The HongKongers Part II by Nicolas Petit
Photos by Nicolas Petit / Words by Gabriella Zanzanaini
The first part of the Hongkongers series can be found here.
It’s quiet in the late hours of the night, the early moments of the morning. The fluorescent lighting tubes go to bed as drunk zebras make their way home, imbued with cheap alcohol and Rugby Sevens frenzy. Fishermen untangle their nets and bring in their catch. The city’s markets wake up with a start, the dark night replaced by red lamps shining on pink meat and grey fish. Eggs are beaten into a bucket, cigarette ashes dangling just above, held together by moist flame. The breakfast crowd arrives through the thick damp air for their eggs over easy and their white bread toasted a minute no more. The hot sun pushes through the tight alleys and catches the sweat on the workmen’s bellies, taught hairless skin and mini salted pearls.
In the humid tropics, the basketball courts are full with old and young, some bouncing with their hands, others kicking with their feet. There is no time for nostalgia, only for rapid play.
With the evening the white light is back, illuminating subway compartments, braided hairdos and horse-betting odds. The race track comes to life and Happy Valley shines like a massive ship in the night. As the horses run in their colourful numbers, and bets are placed, the city’s people are ready to gamble once again, to gamble away the chance that nowhere is better than here.
There is a name for those who have chosen this place as home. The Hong Kongers.
My name is Nicolas Petit and I am a freelance photographer currently based in Hong Kong. The above text was written by Gabriella Zanzanaini.
The HongKongers Project aims to go beyond Hong Kong’s skyline and tells a contemporary tale of the city through its people. All photos here were shot between October 2015 and June 2016.