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Sunset Survivors: Meet the people keeping Hong Kong’s traditional industries alive

32.95

with photography by Gary Jones

Sunset Survivors tells the stories of Hong Kong’s traditional tradesmen and women through stunning imagery and candid interviews. Covering a myriad of curious professions that are quickly falling into obscurity, from fortune telling to face threading and letter writing to bird cage making, readers soon find themselves immersed in the streets of old Hong Kong.

Filled with interviews, photographs and little-known facts about the city’s twilight industries, Sunset Survivors is a tribute to those who keep the flame burning in a city besieged by foreign imports and stiff competition. This book is a celebration of Hong Kong’s cultural identity. It preserves the memory of these hardy men and women, and educates visitors and locals on the foundations on which the city was built.

An up-close and personal look at the industries and workers that gave rise to the Hong Kong of today, Sunset Survivors is more than just a travel or coffee-table book; it is a tribute to the city’s character, a celebration of its roots and a guide to its evolution.

In a city undergoing a dramatic cultural shift, balancing social and political upheaval, the need to document Hong Kong’s traditional livelihoods has seldom been greater. Capturing the true personality of this metropolis, Sunset Survivors is a vital piece of history.

SKU: 978-988-77928-3-3 Categories: , Tag:

Description

Sunset Survivors tells the stories of Hong Kong’s traditional tradesmen and women through stunning imagery and candid interviews. Covering a myriad of curious professions that are quickly falling into obscurity, from fortune telling to face threading and letter writing to bird cage making, readers soon find themselves immersed in the streets of old Hong Kong. Filled with interviews, photographs and little-known facts about the city’s twilight industries, Sunset Survivors is a tribute to those who keep the flame burning in a city besieged by foreign imports and stiff competition. This book is a celebration of Hong Kong’s cultural identity. It preserves the memory of these hardy men and women, and educates visitors and locals on the foundations on which the city was built.

An up-close and personal look at the industries and workers that gave rise to the Hong Kong of today, Sunset Survivors is more than just a travel or coffee-table book; it is a tribute to the city’s character, a celebration of its roots and a guide to its evolution. In a city undergoing a dramatic cultural shift, balancing social and political upheaval, the need to document Hong Kong’s traditional livelihoods has seldom been greater. Capturing the true personality of this metropolis, Sunset Survivors is a vital piece of history.

MEDIA ATTENTION

Sunset Survivors is a beautifully photographed record of Hong Kong’s fast-disappearing tradesmen and women. Lindsay Varty spent three years tracking down 30 artisans, listening to their stories and documenting the lives of the people behind some of the city’s old and declining industries. In Sunset Survivors, their tales are accompanied by striking images taken by photographer Gary Jones. … Several years ago, Varty noticed that an old man who had sold flowers to her father in Lan Kwai Fong had disappeared. She then started realising that other elderly people who plied their trade were also vanishing.” Kate Whitehead, South China Morning Post

Watch this Geometric Image video interview with Lindsay Varty:

In the book, Lindsay also includes information about the different industries, which I found particularly useful. I had often passed the ornate Little Box of Tea shop on Jervois Street in Sheung Wan but had not realized it was medicinal tea, nor understood the background behind their wares. Also, she shares tidbits that I had never really thought about, such as the fact that bamboo steamers impart their own flavor to dim sum. … Lindsay said she chose the title ‘Sunset Survivors’ because she wanted to add a positive spin to the book. She wrote this book to help people to appreciate these industries before they are gone. Lindsay feels that the people she documents on each of these pages are real heroes – holding onto these traditional industries that I fear will be replaced by progress. … She believes that through her book you can see and meet the real Hong Kong, not the tourist Hong Kong, and I agree with her. On the contents page she lists all the vendors that she went to, and I am planning to go around to see all 30 of them before they are no longer there. I think now they will have a steady stream of visitors.” – Frances Nicholls, Aware Magazine

混血女生出書談夕陽工業 華蓮絲:廣東話令我看見另一個香港 Stand News (in Chinese)

欖球甜姐兒華蓮絲 記本土手藝 以香港為歸宿 Hong Kong Economic Journal (in Chinese)

【胚芽故事】跟小人婆寫信佬傾家事 欖球女神揸筆念舊 Apple Daily (in Chinese, with video partly in English)

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Additional information

Weight1000 g
Dimensions180 × 235 mm
Pages

80

Binding

Hardback

Illustrations

Approximately 60 colour photographs and 50 B&W images

About the authors

Lindsay Varty is a half-British, half-Macanese woman raised in Hong Kong. A proud King George V School graduate, she went on to study French at the University of Nottingham in England. Now a writer and professional rugby player for the city, she lives and breathes Hong Kong and is fascinated by its culture and history. As a young girl, her parents would take her to eat congee in Sham Shui Po, order snacks from dai pai dongs and get haircuts at traditional barber shops. Her parents wanted their children to discover the real Hong Kong and to know its people. This book is a tribute to that wish. Lindsay is a published poet, journalist and the author of “The Book: A Celebration of the History of the Hong Kong Sevens Week”.

Originally from Yorkshire, Gary Jones has lived in Hong Kong since 1990. He has been in the creative business since 1978, working as a designer and creative director both in London and Hong Kong. He currently runs his own creative consultancy in the city, which he set up in 1992. Fascinated by photography from his years at Art College in Hull, Gary now specialises in food, portrait and documentary photography, predominantly in black and white, using both film and digital cameras. He is a member of the Royal Photographic Society and holds an LRPS Distinction.