On the west side of Hong Kong Island, on the waters of Victoria Harbor, is a pier that has become much more than just a pier. Every day, from sunrise to sunset, young people gather with their friends, props and selfie sticks to take portraits against the pier’s cargo pallets, shipping bollards, and standing pools of water.
The pier, known officially as the Western District Public Cargo Working Area, has an industrial background that lends well to photos, and particularly ones that garner likes on Instagram. Italian photographer Pierfrancesco Celada, who lives in Hong Kong, walked by one day and noticed the pockets of people scattered all over the pier taking photos, some as silly as jumping selfies, and in other areas, official wedding photos.
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More information about the artist:
After completing a PhD in Biomechanics, Pierfrancesco is now concentrating his attention on a personal long-term photographic project documenting life in modern cities.
He has recently been selected to take part in EPEA'03, with exhibitions in Paris, Lucca, Hamburg and Oslo. He won the Happiness Onthemove Award (2017), the Photolux Leica Award (2014) and the Ideastap and Magnum Photos Photographic Award (2010). He interned at the Magnum office in London and produced a multimedia piece at Magnum in Motion, New York. His work has been exhibited and published internationally, including Newsweek, Time Lightbox, i-D, D-Repubblica, Leap magazine. He is currently exploring Chinese megacities.
Selfies, self-representation and the usage of social media are playing an always-increasing role in today’s society, especially among the younger generations.
The “Instagram Pier” is a public cargo pier located in Shek Tong Tsui, on the west side of Hong Kong Island. In the past few years the pier has raised to fame as the “Instagram Pier” (including its own dedicated geo-tag). A great number of instagrammers, photographers and curious gather daily at the pier, especially at sunset, for taking selfies and scenic photos; attracted by the pier’s unique location and access to Hong Kong’s Victoria harbour.
I have started walking to the Pier on a daily basis, and I have soon begun noticing all the repetitions, including my own.
People would return to the pier, to create and re-create, very similar “Instagram driven” imagery; a constant repetition of poses and situations played by a never-ending number of interchangeable actors.
At times the Pier becomes a place of transition, between reality and the virtual world of self-representation; between our real-selves and the way we wish our lives were perceived and represented.
Because of the nature of the place and the project, I created the Instagram Pier’s instagram account (@insta_pier), beginning a conversation with other Instagrammers and their images posted on the platform.