Istanbul … HK Cage Images Feature …

Great to see my images of cage home, coffin home and other lowest cost ‘housing’ residents in Hong Kong get another significant airing … this time at the Zeytinburnu International Photography Festival in Istanbul, Turkey in January.

“Z Foto Fest” … as it is affectionately known for short … is an International photo festival hosted by the Türkiye Fotoğraf Vakfı (Turkey Photography Foundation) and the Municipality of Zeytinburnu on the European side of Istanbul, just outside the walls of the ancient city.

This years theme for the festival is ‘Oxygen’ with the aim of strengthening public awareness on environmental issues through the power of visual arts. Oxygens stated aim is to illustrate “the concepts of ecological collapse, perishing nature, industrial waste, human helplessness at facing wars, environmental issues, destruction caused by immigration and urbanization, accumulating waste from excess consumption of society, global warming and climate change, and comparing challenging and rare beauties of nature.” A big and noble call …

With that end in mind, “Z Foto Fest” contacted me about the prospect of showing my Hong Kong ‘homes’ work … and I readily agreed. Sadly, due to other commitments, I couldn’t travel to Istanbul … one of my favourite cities … to see the result.

The work “Living in a Coffin & Cage Dwellers of Hong Kong” was shown over five days of the festival at the Zeytinburnu Cultural And Art Center alongside other artists work from Russia, Italy, Austria, USA, China and Romania under the umbrella title “Abandoned – Rural – Overcrowded”. Z Foto Fest ends on February 11th.

Below are a selection of just some of my Hong Kong images involved in the exhibit … and a grab from the “Z Foto Fest” site.

Images © Brian Cassey


Z Foto Fest 2018 Istanbul Turkey - Hong Kong Cage & Coffin Homes - by Brian Cassey

Z Foto Fest 2018 Istanbul Turkey - Hong Kong Cage & Coffin Homes - by Brian Cassey

Z Foto Fest 2018 Istanbul Turkey - Hong Kong Cage & Coffin Homes - by Brian Cassey

Z Foto Fest 2018 Istanbul Turkey - Hong Kong Cage & Coffin Homes - by Brian Cassey

Z Foto Fest 2018 Istanbul Turkey - Hong Kong Cage & Coffin Homes - by Brian Cassey

“From Mansions, To Cages, To Coffins — Hong Kong’s Rotten Property Ladder” …

“From Mansions, To Cages, To Coffins — Hong Kong’s Rotten Property Ladder” … that’s the title that my new story – text, photos, pic essay and audio – is running under in the article published this week in the ‘Global Mail’.

The piece is the culmination of a couple of trips to Hong Kong and months of research and planning … however, the result made all the effort worthwhile.

Pretty grateful that the guys at the ‘Global Mail’ thought my journalistic work in both words and images worthy of publication (and payment of course!). I’m also grateful to the poor of Hong Kong I visited, who accepted my appearance with grace – if not always with outright enthusiasm.

This is the first publication of the wider story of the poor of Honkers which includes the relatively new phenomenon of “Coffin Homes”, the more established rooftop shanty villages, the evictions from old industrial buildings and the homeless – and follows on from my original work on “Cage Homes” (which was published on ‘CNN World’ and in the ‘Daily Mail’ amongst others.)

Below is a screen shot of just the first few pars and
images from the story … you can find the complete story on the ‘Global Mail’ at

Images and Text © Brian Cassey



Life in a Coffin – Hong Kong

This presentation was chosen as the Winner of the Nikon Walkley Photographers Slide Night at the Powerhouse in Brisbane on 7th August 2012. It depicts, in still images and a beautiful musical piece, the current plight of the poor in Hong Kong – acknowledged as the Worlds richest city.

Words and Images © Brian Cassey

The Dogs of Sai Kung

A light hearted look at the obsession with dogs in the Hong Kong fishing village of Sai Kung … but with a serious message. Sunday’s see Sai Kung dog owners parading their pets along the water front and lunching with their dogs in the many water side restaurants. The town is awash with doggie boutiques, many vets and even a doggy bakery. The obsession can be traced back to the former UK administrations attempts to limit the human birth rate. The move proved successful over the years and Hong Kongese substituted dogs in the family to replace babies. The human birth rate in Hong Kong is now one of the lowest in the World.

Words and Images © Brian Cassey

United Nations Media Peace Awards …

… announced yesterday … a selection of my work from “Life in a Coffin: Hong Kong” has been chosen as one of the three Finalists in the  “2012 United Nations Media Peace Awards” for Photojournalism. The other two finalists in the photojournalism category are Stuart McEvoy from Melbourne and Lee Giriffiths from Western Australia.

The Winners will be announced at a presentation dinner attended by United Nations big wigs and media in Melbourne on October 26th to coincide (almost) with United Nations Day (Oct 24).

