Yes Madam, Sorry Ah Sir
Yes Madam, Sorry Ah Sir
Photographs: Paul Yeung
Publisher: Brownie publishing ltd.
Price: 55 €
Comments: Oblong, 38,5 by 25,5cm, softcover with an additional booklet (28pages) bind together . Color photographs.
It is a campaign to publish a photo book about Hong Kong Police Force. Local photographer Paul Yeung tries to challenge the routine of traditional documentary, which sometimes captures the most sensational and vigorous moment to provoke audience. In contrast, Yeung adopts a humorous and distant point of views to penetrate the deeply-rooted superiority and authority image of the police, and reveal the less-known side of them, in order to raise a thinking about the essence and meaning of the profession.
The inspiration for most of my work comes from the masses that create and shape our social values. But this time I turned my attention to the police force. Uniformed officers have always interested me. They are a picture of professionalism, discipline, intelligence, efficiency and level-headedness – or at least that’s the impression government propaganda and movies try to instil in us. But I can see that they are human too. They eat, they sleep, they laugh and they get angry. They seem foolish at times and wise at others. They might have luck by their side today but not tomorrow. I can often feel their internal conflict between job responsibility and personal value. Indeed, they are just like any ordinary citizen. What sets them apart – and that’s what concerns us most – is that they are armed with weapons and the power to enforce the law.
A British colonial legacy, Hongkongers usually address policemen as “Ah Sir” and policewomen as “Madam”. This form of address is not only a sign of respect but also subordination. Through my lenses, I hope to reveal the less-known side of the police in narrative and aesthetics, beyond that deeply-rooted image and notion of superiority and authority.
Those who are familiar with my previous work would probably know I tend to study myself, the society and the world with a unique perspective. That’s why I taking this opportunity to experiment on new ways to approach documentary photography. Almost nobody takes comedy movies seriously – not to say tongue-in-cheek photography. Nevertheless, I am determined to pursue creative freedom. I believe we should live life like a game and celebrate artistic diversity.