Ernest Chang is an American-born, Hong Kong millennial artist and photographer who suffers from deuteranopia (red-green colour blindness). Despite his condition, he has shown his mixed-media artworks and photography in multiple exhibitions and venues, most notably this collection of photographs taken inside the original Blue House that won wide media acclaim in September 2017.
The Blue House is one of the oldest Tong Lau buildings in Hong Kong and was painted blue in the 1990s because the Hong Kong Government had surplus blue paint from painting the Water Supplies Bureau offices. The Blue House Series was created in collaboration with St James Settlement, to raise awareness and support for the Blue House’s heritage and preservation.
“I shot the series on the 8th of March in 2016, right before the renovations on the 9th. I initiated the project because I wanted to do my part for the community I live in,” said Chang. “I also wanted to help preserve the authentic, local beauty that is the original Blue House because generations of Hong Kong people, originating from different places, have passed through here, and I wanted to record the evidence of these lives in a thoughtful, personal way. My series focuses on realistic details of still-life objects within the building, zooming in on the evocative stories written in the textures, patinas, colours, objects, and time.
“I am proud to say that the Blue House Clutter Project, led by the relentless efforts at St James Settlement, recently won the UNESCO Award for Highest Heritage Conservation in November 2017,” he added.