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城市探险队为逝去的老香港创建影像档案

更新时间:2017-2-9 11:04:59 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Using Stealth, and Drones, to Document a Fading Hong Kong
城市探险队为逝去的老香港创建影像档案

HONG KONG — Three masked explorers appeared atop an apartment tower in Hong Kong’s North Point district and sent a black drone flying, over a clothesline, until it was buzzing more than 10 stories above the cars, trams and pedestrians on the street below.

香港——三名戴着口罩的探险者出现在香港北角地区一栋公寓楼的楼顶。他们操作一架黑色无人机越过晾衣绳,到达距离楼下街道上的汽车、有轨电车和行人十多层楼高的地方。

If history was any guide, the explorers said, the building the drone was filming — a 1952 theater with unusual roof supports — would eventually be demolished because it is not on Hong Kong’s list of declared monuments.

无人机正在拍摄的这栋建筑是一座建于1952年的戏院,有着与众不同的屋顶支撑。这些探险者说,从以往经验看来,这座戏院最终会被拆除,因为它不在香港的法定古迹名单上。

The authorities are “renewing the city on behalf of the developers, not the people,” said one of the explorers, who goes by the alias Ghost in videos and whose pollution mask and fingerless gloves gave him the air of a bank robber or graffiti artist.

其中一名探险者说,当局“重建城市为的是开发商而不是民众的利益”。他在视频中化名“鬼佬”(Ghost),戴着防污染口罩和露指手套,看上去像是银行劫匪或涂鸦艺术家。

The explorers belong to HK Urbex, a so-called urban exploration collective whose expeditions often require trespassing or walks through dark, abandoned or dangerous sites. But unlike some urban explorers, they do not court danger purely for its own sake. Their primary goal is to peel back layers of history — sometimes literally, by digging through dust and trash — and forge a video archive of Hong Kong’s colonial-era environment.

这些探险者属于香港城市探险队(HK Urbex)。这是一个所谓的城市探险团体,其探险活动常常需要擅自进入或步行穿过黑暗的废墟或危险场所。但和一些城市探险者不同的是,他们不是单纯为了追求危险而置身险境。他们的首要目标是剥开一层又一层的历史——有时候是真正的“剥开”,要在尘土和垃圾中挖掘——并建立一份视频档案,记录香港殖民时期的环境。

“Until you peel them back, you don’t know what existed before,” said Ghost, 33. “Others are interested in the adrenaline rush, but we’re interested in the story. What can it tell us about the past?”

“不把它们剥开,就不知道以前有过什么,”33岁的“鬼佬”说。“其他人感兴趣的是刺激,但我们感兴趣的是故事。关于过去,它能告诉我们些什么?”

Many buildings that went up here before Hong Kong’s 1997 return to China from British colonial rule have already been replaced by taller ones, as exceptionally high property values create economic incentives to cram more towers into an already crowded skyline.

1997年,香港结束英国的殖民统治,回归中国,在那之前修建的很多建筑都已被更高的楼宇取而代之,价值极高的房地产带来经济刺激,促使人们在已经颇为拥挤的天际线中塞进更多高楼大厦。

But some buildings lie fallow for years between tenant evictions and demolition, and others, like the 1952 State Theater that the explorers filmed recently, are partly open to the public. The State Theater’s main space, for example, is now a snooker hall. HK Urbex sees these structures as prime targets for urban expeditions.

但在住户被清理之后,一些建筑会闲置多年才被拆除;而其他一些建筑则对公众部分开放,比如这些探险者最近拍摄的这座建于1952年的皇都戏院(State Theater)。就拿皇都戏院的主要空间来说,它现在是一个斯诺克台球厅。城市探险队把这些建筑物视为城市探险的主要目标。

So far HK Urbex has released more than three dozen videos documenting their perambulations through derelict prisons, tenements, cinemas, hospitals, casinos, police stations, bomb shelters, subway tunnels, a shipwreck and other sites across Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia. Fans say the elegiac videos, cut with bleak soundscapes and often presented without narration, are poignant meditations on urban evolution and decay.

