Monday, February 10, 2014

Where I Was Going With "Where Are You Going?"

Dots on a pedestrian bridge window

Several recent posts shared a similar format: a questioning title followed by a single photo of a scene from Hong Kong. When I first looked at the photo of a ship with an ancient Chinese design sailing towards modern buildings, "Where are you going today?" immediately came to mind. This usually straightforward question now seemed to be asking something deeper. I also found it striking that the photo's effect on me was so different from experiencing the scene in person. Perhaps some of the feelings the boat's design evokes can be dampened by the sound of the boat's motor. Similarly, more mundane events occurring nearby may provide a grounding context. And heightened awareness that the boat is likely providing a very local tour could take one's imagination away from distant places or times.

The photo of a winding High Street in the second post brought to mind the same question but with a different spin. In this case, the potential destinations appear more restricted, though the two levels of roads suggests a significant choice was made earlier. There's also an added sense of mystery with the elevated road disappearing between the buildings. A video by Anil Maharjan reveals where the elevated road leads. Based on the video's perspective and it ending at a bus stop, I would guess it was taken from an upper-level front seat of a double decker bus--rather appropriate for what some describe as a double decker road. Even if you don't care where the road leads, the video provides a good ride:

Hill Road Bypass in Hong Kong from Anil Maharjan.

The third post asked a slightly different question--"Where do you want to go?" For me, this question was implicit in the earlier posts, and the scene of a man sitting alone on a large rock provided a setting to raise the question explicitly. I don't really know what the man was thinking about at the time, though. He may already be exactly where he wants to be.

The most recent post asked "Where do you want to play tennis today?" and included a scene from one of Hong Kong's many residential complexes. It mostly resulted from a bit of humor & self-mockery. But like the other posts, many different interpretations are possible.

The different interpretations possible for all of the posts are part of the reason I didn't say any of this before. I didn't want to lead people's experience of the photos any more than I already had. We often have our own places to go. Even now, new thoughts arise when I look at the photos. It reminds me that you don't need to move a single inch to see something different. Sometimes all it takes is a change of focus.

View of Kwai Cheong Road in Kwai Chung, Hong Kong, through a pedestrian bridge window with dots

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