Some years ago, Chan Wai Kwong produced “Ting Ting”, a handmade photobook about an encounter with ayoung girl. When I proposed that we turn this into a joint publication, Chan demurred, because he had not secured the image rights from the girl. We turned to working on another project. But in the couple of years since then, Chan has had another encounter, with a girl from Macao. “oh my little girl” is the result.
Chan Wai Kwong was born in 1976 in Hong Kong. His father was a news photographer and his mother worked in the Macao casinos. Chan dropped out of New Method College just one year after entering the school in 1988. He then drifted in and out of odd jobs for many years, working in a restaurant and as an ofce errand “boy”. He started taking photographs in his teens in a casual way, got more and more involved and is entirely self-taught and self-reliant. Chan is committed to film photography, usually in black and white.
Over 5 years ago he gave up other work to concentrate on his photography full time. He has no source of income other than from sporadic sales of his prints and handmade books. However hard it has been, he has not wavered from his destined path. He has self-published over twenty photobooks such as “Wanchai" (2011), “Ah~” (2011), “Ting Ting” (2012), “Everyday Love” (2013), “This is Hong Kong” (2014), “Police Portraits” (2015), “brothers” (2017) and “Blush” (2017). 2 years ago, he published “Yau Ma Tei" with Zen Foto Gallery.
If you ask me about photography, I will categorize myself a good-for-nothing. To be honest, even without photos I won't die, I can live without photos at any time. Indeed, it's such a trivial matter to press the shutter. I take photos, but it doesn't mean I can do whatever I want. Scenes in my photos already existed. It doesn't matter whoever else takes the photo, the scenes don't change anyway. I just took the photos by chance. Am I great? In fact, that's not a big deal.
ーChan Wai Kwong, September 2013
What can I say about this book “oh my little girl”? I don’t think we need to over-analyse it at this stage. I’ll just say what I know: It is sensational. It is brutal. It is tender. It is explicit. It is sexual. It is daring. It is honest. It is unsettling. Chan is still pushing buttons and testing boundaries.