Really excellent to be selected in the final three … although Stuart and Lee’s work will both provide tough competition for the prize.

One of my selected images is shown below … whilst the entire “Life in a Coffin: Hong Kong” essay … and the story … can be found on the site of my photojournalism collective ‘fotostrada’ here.

© Image Brian Cassey

Dogs … Pooches … Woofers … Whatever …

“The Dogs of Sai Kung” photo essay that I made in Hong Kong recently has been a bit of a hit with the Daily Telegraph in the UK.

Their glossy weekend magazine ran the pics as a full four page spread under the title “Barking Mad” using seven images and a very nice story by journalist Jessica Salter. (Thanks Jess !)

On the Daily Telegraph web site TWO of the images from the set starred – alongside images of Prince Will and Princess Kate, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Islamic protests against THAT movie, the Aurora Borealis through the polar ice and other pics from around the World  – in the “Pictures of the Day” gallery for the 18th September. 

The DT also ran another separate full gallery of seventeen Sai Kung doggy images under the title of  “The Pampered Dogs of Hong Kong”.

Nice to get a good run with these images that, to be honest, were not a priority at the time on the Hong Kong trip … and were all made just on a nice Sunday at the very pleasant Sai Kung seaside.

Below I’ve posted – from top – two images of the Daily Telegraph magazine four page spread “Barking Mad” and one image each from the “Pictures of the Day” gallery and “The Pampered Pooches of Hong Kong” gallery.

The complete essay (twenty six images) can be found either on my my personal web site at … 

… or on the web site of my collective ‘fotostrada’ at …

All images © Brian Cassey

Life in a Coffin …

The second pic essay from my recent trip to Hong Kong … “Life in a Coffin – Hong Kong” has been posted to the web site of my collective ‘fotostrada’.

The pics – along with 1800 words – portray the situation of the poor of the former British Colony in the lowest cost housing alternatives of ‘coffin’ homes, bed space cage homes, wire cage homes, illegal rooftop shanties and illegal cubicles in old factories and industrial buildings. Although these still cost the residents more per square foot than the most expensive of Hong Kong’s luxury apartments, for the unfortunate they are just a step away from a life on the street.

The story also attempts to provide some historical perspective to the situation as the number of poor in HK exceeds the twenty percent figure (and the number of billionaires – which currently stands at 36 – continues to grow.)

The new essay can be found on ‘fotostrada’ in “Latest Stories” here … and will be posted to my personal site when time permits …

… whilst my older essay on the Hong Kong cage home dwellers – “Cage Dogs” – can be found on my web site here and on ‘fotostrada’ here.

Below I’ve posted a small selection of the many images from “Life in a Coffin – Hong Kong”.

© images Brian Cassey 2012


Global Gallery and ‘Bus’ Portraits …

An excellent evening last week at the Global Gallery in Paddington Sydney for the ‘opening’ of our ‘fotostrada’ collaborative exhibition – “Portraits on a Bus”.

The exhibit consisted of thirty prints by ‘fotostrada’ members Dean Lewins, Tracey Nearmy, Sam Mooy, Graham Crouch, Mark ‘Crusty’ Baker and myself – from geographically as far afield as India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, all around Australia and even Antarctica – all of them portraying the bus passenger and the machines that convey them.

Gratifyingly it seemed that almost every photographer in Sydney had come along to have a look at the work (and down a free drink or two!) and it was excellent to spend just a little time with media imaging colleagues that I don’t get to catch up with too often!

The entire “Portraits on a Bus” work is now available – for those who were unable to get to Global Gallery – on the ‘fotostrada’ web site at

In addition my own “Portraits on a Bus” essay, consisting of my exhibition images and a number that just missed out on the exhibition cut, are now on my personal web site at 

The “Portraits on a Bus” exhibition was held in conjunction with the “2012 Head On Photo Festival”. Below is a quick pic of the exhibition opening eve at Global Gallery.

© image Brian Cassey

“The Dogs of Sai Kung” …

Have just returned from Hong Kong where I worked on several new photo essays … and the first of these – “The Dogs of Sai Kung” – has now been posted to my web site and the site of my collective ‘fotostrada’.

The fishing village of Sai Kung in the New Territories of the former British colony  is a microcosm of the now Hong Kong obsession with the dog as a pet … and not as a menu item. Here’s the text that accompanies the essay …

“The Chinese – and by obvious association the Hong Kongese – have long been accused of devouring ‘anything that moves’ including meals of our beloved canines.

However, the fishing village of Sai Kung in the New Territories of Hong Kong has embraced the dog as members of the family unit with a passion bordering on obsessive. In the 1970s Hong Kong government policy was to actively dissuade the population from having too many children. It worked … and the human birth rate in Hong Kong is now one of the World’s lowest at 1.10 per woman of child bearing age (2010), far below the replacement rate of 2.1. To compensate the locals have taken to treating their pet woofers as an integral and substitute part of the family.

