Home to over seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the world’s wealthiest cities. However, despite the surging number of millionaires, many don’t realize that 20% of these seven million inhabitants are living below the poverty line. Not far from the massive shopping centers with their luxury brands, cars, and billboards, hundreds of thousands of people live with a single kitchen and shower per apartment floor, but still consider themselves lucky to have a roof over their heads.
Switzerland-based photographer and filmmaker David Carlier was in Hong Kong at the end of August for a photo awards ceremony, and he took the opportunity to document the increasing gap between Hong Kong’s rich and poor.
Although this is different from his normal outdoor and adventure photography, David always tries to take advantage of travels to delve into interesting subjects. He had 48 hours to search and identify the right places to go, climbing nearly 30 buildings in just two days in order to get the shots he wanted, saying:
I took advantage of the trip to make a photo-reportage I had in mind for quite a while about the “two faces” of Hong Kong. I have always been amazed by the contrasts between the huge modern star wars style buildings and the very traditional old streets at the bottom. They live next to each other but never meet.
Although the more modern, Chinese architecture is pressing in, Hong Kong continues to resist it. The old, traditional five story buildings are still up, highly contrasting with the modern skyscrapers that are quickly sprouting. This aligns with the ever increasing economical gap.
David enjoyed the freedom that this project allowed as it attracts a different audience than he would normally aim toward, letting viewers in on something that is personally interesting to him. He has submitted the story to various media outlets and a few contests, receiving positive feedback so far.