The Vanishing Coastline 消失中的海岸線
Date: 06.02.2010 - 13.03.2010
Artists: Mr Vincent Yu 余偉建

Hong Kong – a metropolis of seven million people. Its coastline totals 870 kilometres, formed by 218 islands. Through the years, 16 islands have been lost to reclamation works and the erection of reservoirs. Shorelines of the yesteryears are only found in old photographs. In Wanchai alone, the coastline has undergone changes six times. Reclamation has also been relentless in both Central and West Kowloon. Vincent have always been fond of capturing things whose existence are under threat. In this case, he hope that the work would serve as scattered evidence of what the city once was. It is his wish that our decedents in years to come would still have means to find out about the past. He embarked on this project in 2003. Whenever free, he would spend time recording the coastlines in different parts of Hong Kong. The journey – likenening the one in “Alice in Wonderland” -- brought him to places from abandoned rocky shores to old ferry piers that have fallen into ruins. In some places, the shoreline simply serves as the backdrop to sleek high-risers. Each sight has left a unique impression on him. At times, it felt surreal as if he had disappeared off to outerspace. Other scenes reminded him of his favourite classical music – elaborate and decadent.

香港,一個有七百萬人的大都會,海岸線共長870公里,由218個島嶼組成。歷年,16個島嶼因填海或建水庫在海上失蹤,部分海岸線亦因工程正快速消失。 從香港沿岸的老照片,看見昔日的海岸線。百年來灣仔海岸線已改變了六次,中環不斷填海,西九龍亦然。大嶼山有全港最長的沙灘——長沙泳灘,正以驚人的速度消失。 2003年余偉建開始了這個拍攝計劃。但凡能抽時間,他便到香港不同角落去拍攝海岸線。這過程有如「愛麗絲夢遊仙境」,每趟旅程到不同地方去,有的石灘像蠻荒世界,有的碼頭破敗如古蹟,也有的海岸線上是龐大的屏風樓。不同的景象,給他很不一樣的感受︰超現實的時候,會以為自己跑到外星球去;懷舊的時候,像在聽古典樂曲,頹廢卻又華麗。 記錄即將消失的事物是余偉建的興趣,他希望以零碎的影像拼湊出城市殘存的意義,希望百年後的人們,仍能看到改變前的面貌。. 這個拍攝計劃將持續下去,這次展覧只是一個小結。

About the Artist

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。