Photography has always served as a mechanism for preserving memory and our shared history. Birdy Chu, a local Hong Kong photographer, captured pivotal moments in 1997, utilizing a Nikon film camera to record everything from Victoria Harbour to the bird street at Mong Kok. The entire suite of 25 photographs captures the emotional kaleidoscope of the 1997 handover, reflecting the joyfulness, uncertainty, and anxiety that permeated this historic event.
As a photojournalist, Birdy did more than simply documenting notable figures; he also paid attention to ordinary people and the urban landscape. He strived to go beyond traditional photojournalism, rendering the unique texture of Hong Kong and the unavoidable tension surrounding the handover. Yet, what brings a poignant touch to his work is the realization that these once-bustling landscapes are slowly fading into oblivion.
Photography freezes moments from the past, offering them a new cultural significance. When we reencounter these photographs today, they elicit more than just a wistful nostalgia. They also provoke a reassessment, an introspective journey into our own identities.
Join us in this online exhibition, as we traverse time and space, navigating the heart of Hong Kong through the poetic frames of Birdy Chu's evocative lenswork.
— Qiuzi Guo
Division of Humanities & HKUST Library