Chai Wan Fire Station 柴灣消防局

by Chan Dick 陳的


It all began with serendipity and curiosity. I spent six or seven years in that workshop and the ventilation shaft of the bathroom had always been shut. The scenery outside had never caught my attention until one day there was this howl out of the blue, so I went over to the window for a look.   And there they were – firefighters enjoying a game of volleyball. It so happened that the bathroom window of my workshop looked right over Chai Wan Fire Station, and offered a vantage point for an omniscient view of whatever was going on down there: assemblies, washing up fire engines, pupils’ visits, volleyball games. That tiny window opened up a brand new chapter of a curious journey. At first I only peered down out of curiosity, and spent a month just prying, but the more I looked the more I was intrigued. Those frames just popped up in my head even with my eyes closed, and no longer could I bear to leave them untaken. The itch acted up, and once started, I just couldn’t bring myself to stop.   In a city without a sense of security, in an environment that lacks trust, the images that purports to capture reality have instead captured the city’s surrealism. Blurred is the line between the factual and the imaginary, like a disguise over the city’s fear. The background in each image represents “comfort zones” in today’s society of rapid development and intense conflicts. Could it be, as some would hope, an attempt to anesthetize the pain felt by city dwellers?

More images of the project  click


About the author
Chan Dick loved to draw at a young age. He went on to study graphic design, and first began involved in photography when given his graduation assignment. As a still-life and architectural photographer, he is devoted to creating personal works, often touching on social issues and everyday life discoveries. He has held 7 solo photography exhibitions to date.   While fascinated by simple lines and minimalistic compositions, Chan Dick’s works tend to embark on the ambiguous attraction between reality and illusion. This is best shown by his series “Chai Wan Fire Station”, which earned him first prizes respectively at the Tokyo International Foto Awards in 2016, and the Hong Kong Photo Book Awards in 2015. During 2017 and 2018, this series was exhibited in Japan, the Netherlands and Hong Kong, and was collected by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and Japan’s Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City.  Chan Dick’s other notable projects include “No Compromise”, which documented Hong Kong student activists, and “Dismayland”, which explored a kind of absurdity that exists in modern cities. Both series won in the International Photography Awards (IPA). His other works have also been exhibited at international photography festivals in Cambodia and Pingyao of China.

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