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.
“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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