‘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.
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.