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Photographer Andy Yeung Captures the Dense Urbanism of Hong Kong Walled City with Drones

Hong Kong Photographer Andy Yeung has released a new series of aerial photographs for his home state, but this time his drones have captured the clusters of high-rise apartment blocks in Kowloon Walled City. This urban district, to the north of Hong Kong, had a long history of unsettlement. It was once a Chinese military fort, then it was occupied by Japan during World War II, after which its population had significantly increased. Following the Japanese evacuation, the city which was separate from Hong Kong back then became a den for crime, including drug trafficking, gambling, and prostitution. In 1987, the government of Honk Kong decided to demolish the city, and the demolition took place between 1993 and 1994 after the city had been evicted. In 1995, the Kowloon Walled City Park was opened, and it houses the city’s undemolished structures of historical value like the Yamen, the Old South Gate, and the Mountain View Pavilion.

Courtesy of Andy Yeung

The aerial images taken by Yeung reveal that the walled city still maintains its ‘dense’ state, with all the high rise apartments stacked beside each other. This reflects the concept of “claustrophobic living in Hong Kong” which the photographer would like to communicate through his pictures.

“The Kowloon Walled City was once the densest place on Earth. Hundreds of houses stacked on top of each other enclosed in the center of the structure. Many didn’t have access to air or open space. This notorious city was finally demolished in the 1990s. However, if you look hard enough, you will notice that the city is not dead. Part of it still exists in many of current high-density housing apartments where the only view out the window is neighbor’s window. I hope this series can get people to think about claustrophobic living in Hong Kong from a new perspective.” _ Andy Yeung

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