Hong Kong People

Tiago Almança

“It was my first time in Hong Kong. I was surprised at how many people can live in such a small space. The tight buildings with thousands of windows almost touched each other and reached up to the sky. The streets were full of people walking back and forth, all of them in a hurry. During the happy hour the bars were crowded, and there was not a single table left.

In Hong Kong people take over the streets and make them their own, every corner seems like a small universe, a little world to take refuge in. The only time of day when there seemed to be a bit of peace in the midst of the chaos was in the morning, around 7:00 am, when I used to go for a walk because I couldn’t sleep due to the jet lag.

A place full of people, where space seems to be a privilege, but at the same time, you can feel that loneliness in every corner and a weird nostalgic feeling. These densely populated cities end up making people more reserved, and kept to themselves”.

Lines that get lost, that crisscross without touching, that are born in the sleepy eyes of millions of citizens from the so-called hyperconnected world; they are the stars of Tiago´s most recent work, an Iberian photographer from Spanish and Portuguese descendance who is currently living in Barcelona.

This piece, The Lonely Souls of Hong Kong, isn’t only a sample of his shy, delicate photography, but a whole window which portraits Tiago´s particular vision of photography. A photography that captures loneliness in motion, loneliness within a huge city crowded of windows that spy anything, and millions of people who carry their own planned road just as ants.

In the meantime, at the center of all this immensity, Tiago captures these lonely individuals, sons of a town that doesn´t recognize them, fugitives from the hyperconnected, globalized world which doesn’t understand them anymore, nor host them. Only deedless beings, the colossal infrastructures of Hong Kong pay attention to them. Only them allow these lonely walkers to hide between the lines within columns, the reflection of their glasses or the gardening of their squares.

Tiago´s pictures immortalize unusual, but daily scenes, which slip past for common citizens, to fill them with life and brightness, history and importance. Every person photographed, backwards from the camera lens, seems to recreate the moment when the theatre curtain drops and all the actors go away after the aftermath of the applause, walking crestfallen through the backstage, lost, abstracted on a parallel world where the streets speak and flowers watch, where the benches hug and traffic signs say hi.