Hong Kong student’s depiction of freedom wins global photography prize

Open University photography student, 23, takes top prize in Hong Kong section of 2016 Sony awards with shot of a boy playing on a basketball court in a Kowloon public housing estate

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 March, 2016, 6:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 March, 2016, 6:32pm

A photography student’s shot of a boy playing on a basketball court at a public housing estate has won the Hong Kong prize in a prestigious international competition.

Jimmi Ho Wing-ka, who took the shot, entitled Childhood, said he intended it to depict the fleeting moments of freedom from study for Hong Kong children.

READ MORE: Amazing shots from the Sony World Photography Awards

“I think students always focus on their studies because their parents push them to study,” Ho said.

“In Hong Kong, the young generations... have less leisure time.”

Taken at the Choi Hung Estate in East Kowloon, Ho’s photo took first prize in the Hong Kong section of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.

READ MORE: Award-winning Hong Kong photographer wants to show unknown China to the world

It is one of 60 national award winners from around the globe.

Ho, 23, who is studying photography at the Open University Hong Kong, said he had been quite surprised to win because he’d never won such a large competition before.

“My parents wanted me to focus on studies, not taking photos or doing any photography,” he said. “They wanted me to be an engineer or a doctor. They thought being an artist was not quite a job.”

Ho’s image, along with the other winning photos from around the world, will be exhibited at Somerset House in London for two weeks from April 22. It will also be published in the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

Photographer Suk Wai-kwok took second prize in Hong Kong with an image called “Fashion Cover-up”. Tugo Cheng’s “Farming at sea” took third prize.