Against / The Flow
In Hong Kong, some choose to survive, following the mainstream and finding a job for the sake of subsistence. Meanwhile, some choose to live, taking the road less travelled in order to do the things they want and realise their dreams.
The “post-80s generation” never experienced poverty, war, or social upheaval. Is this a generation of people that prefers the “unconventional” way of life?
Jan is a 39-year-old tattoo artist. He fell in love with tattooing over a decade ago after a chance encounter. He subsequently went to Beijing to learn the craft, and has since become a professional tattoo artist, running his own shop in Hong Kong. Fusing the aesthetics of Chinese ink painting and Western painting together and using characters from horror movies, heavy metal bands, aliens, and monsters as inspiration, he has created an alternative, dark artistic style which may not be the average customer’s cup of tea. Jan has opted to be a non-conformist in his already unconventional career. Faced with realistic problems such as continually rising rental rates, how does he view today’s Hong Kong? Is this place accepting of his creativity? Is this the place of his ideals? Let us examine his story through each dot and line created by the movement of the tattoo needle and the flow of ink.
35-year-old Cass is a locally renowned pet photographer. Having grown up in a rural village, she enjoys living with nature. What she loves even more is to make her own handicraft items from natural materials such as mud and wood. She used to be one of the “majority”, and often got into fights with her Polish husband, with whom she lives in Hong Kong, for being a workaholic. She gradually found the lifestyle in Hong Kong too hectic and oppressive. “People seem to have lost their way in this city in the face of different pressures,” she believes. Consequently, the couple has bravely given up the “mainstream” life. They have bought a piece of land in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, and are creating a “wellness village that enables the body and soul to connect with nature” with their own hands, so as to give themselves an “unconventional” reboot. They are building an earthen house from local mud to live alongside swans, hares, foxes, elks, stars, sunrises, sunsets, rivers, and the forest, taking gradual steps toward the life they truly need. However, connecting the water, electricity, and gas in Poland takes a year and a half, prompting her to reminisce how “fortunate” it is to live in Hong Kong, where people can “take things for granted”.
Assistant Producers: Yim Pui Ying, Chan Tsz Shan
Director: Yeung King Chuen
Executive Producer: Ng Wai In