5 Volunteer Photographers' Creative Contribution to Launch 1st Photo Exhibition | Time Auction Impact Highlights

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Photographer: Abram Deyo | Credits to Designing Hong Kong

Meet Designing Hong Kong!

Designing Hong Kong is a non-profit organisation committed to promote sustainability, quality of life and good design as core values, aiming to increase public awareness to improve Hong Kong as a 'beautiful' city.

Earlier this year, Designing Hong Kong decided to host their first photo exhibition called Walking with Wheels in hopes to urge for better road design and urban planning.

Focusing Lenses to Address Urban Planning Issues

Designing Hong Kong joined forces with Marcel Heijnen as curator, engaged 5 talented volunteer photographers from our platform and other artists to put a spotlight on the challenges encountered by wheel-walkers such as couriers, cleaners, refuse collectors and trolley pushers.

"When we tell our story, listeners realised they stopped noticing how people risk their lives pushing carts across roads." says Designing Hong Kong.

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Photographer: Anthony Lau | Credits to Designing Hong Kong

The photographers each contributed around 15 hours to capture and depict the daily lives of wheel-walkers, fundamentally, this exhibition is created to make the invisible visible.

A Lonely, Life-risking but Indispensable Job for Survival

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Photographer: Matthew Cheng | Credits to Designing Hong Kong

This is her life every single day. It evokes some emotion inside me... It gave me an understanding of the city, the unfairness of the city.

Matthew Cheng (HKU Student, Time Auction Volunteer)

Refuse gatherers and trolley pushers are battling through the city's busy traffic on a daily basis. In the past decade, there have been 12 serious accidents resulting in seven deaths, but why are they crossing the bustling roads if tragedy is bound to happen?

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Photographer: Alvin Lam | Credits to Designing Hong Kong

"In this world, the poor never have a choice. Don't you reckon this is fatally dangerous too?"

These words struck Alvin hard when he encountered a slender man hurrying his cart with a mountain of trash into a refuse collection point. Alvin Lam, a volunteer photographer and also an undergraduate student mentioned that "All the photos were taken along these 500 meters in Central. With the abundance of cart pushers trudging along the garbage collection route, every time I was out shooting, I hoped I wouldn't be documenting the demise of another colleague of theirs."

Anthony Lau, one of the volunteer photographers who have won National Geographic's Travel Photographer of the Year Grand Award in 2016 also mentioned "Maybe they don't give a damn anymore, the only way for them to get tonight's meal is to get across that road."

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Photographer: Anthony Lau | Credits to Designing Hong Kong

Kevin Leung, a freelance photographer based in Hong Kong, have opted for a different creative angle with his solid belief in each shot being a perfect coincidence rather than digital manipulation. He hopes to portray reality by capturing wheel users being away from the spotlight - being not quite visible yet playing a vital role in the frame and in our city, ultimately inspiring his audience to alter their perspective in interpreting the role of wheel users.

The upper class is dismissive about collecting cardboards. They blame us for occupying their space.

Anonymous Wheel-Walker
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Photographer: Kevin Leung | Credits to Designing Hong Kong

Abram Deyo, an American photographer based in Hong Kong, he finds himself continuously amazed at how wheel-walkers and their trolleys can blend into the background of this glorious city.

In a city that was built without them in mind.

Abram Deyo, Photographer
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Photographer: Abram Deyo | Credits to Designing Hong Kong

Through his black and white series of photographs, he slows down the viewer's pace, allowing them to see the workers and trolleys in a different light.

In contrast to Abram, Khoa Tan has decided to show wheel-pushers as how we see them in our peripheral blur, depicting the hectic-ness of this fast-paced city and their ghost-like presence within the society, ignored and unimportant.

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Photographer: Khoa Tran | Credit to Designing Hong Kong

Magic of Teamwork and Skill-based Volunteering

It's incredible how Designing Hong Kong mobilised skilled volunteers and provided them with the opportunity to utilise their creative acumen to make the invisible visible. A HUGE THANK YOU to all the volunteers who have been involved in this project, pouring your heart and soul into this social photography project!

Catch Designing Hong Kong's exhibition before it ends!

"Walking with Wheels" is happening at Ping Pong 129 Gintoneria, 129 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun and will be running till October 3.

To be featured as our community member, embark on your volunteering journey by discovering projects you can help with now: timeauction.org/projects

Written by Annissa Suen

Read the article about "Walking with Wheels" on SCMP: https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/article/3147696/they-dice-death-every-day-hong-kongs-streets-elderly-their?module=perpetual_scroll&pgtype=article&campaign=3147696

Updated on 24 September, 2021
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