‘Hard Work’ was conceived of a long-time interest in martial arts, specifically the art of Kung Fu and the culture and ideals that surround it. I have grown up watching and loving films such as ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and the Bruce Lee films; it was the portrayal of mystical lands, mythological powers and magical beings that captured me so completely as a child and still as an adult.


I began a journey to discover the place where it all began, to train in the art and explore the surrounding values, and the people whose lives revolve around it. I applied to attend a school of Kung Fu for foreigners in China, the birthplace of this particular martial art.


I found that I was in the midst of a shift. A shift between the old world and the new world. My romantic notions of travelling to a mystical land of beauty and power were cut short when instead, I found a place half in the past and half in the future that echoed more about home than I had expected to find. An unanticipated familiarity. The beauty of photography is that one can view these images and see the many realities within them.


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Hard Work has been published as a photobook by Brown Owl Press, featuring a foreword by author and poet Benjamin Zephaniah. The book is available to purchase here.

Qufu School of Shaolin Kung Fu

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