How do you dry your clothes? Do you hang them in the sun? Let them dry indoors? Or use a tumble-dryer?
In the densely populated city of Hong Kong, even space for laundry is limited. Photographer Jimmi Ho’s series, Laundry Art, showcases how locals make creative use of what little space they have. “I wanted to offer a new perspective on the practice of hanging laundry in public in this cramped city,” he explains.
None of the photos are staged or altered. Ho says that he often takes random walks without a set destination and captures what he sees along the way. “But sometimes I find places beforehand on Google Maps,” he adds. “I’ll go to a place at least two or three times to observe just how the people hang their laundry, what tools they use.”
It’s common to see locals cleverly make use of utility poles or other public property to tie up their clotheslines. “I try to combine contrasting elements into my photos,” he says. “Some of the images may appear a bit surreal, but that’s actually how Hong Kongers dry their laundry.”
One of the strangest places Ho’s seen people hang their laundry is up and down the handrails on a pedestrian walkway. “I sincerely admire the laundry skills and adaptability of Hong Kong’s residents,” he laughs.
Even though hanging laundry in the public is in a legal gray zone in Hong Kong, it’s a practice born of necessity. With a little ingenuity, locals explore and make the most of the public space around them. “Personal space has become more and more unaffordable, so any space that can be used is a precious commodity,” Ho says. “In a way, the laundry is inadvertently adding a sense of vitality to these public spaces.”
而最让 Jimmi 觉得“匪夷所思”的晾衣地点，他说是“盖住整个楼梯和扶手”的那处。“我真的很钦佩香港居民的晾衣技巧和他们的对空间合理利用的能力。”Jimmi 说。虽然在香港，把衣服晾到公共场所仍然是法律未经许可的灰色地带，但港城市民们是如此自发地回应了他们自己的需求，他们挖掘、创造和利用属于他们的公共空间。“当私人空间被压缩到极限，任何能用得到的空间都显得弥足珍贵。而晾衣服却无意中为公共地区增添了活力。”