wei shek
An Encounter in Hong Kong Streets, 60 Years Apart






nick howard, phil m.f. shek, hong kong image, street photography, documentary photography


Hong Kong has a history punctuated by waves of immigrants and influxes of expats, especially during years of wars, famine, and drastic social changes. The wide wealth gap among different classes contributes to the diverse cityscapes within walking distance of one another. Street photography in the international and multicultural metropolis has continued to fascinate photographers – some sojourning and others rooting. With two sets of photos – from British traveller Nick Howard and Hong Kong native Phil M.F. Shek – laid side by side, this essay questions the meanings generated through the juxtaposition of these images. Since the photo sets were taken in the 1950s and the 2010s respectively, does the time gap make a statement about Hong Kong today?

How to Cite

Wei, L., & Shek, P. M. (2022). An Encounter in Hong Kong Streets, 60 Years Apart. Cubic Journal, 5(5), 110–123. https://doi.org/10.31182/cubic.2022.5.54



Author Biographies

Louisa Wei, City University of Hong Kong

Dr. S. Louisa Wei is an associate professor at the City University of Hong Kong and a documentary film director. She writes extensively on women’s cinema and Chinese-language documentaries as an academic and critic. Her documentary films have received positive reviews and reportage from major media like The Hollywood Reporter and BBC.

Phil M.F. Shek, City University of Hong Kong

Phil M.F. Shek is a photographic artist who focuses on the documentary attribute of the photographic medium. In his work, he explores the photo medium’s potentials from traditional aesthetics to immersive digital technology. He is now an instructor of photography and visual communication in the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong.


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