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Richard Mark Dobson



In this series Dobson revisits his former home, Hong Kong, with the observation on the big city life and changing political landscape of the place. He witnesses people dashing through pouring rain along wet, congested Wan Chai streets and pavements shimmered with iridescent hues, flashing through his mind the cinematic fantasies that he believes things seem to have come full circle.

Twenty years after the handover from British to Chinese rule, twenty years after Dobson left, the city once again enraptures him. Just as the notorious walled city of Kowloon inspired the bleak, neon-soaked, perpetually dank and rain-soaked dystopia of Blade Runner, so does its sequel now cede to the alternate reality of Neonopolis – a realm strangely futuristic all the while rooted in the present. He sees around him towering skyscrapers, examples of extreme wealth. He witness legions of office workers oblivious to their predicament, hypnotised by their smart phones and commuters devouring social media piped into their brains via hand held devices.

Dobson’s work touches on social commentary through photography that confronts our reality. Taking the basic principle of street photography, Dobson captures reality as it happens. His images are paired here with the original writing of Jason Gagliardi, so as to warp that reality into a quasi fictional narrative akin to a science fiction film.

“Through a glass darkly, I hold up a mirror to the twisted skeins of stories being played out on the seething streets. Welcome to Neonopolis.”