In 2019, Japanese photographer Takehiko Nakafuji took part in an exhibition called “Phantom Plane” at the Tai Kwun Contemporary museum in Hong Kong. It was exactly 25 years after his first visit to Hong Kong in 1994, just before its handover from the United Kingdom to China. Intending to capture Hong Kong with his camera and tracing his old memories during his stay, Nakafuji instead found Hong Kong’s streets pulsing with the protests for democracy.

His moody black and white photographs capture the city in turmoil. Streetsnaps and impromptu portrait photos change into images of the protesting masses as the pages turn, and business-as-usual shots of Hong Kong’s skyline make place for police in riot gear and streets littered with debris from the protests. Though surprisingly quiet, the book presents a shocked photograph view on Hong Kong’s loss of itself.

“The year 2019 may be the last year that Hong Kong is truly like Hong Kong, and its history may well end up as a paragraph in world history. Of course, it’s not over yet and we shouldn’t give up hope…” ― from Takehiko Nakafuji’s afterword

-Book Size
200 × 200 mm
132 pages, 104 images
-Publication Year
English, Japanese
-Limited Edition

Artist Profile


Born in 1970, Tokyo, Takehiko Nakafuji dropped out from Waseda University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences and graduated from the Photography Department of Tokyo Visual Arts College. He continues to publish his works of street photography, mainly in monochrome, and travels in and out of Japan for photo coverage jobs, including countries in Eastern Europe, Russia and Cuba. While Nakafuji is active as a photographer, he is also the owner of Gallery Niepce in Yotsuya, Tokyo. He has won the 29th Higashikawa Special Photographer Award for his series ‘Sakuan Matapaan - Hokkaido’ in 2013, and the 24th Hayashi Tadahiko Award for his series ‘STREET RAMBLER’ in 2015. His works are included in the collection of Kiyosato Photo Art Museum, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum and Shunan City Museum of Art and History.

Gallery Exhibitions