Sunset Survivors book published, covers a wide range of dying, traditional Hong Kong industries

HF: I am very happy to offer a little publicity to Lindsay Varty and the recent publication of her book, Sunset Survivors: Meet the people keeping Hong Kong’s traditional industries alive. This has been receiving excellent reviews and I understand from Lindsay that the first print has already sold out.

Sunset Survivors Cover Of Lindsay Varty Book

Lindsay first contacted me in March wondering if she could use a few of the images on our website to accompany some of the content she had written for her book. I was pleased to assist her and some of images to be found in the section of the book subtitled: Industries that have already vanished which include, mining, bus and tram conductors, riskshaw pullers or sedan chair coolies, night soil collectors, salt manufacturers and stone breakers, originated on this website.

“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.” (1)

Among the wide range of subjects covered in the book are these, all of which might be considered “industrial” in that they involve manufacturing:

The Tuck Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company
Chan Lok Choi – bamboo birdcage maker
Bing Kee Copperware
Wong Shue Yau – letterpress printer
Cheung Shun King – owner and tile maker at Biu Kee Mahjong
Ah-Yeung Ping-chi – principal paper effigy artist at Bo Wah effigies
Kan Hon Wing – owner and tailor at Mei Wah Fashion, specialising in traditional qipaos and cheongsams
Mrs Ho – owner of Lee Wo Steelyard, manufacturer of traditional weighing scales
Mak Ping Lam – traditional Chinese seal maker at Tin Keung Stamp Shop
Wu Ding Keung – stencil maker
Cheung Shun King – owner and tile maker at Biu Kee Mahjong

The chief photographer for Sunset Survivors was Gary Jones. Gary has very kindly sent me a few of his images  from the book, shown below, for inclusion in this article. I have linked Gary’s website at the end of this article.

Cheung Shun King – owner and the maker at Biu Kee Mahjong

Sunset Survivors Mahjong Tile Maker P45

 

Sunset Survivors Mahjong Tile Maker P44 B+w

Sunset Survivors Mahjong Tile Maker P44 B+wSunset Survivors Mahjong Tile Maker P44 Right B+w.

Luk Shu Choi & Luk Keung Choi – owners and craftsmen at Bing Kee Copperware

Sunset Survivors Copperware, Main Image P 21

Wu Ding Keung – stencil maker

Sunset Survivors Stensil Maker Main Photo P68

Sunset Survivors Stensil Maker B+w Left P 69

Sunset Survivors Stensil Maker B+w Right P 69

 

Sources:

  1. Sunset Survivors, Lindsay Varty, Blacksmith Books, 2018

See:

  1. Gary Jones photographer website
  2. New book documents dying Hong Kong trades and the artisans keeping them alive SCMP 25th September 2018

This article was first posted on 29th December 2018.

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