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Unveiling Hidden Patterns: South Ho’s Exploration of Tin Shui Wai’s Landscapes
Unveiling Hidden Patterns: South Ho’s Exploration of Tin Shui Wai’s Landscapes
Video Transcript

SOUTH HO SIU NAM: (Cantonese) Hello! I’m photographer South Ho.

We are now in Tin Shui Wai. I’d like to take you to some of the locations, where I created the ‘Every Daily’ series ten years ago.

Around 2007, I moved to Tin Shui Wai. In the more than ten years that I lived there, I often photograph around the town. From 2012 onwards, I began to reflect on the relationship between the town and myself. One significant discovery was that when cleaning up my home, I stumbled upon the brushes left behind by my father. We moved to Tin Shui Wai after he passed away for a fresh start. I tried to combine his interest in painting and my photography, to see if it would make any difference to my art practice.

I started to experiment with drawing squares on the sky portion of the photographs. How did I come up with this idea? It’s because I saw the Light Rail trains passing by the same spot at the same time every day. Light Rail trains always run along with their rails. It makes me think that when a city is very well-planned, does it restrict the lifestyle of its residents? The ‘Every Daily’ series draws on this concept. ‘Every Daily’ is about thingsthat happen every day. How does a pattern begin? Is it predetermined by an architectural design or urban planning?

If you have seen my work ‘Every Daily 26’, you’ll notice that the pond captured in this work is the dried-up pond behind me. There was a buffalo sculpture in the pond. The most interesting part was that there was a rope tied on the sculpture. I found this a peculiar yet intriguing scene in the city. Returning today, I found that the pond had already dried up. It’s also interesting that the city kept changing in the past decade, and the buffalo sculpture is long gone.

From this hill where we are now, this place is not only a popular morning exercise route for nearby residents, but also a great spot for watching sunset and taking a walk. You can see the neatly arranged residential buildings in Tin Shui Wai. Back then, these areas were mostly fishponds. These buildings did not exist until the 1980s. Today, the town has become a well-established community. But at the same time, you’ll notice that the other side of the townis still rural and undeveloped.

In this town, in addition to the high-rises that we often see, there are also areas for other uses, such as for industrial purposes or container yards with large machinery. Therefore, it has a dynamic cityscape with many gradations between the urban and rural. When you continually observe what is going on, you will naturally gain fresh insights. You’ll also realise Hong Kong’s cityscape isn’t that monotonous. Besides high-rises, there are other constructed and natural features. For many people, this kind of cityscape is truly fascinating. It’s neither like scenic spots, nor tourist attractions, but it’s shaped by the diverse living environments of people in Hong Kong.

What patterns emerge when we observe not just what’s visible, but what lies beneath the surface?

We join artist South Ho in Tin Shui Wai as he revisits the landscapes that inspired his series ‘Every Daily’. Through his lens, the contrasts of industry, nature, modernity, and tradition that characterise Tin Shui Wai come into focus. The area’s urban planning and daily rhythms also point to deeper patterns, which Ho translated through the geometric patterns in his paintings—mirroring the repetition of routines.

Watercolour on a monochrome photograph showing a sculpture of a water buffalo standing in the centre of a pond. The still water reflects the tall trees in the middle ground. A colourful grid rendered in watercolour above residential buildings features in the background.

South Ho Siu Nam. Every Daily 26, 2013. Watercolour on inkjet print. M+, Hong Kong. M+ Council for New Art Fund, 2019. © South Ho Siu Nam

With open observation, new understandings emerge. Ho celebrates the varied identity of our homes in Hong Kong, from urban density to rural pockets persisting at the edges. In reconnecting with the origins of his influential work, we gain insight into how places and communities evolve, each crafting unique experiences shaped by their environments.

Video Credits

Produced by


Presented by

South Ho Siu Nam


Jiu Jik Park Limited


Hui Chi Sang


Mak Chi Ho, Yung Tsz Hong

Camera Assistant

Chan Hey Man

Production Assistant

Ho Man Hin Alan


Hui Chi Sang

Animation Designer

Lo Yuet Yui Joyce

M+ Producer

Mimi Cheung, Rachel Chan

M+ Text Editing

Amy Leung, LW Lam

Special Thanks

South Ho Siu Nam, Blindspot Gallery, Chris Sullivan, Russell Storer, Fei Hung, Vennes Cheng

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