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A self-proclaimed “band of visual creators and storytellers” have taken it upon themselves to tell the story of abandoned buildings and spaces in Hong Kong.
HK Urbex is a group of urban explorers who seek to show a side to the densely populated territory that many don’t realise exist.
“The contrast is surreal,” Ghost — a pseudonym — tells CNN. He’s describing the disparity between an abandoned hospital and the non-stop financial district of Hong Kong.
An anonymous member describes in a TedX talk how they were inspired by gaming.
“Growing up in the nineties,” he says, “I was a huge fan of point-and-click adventure games.” He enjoyed finding clues and solving puzzles, and he drew inspiration from games like Gabriel Knight and Monkey Island.
Equipped with GoPros and drones, HK Urbex focus on items left behind – the forgotten side of Hong Kong
The young man prepares for urban exploring much like a character in those games would — stocking up inventory and heading into the eerie unknown. When discussing the time the team delved into a nine-level mine, he noted how he had not garnered enough experience to reach level nine, and so did not venture passed level two.
As well as with their gaming experience, the team use their film knowledge to document and upload what they find onto YouTube.
Equipped with GoPros and drones, the team focus on items left behind — evidence of human life that will one day be demolished.
It is this demolition that HK Urbex is trying to create awareness for.
In a video description, they detail how “in Hong Kong, nothing comes before money.” Property developers do not hesitate to destroy buildings that once held significance to the people who lived there.
“More thin toothpick-like buildings [will be crammed] into spaces previously occupied by old unique ones than ever before thanks to the new ordinance, eradicating history, heritage and lives in the process,” they conclude.