Hong Kong In Black And White

Hong Kong In Black And White

Photographing is a universal language.


Xyza Cruz Bacani, a Philippine street photographer, has recently caught the attention of New York Times. She’s well-known because of her unique “white and black” style photos, which mainly focus on common people’s lives in Hong Kong. Quite different from those professional photographers, Bacani developed her capturing skills by herself. She originally came from Bambang, Nueva Vizcayal, and went to a nursing school at an early age. Unfortunately, she had to quit at 18 in order to raise funding for her younger siblings’ education, and then joined her mom in Hong Kong, who had been working as a nanny for 20 years. Although always working over-time with a limited salary, Bacani never gave up her passion she discovered since school: photography. She started to take casual pictures on the street after purchasing her first digital single-lens reflex camera, a Nickon D90, with a loan from her employer. After years of dedication, Bacani won a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to study at New York University for a six-week program. She now also has her own official website: http://www.xyzacruzbacani.com.

Speaking of Bacani’s original determination for her depiction, she confesses that even though she speaks fluent Cantonese, she barely has any local or domestic workers' friends. In a crowded city such as Hong Kong, she feels that everyone is rushing, pursing their own things. People are so close to each other physically, yet distant mentally. Each person has his/her own stories, but it's so hard to explore in the meantime. As one of the “lonely wolves” in Hong Kong, Bacani has a desire to use her camera, letting people take a glimpse of their own lives in nowadays modern society. She tries to portray the unusual scenes behind those daily routines, and makes them significant.

Because Bacani believes photographing is a universal language.

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