Billy H.C. Kwok - From Transit to New Lives

Billy H.C. Kwok

Billy H.C. Kwok (b. 1989, Hong Kong) is an independent photographer. Graduated from City University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Media and Communication, Kwok started his career as a journalist in the print media before picking up a camera to pursue a photography career. He now splits his time for assignments between Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and South East Asia, among others.

Kwok has been working on a long-term project documenting the social landscapes of refugees’ mobility and relationships in Hong Kong: From Transit to New Lives, and at the same time conducting a project on male prostitutes in China’s Pearl River Delta: Sister Chang’e. His work has been published on international newspapers and magazines.

Kwok is highly observant and adaptable to cultural and environmental diversity. Apart from generating still images, he works both individually and collaboratively for multimedia storytelling.

Billy H.C. Kwok
Project Statement

From Transit to New Lives

This project unfolds the social landscapes of refugees’ mobility and relationships during their transit period in Hong Kong to their final destination, as an ongoing inquiry into the contradictions within one of the most developed metropolitan cities in the world.

Every year, thousands of asylum seekers escape their countries in the hope of receiving state support as refugees. Fleeing from their homelands, some transit through the glittering metropolitan city – Hong Kong, to reach their final destinations, such as the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.

As a check point, however, as Hong Kong has no domestic legislation to grant refugees temporary or permanent status nor to resettle them. Most of the people strive to establish new lives in a transitory locale, end up stranded in Hong Kong for years on end, and some of them are still waiting to move to begin their new lives. Their mobility is challenged by their stranded condition, but remains active, however restricted.