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about the book

Irene Flanhardt dedicates this book to the inhabitants of Tai O Fishing Village who have earned her admiration for their indomitable spirit. In June 2008, heavy downpours accounted for one quarter of the rain in the entire year in Hong Kong. It caused severe floods and landslides in Tai O, isolating it from the rest of Hong Kong. Telecommunications lines were down and the fresh water supply was interrupted for several days. Most houses were flooded and their residents’ personal belongings (including their precious family photos) were destroyed.

Dubbed the “Venice of the Orient”, Tai O is situated at the southwest of Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Captivated by its charm, simplicity and tranquility, Irene embarked on her art journey as a non-native and started taking photos in the village in December 2011.

The photos in the book depict the inhabitants’ lifestyle, iconic stilt houses, charming fishing boats, culinary treasures, nostalgic landscape, old temples, activities associated with Chinese festivals, two devastating fires and some interesting objects Irene found in the streets of Tai O. The photos documenting her love for Tai O were taken from 2011 to 2014.

irene flanhardt

Irene gained her Bachelor of Visual Media (Fine Art) degree from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Australia in 2008. She is a photographer, painter, installation and paper-cutting artist. In December 2011, she set up Flanhardt Galerie und Atelier in the Tai O Fishing Village.

Since 2010, she has curated and participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions including “The Nepalese Living in Hong Kong Today”, “Capturing Tai O”, “Streets of Life”, “The Charm of Tai O” and “Markets around the World”. Her artwork has been exhibited in various venues including the Hong Kong International Airport, Consulate General of Nepal in Hong Kong, Landmark Atrium, Tai O Heritage Hotel and Grantham Hospital. It has also been published in numerous notable magazines and newspapers. Her collectors are from Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia.