Hong Kong: Licht Ltd, 2017. First Edition. Softcover. New. Color photographs. 17.5 x 22 cm. 144 pp. / New. Item #6624
From the South China Morning Post article previewing 'Hong Kong Market Cats':
Heijnen says Hong Kong Market Cats, which he will self-publish with an initial print run of 2,000 copies, was a natural progression. He spent last year photographing the creatures in shops, markets and alleyways across the city. Hong Kong Alley Cats might be another book, he says.
Although he has become known as “the cat photographer”, Heijnen says it was never his intention. “For me, it was never about the cats. It was always about having an excuse and a common element that you can photograph.
“As a photographer in Hong Kong it is relatively easy to take lots of interesting photos. The mess and the visual noise – it’s so beautiful. The thing is how you make them special. So I put a little bit of challenge in there that it has to have an animal. Otherwise I can shoot every shop and it will be visually stunning but it won’t be interesting.”
The popularity of cat photos is a no-brainer, he says. “Cat photos get more clicks than porn on the internet, I’m told.”
He adds that people also like his images for nostalgic reasons. “I think it’s mainly about the heritage of Hong Kong. It’s that time in Hong Kong’s history where you get a generation of people that are searching for identity and are lamenting that progress is so fast, and all this side of Hong Kong is disappearing. So I think it’s that combination.”
Nevertheless, Heijnen does see hope. There is still much of the flavour of old Hong Kong intact in Sai Ying Pun, even though it is fairly close to the Central business district. Shanghai, which he visited recently on a photo hunt for cats, is another matter.
“In Shanghai, development is incredibly rampant. So I think that there it’s even more urgent to capture it now because it’s almost like these cats in stores are connected to the old version of cities, because when they knock down these buildings, they build new, clean versions, and there won’t be a need for a cat. There probably won’t be a need for those kinds of stores any more.”
Read the entire article here: