Photographer Alexandra Leese has never forgotten Hong Kong; the city of her childhood and the locus of cherished memories. Though she left when she was 11, the London-based fashion and portrait photographer recently felt compelled to return with her camera. “This began as something very personal to me,” she says. “I was at a point in my life where I felt disconnected from my culture and my hometown and I had a strong desire to reconnect and rediscover what I felt I had neglected.”
In her new zine and film, titled Boys of Hong Kong, Leese not only depicts this new wave of less rigid gender identity among Hong Kong’s male youth culture, but also illustrates the diversities that exist amongst them by dismantling some of the misconceptions she’s encountered. “In western society, Asian men tend to be regarded as ‘less attractive’,” she says. “There is also a tendency to stereotype Chinese boys as ‘all looking the same.’ I aim to show diversity within Asian masculinity and celebrate their beauty.” With Boys of Hong Kong, Leese not only reaffirms that these notions are fundamentally untrue but also illustrates just how diverse and unique these young men are.
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