Five years ago, Désiré van den Berg, a photographer based in the Netherlands, moved in Hong Kong where she stayed seven months. « I remember very well how I felt when I first arrived: it was hot, humid and dark, and I was lost. I followed the colors and crowds swaying along the sidewalks like waves in separate currents, swelling and shrinking, occasionally breaking up the flow by stopping myself and looking up », she explains. During this first trip, she barely took photos while living there. The countless photographs she had seen of Hong Kong prior to arriving, made it more difficult to find inspiration and to pick up her camera.
Désiré van den Berg was back, and felt that her plane took her right back in the past: « Strong wafts of tiger balm, braised pork and detergent welcomed me as I set foot back on the soil. It’s incredible what smells can do to the brain [… ] The sounds and smells activated old feelings and emotions I forgot I ever had. Love and loneliness. Lost and alive. A rush of excitement sent adrenaline into my limbs and for hours to days, nonstop and tireless, all I could do was to photograph ».