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New Photo Exhibition Captures the Charm of Tai O

By Sophie Pettit 30 June 2015

Header image courtesy of Irene Flanhardt

Dubbing Tai O the “Venice of the Orient” may be somewhat of an overstatement, but the quaint little fishing village certainly has its charms, which are perfectly captured in the photography of Irene Flanhardt. Her latest exhibition features 21 photos that pay homage to the simplicity and tranquility of the village which traces all the way back to the Song dynasty (960–1279).

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Photo: Irene Flanhardt

They beautifully depict the inhabitants, iconic stilt houses, charming fishing boats, and culinary treasures (who could resist those famous salted duck egg yolks and shrimp paste?) which have clearly captivated the photographer and led her to publish a new book, The Charm of Tai O.

Photo: Irene Flanhardt

“I’ve been taking photos in Tai O since 2011 and every year I shoot the dragon boat races there,” she tell us. “I dedicate the book as well as the photos in this exhibition to the inhabitants of Tai O Fishing Village who have earned my admiration for their indomitable spirit.”

Photo: Irene Flanhardt

“In June 2008, heavy downpours caused severe floods and landslides in Tai O, isolating it from the rest of Hong Kong. Telecommunications lines were down and the fresh water supply was interrupted for several days. Most houses were flooded and their residents’ personal belongings (including their precious family photos) were destroyed. Tai O has a special place in my heart and I want to capture it for our good memories.”

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Sophie Pettit

Editor-in-chief

Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.

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