Shek Kip Mei Estate was one of Hong Kong’s first public housing projects, built to provide immediate relief to the 53,000 migrants and refugees who lost their squatter-homes to a fire on Christmas Day, 1953. Its small family units had no running water, electricity, or private toilets. But for many of its first residents, its sturdy walls offered a welcome improvement to the quality of life.
In its 52 years of existence, the estate bore witness to the changing times: the post-war population boom, the growing economy, innovations in public architecture. It saw film shoots, protests, crime; it also fostered thriving community networks, local businesses, schools, and welfare organisations.
When Shek Kip Mei Estate was slated for demolition in 2006, photojournalist Vincent Yu set out to document the crumbling building and its last remaining residents. Through texts, historical documents, and stark photographic portraits, Yu records the lives of some 200 elderly residents and the spaces they’ve called home for many decades.
- 180 mm (H) x 240 mm (W)