Wong Wei-him - BURNT

Wong Wei-him

Wong Wei-him (b.1975) was born in Vancouver, Canada. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from McGill University in 1999 and a Master of Architecture from the University of Hong Kong in 2001. In 2010, he established In-between Architects Ltd., a design studio based in Hong Kong. He is a street photographer and an architect. 


At first, I used my camera to research on peculiar spaces and exquisite design details as inspirations for my design projects. It then becomes a habit that I bring my camera with me wherever I go. When I see something that intrigues or touches me, I photograph it.


It was until I came across Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt and Japanese street photographer Shin Noguchi, so particular the angle they reflect culture and humanity via their photos, I decided to do street photography and ever since photography has turned into one of my passions.


Wong Wei-him
Project Statement


“Burnt” is a photo diary recording the recent social unrest of Hong Kong.  All photos are taken with the first frame of the roll by 35mm film camera.


In these longstanding anti-government protests, there was one instance caught my attention – photo of a girl whose one eye was shot and injured during a street conflict between the protestors and the police. The vivid image of her eye injury only reveals a partial truth, the result but not the cause.  There has also been many news circulated around that no one can possibly follow or digest. None can really tell if the news is telling the whole truth or merely “fact-ional”.


The making of the “Burnt” photos was both mechanical and chemical. When the film being pulled out to load into the camera, the first few inches of the roll are burnt by light exposure, which cannot capture any image. As such, many photographers would sacrifice the first photo for it is perfect. However, I find it dynamic to have a scar line dividing the photo into two parts, making the photo partly seen and unseen, presenting only some truth of reality. There are always uncertainties in the reality.