迄今为止,城市探险队已经公布了近40段视频。这些视频记录了他们探访全香港和亚洲其他地方的废弃监狱、公寓大楼、电影院、医院、赌场、警署、防空洞、地铁隧道、一艘失事船只和其他一些场所的情形。视频会配上凄凉的音景,并且通常都没有解说。粉丝称这些伤感的视频是对城市演变和衰落的酸楚思考。

“It’s about forcing us to confront the aesthetic of loss,” Lee Kah Wee, an assistant professor of architecture at the National University of Singapore, said of the group’s film oeuvre. “It forces us to come face to face with this debris of modernization and these ruins that are constantly accumulating, even as we keep building.”

“它是为了逼着我们面对失去的美,”新加坡国立大学(National University of Singapore)建筑学助理教授李佳伟(Lee Kah Wee,音)说到该团体的拍摄作品时表示。“它逼我们直面现代化留下的残垣断壁,随着我们继续进行建设,这些废墟还在不断累积。”

The group says its most popular videos have been viewed more than 20,000 times on YouTube. Its photographs and videos have also been cited or featured in an international art exhibition, a forthcoming photography book and an advocacy campaign to save Central Market, a 1930s landmark in central Hong Kong, from demolition.

该团体称其最受欢迎的视频在YouTube上被观看了两万多次。他们的照片和视频也被用在一个国际艺术展、一本即将出版的画册和一场争取中环街市(Central Market)不被拆除的倡议运动中。中环街市地处香港市中心,形成于1930年代,是一处地标。

The group’s eight members, all longtime Hong Kong residents, use aliases in their work to keep public attention focused on their mission instead of their personalities but also because anonymity helps shield them from potential legal trouble. They agreed to be interviewed on the condition that they be identified only by their aliases.

该团体的八名成员都长期生活在香港。在这项工作中使用化名是为了让公众的注意力集中在他们的使命,而不是他们个人身上,但这么做同时也是因为匿名有助于免去潜在的法律麻烦。他们同意接受采访,但条件是只能使用化名。

The HK Urbex members often spend weeks researching obscure and abandoned sites before visiting them. Once inside, they document everyday items that they stumble upon — family portraits, X-rays, ancestral shrines, a broken piggy bank — and that will probably never be recorded in history books.

在前往偏僻的废弃场所之前,城市探险队的队员通常会用数周的时间进行调查。一旦进去了,他们便会记录下随手触及的日常物品,比如全家福、X光底片、供奉祖先的神龛和破损的存钱罐。这些东西可能永远都不会出现在历史书籍中。

“If not for this group of urban adventurers, all of these buildings would eventually disappear without anyone knowing what they meant to society at a certain point in time,” said Lee Ho Yin, the director of architectural conservation programs at the University of Hong Kong. He added that he regarded the group’s members as “extreme urban anthropologists.”

“如果不是这群城市冒险者,所有这些建筑最后都会消失不见,没人知道它们在某个特定时间对社会意味着什么,”香港大学建筑文物保护课程学部主任李浩然(Lee Ho Yin)说。他接着表示,他认为该团体的成员是“极端城市人类学家”。

The Hong Kong government’s Antiquities and Monuments Office has granted 114 buildings and cultural landmarks permanent protection from development, and assigned grades to about 1,000 historic buildings, a list that may soon include the 1952 State Theater.

香港政府下属的古物古迹办事处赋予了114栋建筑和文化地标永久性保护,规定不得对它们进行开发。该机构还对大约1000处历史建筑划分了等级。皇都戏院大概很快便会榜上有名了。

But Professor Lee of the University of Hong Kong said that the second classification did not legally protect buildings from demolition, and that Hong Kong officials — unlike their counterparts in Singapore, another wealthy Asian city and former British colony — rarely bestowed conservation status on modernist landmarks like the State Theater.

但香港大学的李浩然教授表示,第二个种类并没有从法律上保护相关建筑不被拆除,并且香港官员不像新加坡的官员,很少把保护地位授予皇都戏院这样的现代主义地标。新加坡是亚洲另一座富裕的城市,也曾是英国的殖民地。

“Unfortunately, the economy of Hong Kong is still very much pegged to property development,” he said.

“遗憾的是,香港的经济在很大程度上依然和房地产开发挂钩,”他说。

A spokeswoman for the Antiquities and Monuments Office, reached by telephone, declined to comment on HK Urbex or its activities.