Sundays sees the locals parading their pooches in prams along the pretty waterfront where they join their human ‘parents’ for exercise and lunch at the tables in the seafood restaurants. The town is awash with dog boutiques and even a doggy bakery where you can buy your precious pooch individual doggy pies and other fresh baked treats.

Lavish attention is paid to the grooming of the creatures and competition is fierce … just like comparing human babies.”

I’ve posted below a small selection of images from the new essay … the complete item can be found on my site here and on  ‘fotostrada’ here.

Images © Brian Cassey 2012


Portraits on a Bus …

The ‘fotostrada’ photojournalist collective – of which I am one member of a total of eleven  – is showing a group exhibition entitled “Portraits on a Bus” as part of the “2012 Head On Photo Festival” .

The exhibition runs at the Global Gallery, Paddington, Sydney from Tuesday, 29th May to Sunday 3rd June with the grand opening eve on Wednesday 30th May from 6pm. All are welcome to attend.

Here’s the exhibit description from the Head On Festival program and web site …

“The bus is ubiquitous. Every country on the planet has some form of bus transportation.

From cramped roof top rides on dishevelled buses in India … to tiny ‘bemos’ in Indonesia, mundane mass transport in Hong Kong, luxury express buses in Australia … even a work bus in Antarctica – the ‘fotostrada’ collective team has captured all in images which convey the very essence of the travelling bus passenger and the machines that carry them.”

Several of my images made during visits to India, Hong Kong and Indonesia are featured in the exhibition alongside other great work by colleagues Dean Lewins, Tracey Nearmy, Graham Crouch, Sam Mooy, Renee Nowytarger, Mark ‘Crusty’ Baker and Melanie Russell.

I’ve put together my own personal extended version of “Portraits on a Bus” from all my images that made the short list for the exhibition collection … and this essay has been added to my personal web site at

Posted below is a small selection of my “Portraits on a Bus” images.

Look forward to seeing you at the exhibition …

Images © Brian Cassey – from Hong Kong, Rajasthan India and Sukawati Bali Indonesia.


Cage Dogs & the Daily Mail …

Plenty of response to the publication of Cage Dogs on CNN World – most notably from the UK Daily Mail. The Mail requested the use of ten images … and they ran with the story headlined “Cage Dogs of Hong Kong: The Tragedy of Tens of Thousands Living in 6ft by 2ft Rabbit Hutches – in a City with more Louis Vuitton shops than Paris” – not so sure about the ‘rabbit hutches’ reference!

You can read the Daily Mail article and see the images at …

Clicking on the screen shot below will also take you to the DM article.

Images © Brian Cassey

CNN World & Cage Dogs …

Very nice to see my pic essay on the Cage Home People of Hong Kong – “Cage Dogs” – featured on the global CNN world web site this week.

CNN World say their aim is to ‘tell powerful, inspiring stories through photography and offer a behind-the-scenes look at emerging and established photographers.’

The images are used well – accompanied by nice text by CNN’s Elizabeth Johnson  … and the comments on the story are … well … ‘interesting’ !

If you have a minute or three please take a look at “Cage Dogs” on CNN World at …

The images can also be found on my personal website at … … and on the web site of my collective ‘fotostrada’ at …—hong-kong/

Just one of the images from the CNN World Cage Home feature is below …

© Brian Cassey

Gwangju Biennale – South Korea …

Returned last Thursday from a rewarding trip to Gwangju in South Korea where I was asked to exhibit my work on the cage homes of Hong Kong – “Cage Dogs” – at the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011. The total exhibit included a reconstruction of three 6 foot by two and a half foot wire cage ‘homes’ set on a floor plan where eighteen cages would be set. The minimalist feel to the exhibit added to it’s poignancy and it slotted it well alongside many other startling exhibits.

The theme of this years Biennale  is “Dogadobisangdo” (圖可圖非常圖) – “Design is Design is not Design” –  inspired by the first words in Do Duk Kyeong (Tao Te Ching, 道德經)’ of No Ja (Lao Tzu, 老子) – ‘The way道 that is the way is not always the way. The name名 that is the name is not always the name.’ – reinterpreted as ‘design is design is not always design and non-design is non-design is not always non-design’.

So there !

Chinese artist, architectural designer (the Olympic “Bird’s Nest” stadium) and activist – Ai Weiwei – is director/curator but was not in attendance as he is under ‘loose detention’ in China and unable to leave Beijing.

Very entertaining and elaborate opening ceremony with many imposing dignitaries and some excellent audiovisual work from renowned DJ Spooky. The Gwangju Design Biennale is expected to attract about a half million visitors to the city that is the centre of the arts and democracy on the Korean Peninsula.

Posted below a pic of the cage home exhibit at the Biennale – and my cage home images  ‘Cage Dogs’ can be found here.

Image © Brian Cassey 2011