Oi Kwan Barber Shop in Wan Chai Island side of Hong Kong was my next stop on my search for interesting places for my project. The previous photographs that were taken of barbershops were primarily indoors and lit up with many different kinds of lighting. The Oi Kwan Barbershop was in a lane in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong, and this scene had adequate street lighting and also internally it was lit up quite bright. Having listened to Jeff Walls interview, YouTube. (2017). Called pictures like poems, this inspired some new thinking and lead to a better range or types of photographs I was presenting as a collection rather than just a one-hit wonder. The narrative needed to be more clear in the context of the intent and vision and needed to explore a better variety of photographic perspectives. So having gained some inspiration from Jeff Walls interview where he states that the process and composition keep changing the picture and can be ongoing for each picture and that spontaneous pictures were less satisfying. This means to slow the thinking and to consider more than before what we are actually photographing. Jeff goes on to say that photographs can be part of the expression of your own experiences, but also things come to you and that not all photograph are born out from planned events or searching. This has led to a better understanding, so even though we can visualise the way we want an image to look to some degree, what we have to do also is to remember images can also be formed from other photographs or events or stories within the scene. The three sample pictures below I took was the beginnings of trying to establish a context within the scene.

Oi Kwan Barber Shop door poster in Wan Chai Island side Hong Kong


Oi Kwan Barbershop shop front
The back of the Oi Kwan Barbershop

To emphasise these ideas on this photoshoot, The quote from the book “The complete photographer” which states “the path of photographing the ordinary subject is rather well trodden. Yet there is still room to surprise – the trick is to enter into the heart of the topic and forget about photography. When you gain the spirit of the object, the image emerges.” So this is what I did. These particular shots were an improvement on my previous attempts at forming a context, but they also were not the best shots on the day. My final choice of pictures is still ongoing with this particular shoot.


Ang, T. (n.d.). The complete photographer. 1st ed. p.366.

YouTube. (2017). Jeff Wall Interview: Pictures Like Poems. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkVSEVlqYUw [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *