Hong Kong Photoshop artist Victor Liu set out in 2014 to colourise old photographs of people and places in the city, having taken inspiration from artist Sanna Dullaway and online projects such as “History in Color“.
Looking through LIFE Magazine as well as British and Hong Kong government archives, Liu found images dating back to the 1940s and 1960s and began restoring them to what he believes were their original hues.
Liu told HKFP that he hoped to raise awareness of efforts to conserve Hong Kong’s history.
“[T]he demolition of the Queen’s Pier in 2003 and the Ho Tung Garden in 2013 sparked public awareness on historical conservation. I hope my work will enable the public to rethink the balance of conservation and development. Development and conservation are not opposing forces, yet it seems that there is mounting evidence that valuable historical sites and buildings are sliding under the bulldozer, pending economic development.”
“History is more than the path left by the past; it influences the present, and can shape the future. These photos represent the heyday of colonial Hong Kong, when the camera captured the elegant neoclassical architecture along the shoreline, the photos also reflect the hard life of the local population where living conditions were critical.”
“By glimpsing the life of our fellow HongKongers over a century ago, seeing Hong Kong has gone through a series of metamorphoses, becoming an international city that continues to aspire,” said Liu.
Liu posts the black-and-white and restored colour photographs side-by-side under the project “Colourized Hong Kong.”