Originally from Newfoundland, Canada, Kent Foran is a photographer and teacher based in Hong Kong. His work is focused on people and their environments, and exists in a space between street, documentary and fine art photography. It has a special emphasis on the odd and the inexplicable within the everyday. Part One of two – see Part Two here.
Student occupiers sit together late at night in a protest area in Admiralty.
A young Hong Konger surveys the multitudes from a bridge in Admiralty. Huge crowds continued to show up into late October.
A student occupier in protective gear rests momentarily against a road barrier.
Protesters raise their mobile phones during a huge rally in Admiralty, the night after police used tear gas to disperse crowds.
On one of Mong Kok’s most contentious, agitators with alleged triad links intimidated and assaulted protesters, and the police were seen by many as responding very slowly or even colluding. The area around Nathan Road and Argyle Street, one of the busiest intersections in the world, was beset through the night with clashes between protesters, anti-occupiers and police.
As police in Mong Kok escort an anti-occupier from the scene at 2:00 am, the crowd rock and smack the police van and gesture angrily at the anti-occupier.
Chris, a student occupier, prepares for another round of tear gas in Admiralty. Masks, rain ponchos and yellow ribbons were among the supplies freely distributed by highly organised volunteers throughout the protests.
Student leader Joshua Wong addresses the crowd.
Occupiers rest while a resident observes the clashes in Mong Kok.
Students stand in front of the “Lennon Wall”, a makeshift message board covered with post-it notes.
A young organiser disguises himself to remain anonymous in the make-shift tent that has served as the nerve-centre of the the Mong Kok occupation.
On October 5th, a local man climbed to the top of a bridge in Admiralty and tried to persuade the occupiers to leave, so that his three young children could go back to their school, which had been forced to close. After several hours of addressing the crowds and negotiating with emergency services, the man came down and was arrested.
On the night of November 18th, a large group of masked young people descended without warning on the LegCo area. It was eventually revealed that they had organised through HK Golden with the intent of disrupting the following day’s council meeting. At issue was “Internet Article 23”, which is feared could be used to curtail online creative freedom. As it turned out, Internet Article 23 wasn’t actually on the schedule for the next day’s council.
Occupiers, unsure of the intentions of the HK Golden contingent but sensing trouble, pleaded with them to leave.
Foran’s work has appeared in many international publications, and he has had three solo exhibitions in Hong Kong. Foran was selected in early 2015 as one of Hong Kong’s ten best emerging photographers by DRKRMS Media. View more of his works here.