Tseung Kwan O: The New Town and what else.


Tseung Kwan O

Domino game

Temple in Tseung Kwan O



Through the net

Waiting to get picked up after school


Scooping in the Ice cream cup

This series was shot solely to represent my feelings to the new town development in general. In terms of photography, it’s only an hour of shooting. I don’t expect much but at least a start. I still want to have them posted as of a documentation of my visit to the place.

The population in Hong Kong is outrageously high, everyone knows that. It’s full of high rises in the commercial districts like any cities in the world, such as New York City, Chicago,…When there’s that high population density, where does all everyone lives? We are talking about the increasing population from the new borns, new families, immigrants. It’s a very hot topic these days in Hong Kong as we are running out of developable lands. The only way to deal with it is to build new towns from the rural area of Hong Kong.

Tseung Kwan O area
I was working today at Hang Hau right by Tseung Kwan O, the far east side of the Kowloon Peninsula. It’s a town that’s notorious for land reclamation from junk. The bay by it was named ‘Junk Bay’. It was only a brief 10 mins walk on a few main roads in town. There were already 3 garbage trucks passed by. Like many residents have said, the smell isn’t pleasant.

Tseung Kwan O is a town full of estates and private apartments in high rises. At the bottom of the buildings there’re shopping malls interconnected to each other. I see lots of students live in the area. So that explains many of the residents in the area are new families.

There are several new towns that I have visited. My impression to those new towns are:

  • Tightly packed with tall buildings
  • Monotonous in design (including facilities, layout, community)
  • No point of interests in town.
  • Without a sense of individuality/identity/originality

What’s sucks is that when you go to one new town here, then travel 50 miles to another new town; the towns are virtually identical.

To sum them up, there’s just no reason for anyone to visit the new towns unless there’s something amazing, either beautiful natural landscape still somehow retained, cool festive events, cool recreation destination/park. Shatin was one of the older new towns of Hong Kong which I’d done some shooting a few months ago. There’s a Shing Mun River along Shatin and the new towns near by it. The river IS the attraction, although I believe we could further explore more functions along the river. Such as organizing night markets, doing concerts (mini), even wine events, BBQ festival… anything you name it which people would be interested in coming.

There’s simply nothing going on in the new towns. Perhaps the town community is not powerful enough to organize anything?

In the new towns, all I see is block of buildings. All the layouts are the same, the City Development Bureau is what I believe ‘Copying & Pasting’ . Why all the buildings have to look the same? Why all the public spaces are not fully utilized? Why the newly built flats have the exact same sizes? Can they even try to build a public estate slightly differently? Mathias Woo, an architect/political program host/director have been widely criticizing the government branches on his self-directed TV program. He got his point, and it’s so true that MANY of the citizen got used to the environment they lived in for many years; they just don’t know how to react to the cruel truth. Hong Kong people are thankful to the public housing provided by the government despite the average sq. meter is only 12.9 per person (data obtained from the Housing Authority 2012).

You can see why so many people go out to protest for this and that? There’s no other better things to do AT HOME. And the government seems to be not standing firm on their own policies. I could totally see our government is not fully understanding the public’s concerns and they’re not experienced or capable or even competent in their job positions. That’s explains why they’re always shaky when introducing plans and policies.

I think our government needs help. That’s all. It’s also a common phenomenon here the head or board of government branches are not from actually from the field they’re experienced in. In other words, not the man or woman for the job.

Back to housing, It’s just so darn expensive to own a private apartment. A normal salary just won’t do it.  It’s virtually impossible to do it for many late bloomers. I’m not good with numbers, finance and money management. I just do not have the chip to play the game.

Today marks the end of my actual ‘One month with Ricoh GRD IV’. I think I have been having fun with the 28mm. But I’m still finding my distance, learning how to blend in, approach to subjects with a closer distance. I’m sure I’ve still much to work on with my awareness and quickness. It’d be a lifelong process to learn and perform while on the go. Take it easy!

I’d continue my stuff with the GRD for a few more months. I just won’t label them as ‘One month with…’

Also, I’ll be spending 5 days in Macao next mid month. It’s a business trip. I believe I’d still be able to find time available at night for photography no matter how tired I’d be. I’ll see how I manage my time. The only thing I concern is, people do not go out at night in Macao. They stay in the casinos.

6 thoughts on “Tseung Kwan O: The New Town and what else.

    1. It’s only my point of view to the public housing issue here. If you ever come across with any unbiased articles about the housing issue of Hong Kong, go ahead and read them. You’ll see some mixed up it is.

      Thanks for reading, Bill.

  1. I love the picture of the tree roots. I guess it contrasts with all your theme of new developments.
    The photo of the escalator and the tower blocks rising up alongside is stunning. I love these photos in black and white. It makes your images starker.
    I hope you get some photos of Macau. I presume photographs are not allowed in the casinos? Have a good trip!

    1. yeah. i like the tree roots one very much too. it didn’t take me long to get the frame i wanted.

      I won’t risk trying either at the casinos. i really hope to get at least 10 good shots in Macao.

      thanks for reading lemonade.

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