A while ago I was browsing street photography on Flickr and I found some photographs that really moved me in a way that I had not been for a while. The darkness, loneliness and sense of disconnection was something that I had been trying to convey in my work, and this photographer had hit the nail on the head. I am now very happy to be able to feature the work of Jonathan Van Smit. Please note some of these pictures are not safe for work.
Jonathan van Smit is a self-taught photographer from New Zealand who has been living in Hong Kong since 2008. During the day, he works as an investment advisor so most of his work is shot at night. Taken mostly in Kowloon, Jonathan van Smit’s photos illustrate the terrifying social power that capitalism has over the multitudes who live in the shadows of Hong Kong’s beautiful, familiar towers. With themes ranging from poverty and marginal housing conditions to drug use and sex, his work has been described as *“raw, sometimes shockingly so, but never sensationalist. It’s full of boredom, sadness, loneliness and neglect”
Q. First of all, welcome to JCH, please tell us about yourself.
Thanks for inviting me here. I don’t really like talking about myself that much especially as you haven’t bought me a beer yet!