通过电话找到古物古迹办事处的发言人时,对方拒绝就城市探险队或其活动发表评论。

The group was formed in 2013 by Ghost and a friend, who goes by the alias Echo Delta. They both are part-time filmmakers, and they discovered their initial HK Urbex sites while scouting locations for film shoots, Echo Delta said.

城市探险队是“鬼佬”和一个化名Echo Delta的朋友在2013年成立的。两人都是兼职电影人。Echo Delta说,他们是在为电影寻找拍摄场地时,发现探险队最初那些探险场所的。

After a video they shot of a Hong Kong shipwreck received wide coverage in the city’s Chinese-language news media, they said, they decided to create the HK Urbex Facebook page, and later a YouTube channel and Tumblr blog.

他们说,在他们拍摄的一段有关香港一艘失事船只的视频被本地中文新闻媒体广泛报道后,他们决定为探险队创建一个Facebook页面,后来又创建了YouTube频道和Tumblr博客。

“I guess we’re indirectly political,” Ghost said, as Echo Delta’s drone buzzed above North Point.

“我猜我们是在间接参政,” “鬼佬”说。此时,Echo Delta的无人机正飞翔在北角地区上空。

After filming the State Theater, whose structural supports soar above its roof in concrete parabolas like those of a suspension bridge, Echo Delta and Ghost took a taxi to the city’s Central district. The idea was to check on some abandoned buildings that they have been monitoring over the years.

高耸在皇都戏院的屋顶上的支架结构是混凝土材质,呈现抛物线形状,就像悬索桥的支架结构一样。拍摄完皇都戏院后,Echo Delta和“鬼佬”搭乘出租车来到香港的中环地区,目的是去检查他们多年来一直在监测的一些废弃建筑。

One stop was Central Market, a 1930s landmark that Ghost had previously explored twice — first by sneaking past a security guard who was urinating and later by climbing in through a window.

其中一站是中环市场。形成于1930年代的中环市场是一座地标,“鬼佬”以前进去过两次。第一次是偷偷避开正在小便的保安,第二次是通过一扇窗户爬进去的。

This time, a side door was unlocked.

这一次,一道侧门没有上锁。

Echo Delta slipped inside, but a security guard quickly shooed him away.

Echo Delta偷偷溜了进去,但很快,一名保安便挥手赶他走。

“Sorry,” he said.

“不好意思,”他说。

On nearby Bridges Street, a white residential building that the pair had once sneaked into was now ringed by a fence, with “X” marks in its windows. “They’ve cleared it out,” said Echo Delta, whose alias is a play on his real-life nickname.

在附近的必列者士街上,有一栋白色的住宅楼。他俩曾经溜进去过。现在,这栋楼被一道栅栏围了起来,窗户上标记着“X”。“他们把楼清空了,” Echo Delta说。这个化名和他在现实生活中的绰号有关。

Later, they saw that while several abandoned buildings near the Graham Street Market had been razed for new construction, others were still standing, right beside the market’s open-air vegetable hawkers.

后来,他们发现,尽管嘉咸街市场附近的几栋废弃大楼都已被夷为平地,用于建设新项目,但其他建筑都还在。它们就位于该市场的露天蔬菜摊旁边。

One squat apartment building in particular, which had plants growing in its crevices, caught their eye. They lingered for a few minutes under its shadow, apparently transfixed by its architectural features.

一栋裂缝中长出了植物的低矮公寓楼尤其引起了他们的注意。他们在它的阴影下徘徊了几分钟,似乎被它的建筑特色迷住了。

“Look at those long windows,” Echo Delta said quietly. “Victorian — no, Georgian?”

“看那些长窗,” Echo Delta轻声说。“维多利亚风格,不,乔治王朝时期风格?”

“That would be one to look into,” said Ghost, the only white member of HK Urbex. His alias plays on a Cantonese slang term for foreigners.

“可以进去看看,” “鬼佬”说。作为城市探险队里唯一的白人成员,他的化名和粤语中一个指代外国人的俚语有关。

His partner nodded.

他的搭档点了点头。

“I bet it’s going to be turned into a Starbucks,” Echo Delta said.

“我打赌这里会变成一家星巴克(Starbucks),” Echo Delta说。

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