HELPERS – Grainne Quinlan’s Stunning Portraits of HK’s Helper Community 26


Best known for her Elderly Tai Chi series, HK-based Irish photographer Grainne Quinlan has built on her first maid mini-project with some stunning portraits of the city’s foreign domestic helpers. The shots, entitled ‘Victoria Park’, are due to be publicly exhibited soon in Wan Chai. The set was commissioned the HK Helpers Campaign, which will launch on December 1st.

Quinlan says “the aim of this work is to humanise a marginalised and often vulnerable segment of the Hong Kong population through portraiture.” Click here for more details.

Today’s post forms part of a series leading to the December 1st launch of a separate ‘HK Helpers Campaign’. The campaign is designed to spark debate and effect change for Foreign Domestic Workers. If you are a fellow blogger or media organisation, our coverage/videos are available for re-syndication free-of-charge from the photographer, if you get in touch.

Click here for a collection of Hong Kong desktop wallpapers. You may also enjoy…


  • Joseph Lau

    Jesus Christ,What the Fu*^ did i just see?Do I really need to see those here? As if a Sunday walk at victoria park wasn’t enough…

    • Tom

      They are the engine of HK’s economy, your prosperity is dependent on their hard work.

      • iddqd

        Let’s not get all crazy “expat-outside-looking-in” mode here.

        If there were suddenly no maids here in HK, the economy wouldn’t crash, molten rocks won’t rain from the skies and every firstborn won’t choke on their own vomit.

        Domestic workers are a convenience, NOT a necessity. This “exhibition” is merely a glorified yearbook of Filipino/Thai dom workers. Adjectives like “stunning” are an obvious overreach.

        Finally, I hate to break this to you but this seems as though the domestic workers are victimized. This is an inaccurate portrayal as dom workers have rights, support from the HK govt. and Filipino/Thai embassies, are paid a good wage in terms of labour and similar hospitality jobs back home and free food and boarding in one of the most expensive cities to live in the world.

        Article title should be renamed “Much ado about nothing” and the “artist” in charge of this “exhibition” should go back to panning for coins because all it’s doing is propagating a very inaccurate and uncredible scene.

        • Suggest you don’t go to the exhibition then. Jesus!

          • iddqd

            I don’t care about the “exhibition” as much as I care about the wrong message being sent.

        • Joseph Lau

          This convenience actually is not worth it as People from this Unfortunate,Primitive and backwards countries are taking a toll on our city’s image every time they are given rest.Personally, I’d prefer Indonesians more because unlike Filipinas, they choose to gather in a place like victoria park instead of transforming our symbol of financial excellence “Central” into a savage-fest by dancing and sitting wherever they want (Imagine what they do in their own Country).Also, Indonesians speak Cantonese quite well and that really exhibits their appreciation of Chinese culture while Filipinos think that knowing how to speak English is more prestigious knowing that they learned that language from their American masters when they were willingly occupied (they are naturally obedient to lighter skin toned people I guess).
          If I can have it my way, Hong Kong should start hiring poor Chinese Mainlanders. It will be better because they came from the same culture and employers will feel more secure as they are unlikely to steal, gossip and seducerl their husbands in exchange for PR.We do not have to deal with other countries’ diplomatic B.S. if this happens.

          Hong Kong is changing as China is slowly regaining its rightful place in Asia.Filipinos are so clueless that they don’t realize they are living in the wrong century. I really hope our chief executive will really ban them from working here.They really have to learn this the hard way.I take no pleasure in seeing them slowly starve just because HK won’t let them clean toilets anymore.But having pleasure while seeing justice working while this takes place cannot be denied. Indonesians should be permitted to work here as their country recognizes China’s emergence By giving Xi his well-deserved welcome in their homeland. Chinese culture for thousands of years have shown that we can be great as friends but our sense of Justice is unshakable when you choose to be our enemies.

          • iddqd

            While I come off as uncaring and callous, I am not a racist. Bravo sir, you achieved what I thought wasn’t possible by eclipsing my comment.

          • iddqd

            While I come off as uncaring and callous, I am not a racist. Bravo sir, you achieved what I thought wasn’t possible by eclipsing my comment.

  • Joseph Lau

    Jesus Christ,What the Fu*^ did i just see?Do I really need to see those here? As if a Sunday walk at victoria park wasn’t enough…

    • Tom

      They are the engine of HK’s economy, your prosperity is dependent on their hard work.

      • iddqd

        Let’s not get all crazy “expat-outside-looking-in” mode here.

        If there were suddenly no maids here in HK, the economy wouldn’t crash, molten rocks won’t rain from the skies and every firstborn won’t choke on their own vomit.

        Domestic workers are a convenience, NOT a necessity. This “exhibition” is merely a glorified yearbook of Filipino/Thai dom workers. Adjectives like “stunning” are an obvious overreach.

        Finally, I hate to break this to you but this seems as though the domestic workers are victimized. This is an inaccurate portrayal as dom workers have rights, support from the HK govt. and Filipino/Thai embassies, are paid a good wage in terms of labour and similar hospitality jobs back home and free food and boarding in one of the most expensive cities to live in the world.

        Article title should be renamed “Much ado about nothing” and the “artist” in charge of this “exhibition” should go back to panning for coins because all it’s doing is propagating a very inaccurate and uncredible scene.

        • Suggest you don’t go to the exhibition then. Jesus!

          • iddqd

            I don’t care about the “exhibition” as much as I care about the wrong message being sent.

        • Joseph Lau

          This convenience actually is not worth it as People from this Unfortunate,Primitive and backwards countries are taking a toll on our city’s image every time they are given rest.Personally, I’d prefer Indonesians more because unlike Filipinas, they choose to gather in a place like victoria park instead of transforming our symbol of financial excellence “Central” into a savage-fest by dancing and sitting wherever they want (Imagine what they do in their own Country).Also, Indonesians speak Cantonese quite well and that really exhibits their appreciation of Chinese culture while Filipinos think that knowing how to speak English is more prestigious knowing that they learned that language from their American masters when they were willingly occupied (they are naturally obedient to lighter skin toned people I guess).
          If I can have it my way, Hong Kong should start hiring poor Chinese Mainlanders. It will be better because they came from the same culture and employers will feel more secure as they are unlikely to steal, gossip and seducerl their husbands in exchange for PR.We do not have to deal with other countries’ diplomatic B.S. if this happens.

          Hong Kong is changing as China is slowly regaining its rightful place in Asia.Filipinos are so clueless that they don’t realize they are living in the wrong century. I really hope our chief executive will really ban them from working here.They really have to learn this the hard way.I take no pleasure in seeing them slowly starve just because HK won’t let them clean toilets anymore.But having pleasure while seeing justice working while this takes place cannot be denied. Indonesians should be permitted to work here as their country recognizes China’s emergence By giving Xi his well-deserved welcome in their homeland. Chinese culture for thousands of years have shown that we can be great as friends but our sense of Justice is unshakable when you choose to be our enemies.

          • iddqd

            While I come off as uncaring and callous, I am not a racist. Bravo sir, you achieved what I thought wasn’t possible by eclipsing my comment.

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