bar Tai Lung Fung on 82A Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai. Proceeds from this exhibition will be directly given back to the community through a host of local programmes and revitalisation efforts to preserve more of Hong Kong's identity through the official Blue House NGO, St. James' Settlement. Elizabeth Purvis.