By Tongtong Li
Photographs of street views and political activists dominated the photographs displayed in the “Young Lenses” student photography exhibition held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club from 2-11 May.
The exhibition displayed photographs taken by students while they attended programmes at universities in Hong Kong, including ten students and graduates from the Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC) at The University of Hong Kong (HKU).
Cammy Yiu, the organiser of Young Lenses, said that students from different universities focused on different topics. She said that while JMSC students were in favour of street photography near Sai Ying Pun documenting the lives of the elderly and the poor, those from Hong Kong Baptist University prefered to document young political activists.
Bridgette Hall, a Master of Journalism graduate from the class of 2016, said her photojournalism course helped her observe the inequality gap in Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong is like that right? A big divide between the rich and the poor. You can tell a bigger picture about society just in a single moment by street photos,” said Hall.
Fellow graduate Sahil Magoo’s photograph also showed a comparison between the rich and the poor in Hong Kong.
The photos from JMSC students on display were selected by Kees Metselaar, an honorary lecturer and a photojournalist with two decades of experience.
“I didn’t know that Kees even submitted the pictures. It’s quite exciting. FCC is an amazing place to have your photographs up,” Hall said.
Hall, who hails from South Africa, added that her photojournalism courses at JMSC improved her photography skills tremendously despite prior experience in the field.
“It needs different kinds of approaches to get photographs in Hong Kong,” she said.
“I feel like people here are more conservative and sometimes don’t really want photographs to be taken which is different from where I’m from.”
Hall said that she had now learnt how to approach subjects she wanted to photograph.
“If I go on an overseas photography assignment, I’m sure I can handle it well,” she said.
Magoo has been a sports writer in India but he feels he now has a new skill in his portfolio.
“I got to know about the small details and handled a professional camera for the first time at JMSC. Thanks to Kees and JMSC, I’m a much better photographer now,” Magoo said.
The FCC holds a photograph exhibition once a month, though this was the first time it organised one with photographs by university students.
According to Yiu, preparations for the exhibition started in May last year where the organizers tried to determine what kind of images Hong Kong students liked to capture.
Students from four universities in Hong Kong including HKU, Hong Kong Baptist University, City University of Hong Kong and Savannah College of Art and Design participated in the exhibition.
Tongtong Li is a student in the Master of Journalism programme at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre.