In the former crown colony, travel photographer Allison Heiliczer plays to her strengths: faces and food.

There is Hong Kong, and there are Hong Kong’s. I experienced Hong Kong five years ago on a brief visit. But living there for six weeks recently invited deeper exploration. I began hearing the inner dialogue of the cultures and seeing and tasting the mingling of contrasts. My photography reflects this and tells the stories I saw. As usual, people and their everyday lives were most fascinating for me.


Photo reflection

1. Facing a storefront, I saw myself in the Chinese and American worlds at once.


Hong Kong friends

2. Outside of the A-Ma Temple in Macau, these three friends smoke, laugh, and enjoy the Sunday that surrounds them.


Hong Kong cook

3. Inside the largest indoor food market in Hong Kong, this man lights up before returning to stir-fry meat in the dreadfully hot kitchen behind him.


Rice merchants

4. These workers are making endless calls to assess the prices of various varieties of rice.


Hong Kong merchant

5. Inside a store selling dried fish, this worker’s eyes spoke to mine.


Fishmonger, Hong Kong

6. In the Stanley Street Market, this fishmonger delights in his trade.


Chinese pomelos

7. Pomelos abound. The Chinese word for pomelo sounds very similar to the verb “to have," so the abundance of pomelos is a true gift and welcomed self-fulfilling prophecy.


Dried squid

8. Anchovies and squid are two of the dried delights used to flavor and cook with. Their pungency exemplifies their power as an ingredient.


Butcher shop, Hong Kong

9. Meat is butchered, cubed, and left to rest.


Chopped scallions

10. These scallions are eventually diced, thrown into a sizzling wok with meat and other vegetables, and stir-fried until crispy, golden brown.


Dried fruits, Hong Kong

11. Dried fruit and suits line the outdoor markets. These are bought in bulk and eaten as such or reincarnated with water.


Hong Kong fried eggs

12. Got eggs? Eggs are eaten in many cultures, and in Hong Kong they show up in various forms.

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