|recent work > safe distance|
|"Safe Distance" explores how Hong Kong people interact physically in public. Mong Kok is one of the most densely populated areas of the world while the sidewalks of Causeway Bay get completely inundated by mad shoppers every weekend. Your intimate space gets invaded every few seconds, as you collide into other pedestrians and vice versa. This work also explores the change in social attitude regarding old Chinese taboos that prohibit physical interraction between couples in public, including holding hands, hugging or kissing. "Safe Distance" compiles a visual language of inter-personal spacial relationships as observed in terms of Edward T. Hall's Proxemics (the study of distances between people as they interact in public).
A medium format camera is unconventional for use in the practice of street photography but I chose it specifically for this reason as I recently have been increasingly interested in experimenting with alternative ways of doing street photography and breaking the convention of using 35mm range-finder cameras which is what the genre dictates as the ideal tool. The lens is intentionally de-focused to a very short focusing distance, a symbolic act to create blurry images of people beyond the minimum distances that represent personal and intimate space as explained by Proxemics. Meanwhile persons who find themselves in the immediate proximity of my camera, come out relatively sharper in the photo. Safe distance is thus not only the distance people need to keep as pedestrians in Hong Kong but also the minimum safe distance that I can shoot a subject and get a meaningful image without being detected... or else face the consequences of perhaps having to deal with possibly irate camera-shy folk.
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