Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to present “Hong Kong 2019”, an exhibition by Takehiko Nakafuji from Nov 27 to Dec 26. This exhibition marks Nakafuji’s 4th solo presentation with Zen Foto Gallery, after his exhibition “White Noise” in 2018. Last year in 2019, Nakafuji had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong several times as he participated in an exhibition at Tai Kwun Contemporary, exactly when the democratization protests were reaching their peak. This exhibition will include approximately 30 photographs taken in black and white of the protests and the daily life of people in Hong Kong that continued side by side with the movement. We sincerely hope that you will take this opportunity to view this powerful work.
The democratization protests were reaching their peak. Inevitably, I witnessed overwhelming scenes of large crowds marching and chanting for freedom and fierce battles between young people and the police. On that December day there was a peaceful march of hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and gender—I had never seen such a large group of people flowing like a mighty river. Even after sunset, a countless number of smartphone lights held by the uninterrupted flow of people were shining in the dark—It was a moving sight that I will not forget as long as I live. The scenes of protest where the radical young people called yuhng mouh (lit. the valiant) were struggling with the police swirled with intense energy and violence such that cannot be described by words. I was extremely shocked when I saw the young protestors get beaten up and captured by the swarm of riot police. Choking with the teargas and struck by the searchlight directed by the riot police myself, the photographing process was physically exhausting and even fearful. I couldn’t completely believe that authorities would use heavily armed forces with such bare-knuckle violence in the world today...
― Takehiko Nakafuji