Keywords: Vietnamese Refugee Camps, Hong Kong Refugees Camps, White Head Refugees Camp, Pillar Point Refugees Camp, Golf, Cabinet Magazine, fall of Saigon, Hong Kong family recreation center, Hong Kong Bar-b-que

A narrative of photos and text, Even the Trees Would Leave looks at the Vietnamese refugee crisis that took place in Hong Kong from 1975-2000 through the lens of the present moment. The project traces a reverse chronology from the future to the day the first Danish container ship transporting Vietnamese refugees entered the waters of Hong Kong, a port of first asylum. This embattled history, still sensitive in Hong Kong, highlights pressing issues regarding the legalities of the seas, governmental responsibility, and the plight of global migrants. Today several former refugee camps have been converted into golf driving ranges and family recreation centers. These sites of leisure and tourism remain residual embodiments of trauma.

Because of its dense population within a confined landmass, Hong Kong has a long practice of re-claiming land from the sea. The closing of Hong Kong's last Vietnamese refugee camp in 2000 was treated as another form of land reclamation--Hong Kong re-claiming its land for its own people.

In 1997, when The People's Republic of China recovered Hong Kong into the fold of its Motherland, the new government demanded the removal of all Vietnamese "migrants" from its Special Administrative Region. Its sanction is a troubling reminder that the humanitarian impulse is not free from the impact of global power relations.

Part of the project was published in Cabinet Magazine.

Even the Trees Would Leave


A portfolio diptych photographic prints and embossed prints. Published in Cabinet Magazine.

projects                                                texts                                                links                                                info