Two visions seen in one Hong Kong

In the two decades since Britain relinquished its Hong Kong colony to China, the mainland’s influence has risen steadily on the territory.

Some residents uneasy about the changes that have taken place since the July 1, 1997, handover worry about further changes to come during the formal transition period lasting until 2047.

Much to Beijing’s chagrin, people still display British colonial emblems out of nostalgia and longing for a time they feel had faster economic growth and better opportunities. Authorities have tried to remove such symbols at times, trying to steer the city away from its colonial past and toward its Chinese future.

But rising concerns about the future have led many residents to question their identity, especially among young people who increasingly call themselves Hong Kongers rather than Chinese.

Associated Press photographer Kin Cheung has documented Hong Kong’s transition to Chinese rule with several pairs of abstract photos based on daily life and local symbols.

Recurrent in the images are the themes of nationalism versus colonialism, justice and freedom under Beijing’s control, and the color red, a symbol of good fortune and Beijing support.

These themes unite the images to tell Hong Kong’s narrative.

In this combination of photos, left: Participants stand for China's national anthem at a Hong Kong school meeting highlighting achievements of students who visited the mainland on exchange programs, Tuesday, June 6, 2017; and right: Wreaths mourning soldiers who died during first and second World Wars are placed outside St. John Cathedral in Hong Kong, Monday, June 12, 2017.  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos, left: An LED screen seen between buildings emits a red glow in Hong Kong on Saturday, May 20, 2017; and right: A man wearing the British flag shorts jogs at King George V Memorial Park in Hong Kong on Friday, June 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos, left: The corner of a red LED screen is seen next to the statue of  the Goddess of Justice at the former Supreme Court in Hong Kong, Thursday, June 1, 2017; and right: A man wears devil horns in front of the Fringe Club, which was built in the colonial style, in Hong Kong, Saturday, May 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos, left: Clouds float over Victoria Harbor as a red LED display is seen at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 7, 2017; and right: A window frames a painting of clouds at a primary school in Hong Kong Friday, June 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos taken on Friday, June 2 2017, left: A red lantern hangs outside a shop in Western District in Hong Kong; and right: A man pushes a trolley with a red plastic bag next to a wall depicting British themed graffiti art in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos, left: Red neon light is reflected in a puddle in Hong Kong, Friday, June 2, 2017; and right: A man is silhouetted in a sliver of light as he walks in front of the Tsung Tsin Mission of Hong Kong Kau Yan Church which was built in colonial style, Monday, May 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos, left: A mannequin with a red head is displayed at a fashion store in Hong Kong, Tuesday, June 20, 2017; and right: A student stands in a replica of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos, left: Red carpeted steps lead up to a stage with screens displaying an image of the universe, in Hong Kong, Thursday, June 22, 2017; and right: A red sculpture is displayed outside the Bank of China headquarters in Hong Kong to celebrate the anniversary of Hong Kong handover to China, Friday, June 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos, left: Residents look at the sunset glow over Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 11, 2017; and right: A woman carries a red umbrella past Sun Yat-sen Museum, which was built in the colonial style, Saturday, May 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this combination of photos, left: A water fountain is lit with red light at Statue Square in Hong Kong, Saturday, May 27, 2017; and right: Clouds are seen though stained glass at the Western Market in Hong Kong, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)


Text from the AP news story, AP PHOTOS: Two visions seen in one Hong Kong.

Photos by Kin Cheung

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