If history is totally related to the past, there would be no so-called contemporary problem or historical problem. However, many different contexts remain that are still affecting our contemporary life. We cannot ignore historical problems, somehow we have to deal with them unconsciously and inevitably. People from every generation have their own problems of history, as a "post-80s" man and a son of a stowaway, there is no doubt I identify myself as a Hong Konger. But for China, it is a kind of paradoxical identity for me to locate myself in. I think I should give my own views and stand on this issue, thus, I often think of my relations with China, even though it always confuse me.

Understanding how my father's experience of sneaking into Hong Kong is helping me to have a better grasp of my identity. However, I can only conjecture based on his memories which are fragmented and indistinct, sometimes from his face, body, conversation and expression.

Inevitably, "past" is fading away, we cannot capture any moment of the past, but we can re-experience something based on it, that may be a proper methodology to let me reinvestigate the doubt about my identity. From the personal history of my father to the collective memories of those stowaways interviewed by Bingan Chan, a Shenzhen journalist, my research does not only complement his but also allow my concerns to get out of a personal level. I believe that part of forgotten history is affecting every stowaway and their descendants, and even the whole of Hong Kong. It is about identity, but more importantly, it determines what Hong Kong is, the core values that we often mention.

It is an art project that is neither biographical nor documentary in nature. Perhaps it is presenting my father at that moment; finally, it may also be linked to the origin of Hong Kong people or even to other things beyond what I had imagined






Ha Pak Lai - 下白泥

Ha Pak Lai, it is located on the west coast of the New Territories, opposite to Shekou, Shenzhen. It was the safest landing point for illegal immigrants because of its' long coastline. Now people go there for leisure (e.g. hiking, fishing...) and the beautiful sunset in the North West of Hong Kong.

Tsim Bei Tsui - 尖鼻咀

Tsim Bei Tsui, another hotspot where illegal immigrants landed during the 50-80s. There was an iconic police lighthouse in the Hong Kong side which gave direction to illegal immigrants when they swam in the Deep Bay (Shenzhen Bay). Now, Tsim Bei Tsui is still a remote and restricted area of the Hong Kong North West Frontier.

Mong Tseng Wai - 網井圍

Mong Tseng Wai, one of the remote places near the frontier. There were villages to hide and to seek help when illegal immigrants landed in Hong Kong.

Nam Sang Wai - 南生圍

Nam Sang Wai, another place to hide and is located close to Yuen Long Town, where illegal immigrants can find their family members or find the way to Kowloon. Nowadays this place is well-known for bird watching and cycling.

Ng Tung River - 梧桐河

Ng Tung River, a river in the North East New Territories, which is a tributary of Shenzhen river and ends at Lo Wu. Between 1898 and 1949, there was no border patrol in Lo Wu area, as a result, people were free to travel between Hong Kong and China. In 1952, in an effort to combat illegal immigration and smuggling, the Hong Kong Government established the Frontier Closed Area, which included the Lo Wu area and after that, set up the Lo Wu Control Point.

Sha Tau Kok - 沙頭角

Sha Tau Kok, a closed area since 1898 and a Control Point was set up in 1951 because of serious illegal immigration. Today, Shatoujiao (China side) is a highly developed area which benefited from the development during the Chinese economic reform, but Sha Tau Kok (Hong Kong side) is still a quiet rural town.

Tung Ping Chau - 東平洲

Tung Ping Chau, a small island, is located at the North East of Hong Kong and next to Mirs Bay Shenzhen. It was a hotspot of illegal immigrants who swam from the east, however many people were killed half way either by the PLA or by sharks.

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