Hong Kong Circa 1990

Rooftops not only provided an invaluable sanctuary to residents—a ‘lung’ where they could breathe fresh air and escape the claustrophobia of their windowless flats below—but were navigable, either by jumping from one rooftop to the other or by following a crudely appointed thoroughfare, marked with rusting metal ladders and makeshift steps

An aerial view of Kowloon Walled City

We feature a selection of Greg Girard and Ian Lamboth’s work on Kowloon World City, a city-block-sized enclave located across the harbour from the Island of Hong Kong, then a British-controlled territory which developed into a cramped tenement slum made up of 300 interconnected high-rise buildings, all built without the contribution of a single architect. The pair spent 5 years photographing daily life in Kowloon before it was levelled to the ground in 1994.

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