Shek Kip Mei was the first public housing estate project in Kong Kong introduced by the British colonial government in 1954. The resettlement project not only provided a temporary relief to the massive fire of Shek Kip Mei squatter area on Christmas Eve 1953 where over 53,000 Chinese immigrants lost their makeshift homes overnight, it also hailed the era of Government’s public housing programmes accommodating the needs of rapidly growing population in the 1960s and 70s. Shared by many Hong Kong citizens who grew up witnessing the territory’s transformation from a rapid-growing village into the present international metropolis, living in Shek Kip Mei Estates is, in many ways, interpreted as a microcosm of the society. The estates were essentially concrete bunkers lacking the basics of doors and windows, let alone the relative luxury of electricity and running water; a family of 5 to 8 persons jamming in a cubicle of about 120–200 square feet (11–18 square metres), at least 10 households sharing a public toilet/bathroom on the same floor…those were the bygones communal living. Meant to be a temporary resettlement, the flats in the Shek Kip Mei Estates, 50 years later, are still rented out by the government. At this last phase before the demolition of the oldest estates in November 2006, photojournalist Vincent Yu captured through his lens some 120 elderly residents and their ‘homes’ before they were resettled to the modern high–risers after living in the crumbling estates for over five decades.
石硤尾屋邨興建於1954年初，是香港政府興建的首個公營大型屋邨，以安置在1953年底該區大火引致無家可歸 的災民。石硤尾徙置區的興建、發展、轉化和拆卸，見證了過去50年來香港的社會變遷。本攝影集以照片、文字、 和複製歷史檔案的出版形式，用影像、社會、人文和歷史的情懷，展示行將消失的石硤尾徙置區的生活面貌，作為戰後香港發展歷史一個非常重要和珍貴的個案。
About the Author
Vincent Yu has been a photographer with the Associated Press for 19 years. He has covered major local and international news stories including the Asian Tsunami, and, more recently, the massive earthquake in Sichuan and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Many of his photographs have been recognised with awards from the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association. He was a recipient of the U.S. National Headliner Awards in 2004. His works have also been shown in exhibitions in Hong Kong, mainland China, Hawaii, and Berlin. He has acted as a guest lecturer on photojournalism at the University of Hong Kong. 余偉建，1964 年生於香港。自 1985起於美聯社從事新聞攝影工作至今已十九年，期間曾參與南亞海嘯、四川地震及零八年東亞運動會等新聞攝影，作品亦曾多次獲香港攝影記者協會獎項及於 2004年獲美國國家頭條獎。他的作品曾在香港，中國大陸，夏威夷和柏林展出。除此之外他亦曾於香港大學任攝影科的客席講師。