In Hong Kong’s Western district, one sea jetty has gained unexpected popularity among photographers and Instagram users. Offering unique open views of Hong Kong’s skyline, the Public Cargo Pier, as it’s matter-of-factly called, has become the perfect spot for the types of selfies that quickly garner flurries of likes on Instagram.
Pierfrancesco Celada, an Italian photographer who splits his time between his native country and Hong Kong, first came across the pier during an exploratory walk. “In the last few years, I’ve focused my attention into documenting living conditions in modern cities,” he tells TIME. “Selfies, self-representation and the usage of social media are playing a great part in today’s society, especially among the younger generations. I always wanted to explore further this topic and the pier represented a good opportunity.”
All day long, people take to the pier to “create and re-create very similar ‘Instagram-driven’ imagery,” says Celada. Often their composition is simple and symmetrical, with the subjects looking into the distance, the backdrop juxtaposing the complexity of Hong Kong’s skyline with the peacefulness of Victoria Harbor’s water. “It’s a constant repetition of situations played by different actors with very similar goals,” says Celada. So similar, in fact, that the Instagram Pier geo-tag and hashtag were created for photographs taken there.
Last year, Celada started taking pictures of these Instagram users as they composed their shots. But in recent weeks, he’s been collaborating with them on social media. “I wanted to begin a conversation with other Instagrammers using their available images on the platform and combining them with my own photographs,” he says. Celada has also launched the @insta_pier account where he collects some of these images and expanding visual conversations.
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