PHOTOGRAPHY – More Aerial Shots of HK’s Coffin Homes, by Ko Chung Ming

Earlier this year, Benny Lam’s aerial shots of HK’s tiny, sub-divided homes went viral, drawing attention to the city’s dire housing crisis. A similar project by Ko Chung Ming also highlights the claustrophobic reality of HK’s poor in his 2012 series ‘Cents Mansion’…

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“A rooftop house in Tsuen Wan (only 7ft high) under threat from poisonous centipedes and potential ceiling collapse”

‘Cage homes’. ‘coffin rooms’, sub-divided dwellings and steaming-hot, illegal rooftop flats are becoming all the more common in a city renowned for having the most expensive rental property market in the world…

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“A family of three lives in a 100 sq. ft. subdivided flat in Tsuen Wan. The boy uses his bed for both study and play”

The underprivileged families featured in Ko Chung Ming’s series have an average income of HK$8000 – more than half of this meagre income goes to rent…

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“A family of four lives in a 100 sq. ft. mini-flat in Tsuen Wan. They hope to move into public housing soon.”

With 11 years of experience as a photojournalist, Ko Chung Ming has won 1st prize in the HK Press Photographers Association – ‘Focus at the Frontline 2007’ awards. He also participated in ‘Art Chat on Harbour’, a exhibition featuring Hong Kong and China artists at the Cattle Depot in 2004…

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“A single middle-aged man lives in a ‘coffin room’ (a ‘bed-space apartment’) in Jordan. There are a total of 30 ‘coffins’ in a single flat with upper and lower levels. Rent is over HK$1,000”

Up to 280,000 Hong Kongers are living in subdivided flats and often paying exorbitant rent…

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“A sub-divided flat located just opposite the location of the Fa Yuen Street fire in 2011. With fire escapes blocked, tenants worry that if there is a fire, they will be unable to escape”

HK is a wealthy place and often sports a budget surplus… With the highest concentration of millionaires in Asia, it is awash with luxury malls and sports cars. Yet the city lacks a proper social safety net, is home to the widest rich-poor gap in the developed world and has a minimum wage of just HK$30 (US$3.87 or £2.40 – as of May 2013). Around a tenth of families live in poverty, according to Oxfam…

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“A ‘cage home’ in Tai Kok Tsui. The tenant is a drug addict. He has not been able to work since a car accident and relies on Social Security for living allowances”

More of Ko Chung Ming’s photography can be found on his ‘vii’ profile here.

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“A couple and their two sons live in a 200 sq. ft. rooftop house in Sham Shui Po. In summer, the room temperature is over 30?. The mother often takes her children to the library to cool themselves.”

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“A rooftop house in Sham Shui Po. With limited space, the dwelling is unbearably hot and unhygienic”

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‘Home for Homeless’ is an NGO providing short-term accommodation for low-income individuals. Their subdivided flats are bright, air-conditioned and hygienic. Tenants regard them as ‘paradise’.

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“A family of four share a subdivided flat in Tsuen Wan. The tenant and her children prefer to return to their spacious mainland home for vacation”

‘Poverty Amidst Plenty’ – related posts on Hong Wrong…

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