EV −3 (selection)
Before Hong Kong was called the “Pearl of the Orient”, she was just a calm little fishing village with no name. Imagine the villagers of that time, how would they feel if they could witness this tiny place rapidly transitioned into a modern city while being an arena of sovereignty transfer (from the Qing Empire to Britain then to China)? I think the bustling city lights, which were at the time absent, are the visual elements in my mental picture of this given past gaze.
Almost at the same time as Hong Kong became the British colony and got her name (1841), photography was invented (1839). An old method of nocturnal photography stated that the exposure value for taking a picture in solely the full moon’s light is as low as EV −3. This method might belong to the era before electricity appeared, though be forgotten, prompts me to seek to call back to a time when the visual signatures of Hong Kong were not defined by its metropolitan luminescence.
I set the exposure to the moonlight, slowly captured the brightly lit Hong Kong and obtained as expected some severely overexposed negatives. These dazzling images may stand for our civilisation and bear some significations to me: they reveal the rapid yet imperceptible changes over time—a journey from the darkness to the splendour, and suggest a “saturated” future in the eyes of our ancestors—what the future holds for us is uncertainty.
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