Siu Wai Hang - The Roadsider

Siu Wai Hang

Siu Wai Hang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Media from The School of Creative Media, The City University of Hong Kong. He went on to obtain his Master of Fine Art from the Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2010, Siu presented a solo exhibition Metropolis Chlorophyll in K11 Art Mall Hong Kong. He has participated in various group exhibitions such as Pingyao International Photography Festival 2013, Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards 2012, Hong Kong EYE, Image on the Run and Dine at Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate. His works are represented in the collections of The Legislative Council of Hong Kong, The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong, and various private collections. Both Hong Kong and China cultural media have written about his artworks as well.

Siu Wai Hang
Project Statement

The Roadsider

Vehicle emissions are a major source of air pollution at street level in Hong Kong — particularly in urban areas. Of specific concern are emissions from diesel commercial vehicles including trucks, buses and public light buses, which produce large amounts of particulates and nitrogen oxides. In a crowded urban environment with busy road traffic, like Hong Kong, pollutants can be trapped at street level.

The aim of this project is to photograph collected samples of roadside vegetation from several districts in Hong Kong located close to or in landfills, container yards, and urban areas. These include Lung Kwu Tan, Tseung Kwan O, Lau Fau Shan, Kwai Chung, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay. The plants were easily collected, because the roots and branches were weak and fragile due to the adverse conditions in which they lived. Dust, particles, and toxic gases block the sunlight, and stop photosynthesis, killing roadside vegetation. The same toxins that roadside vegetation absorb, is actually what we breathe on the streets everyday in Hong Kong. The death of vegetation is a reflection of Hong Kong’s abominable air quality.

Polluted plant specimens were photographed using a standardized typological photography methodology. Details of tiny particles and dust covering each sample of roadside vegetation are visible in each photo, emphasizing that vehicle emissions is a main culprit of air pollution in Hong Kong.