john choy photography 2016. All Rights Reserved.
2015. A double-decker bus quietly idles inside the Frontier Closed Area, on Crown Land. Out on the street of England in 1981, decommissioned on this island in 1997, it seemingly has captured the gradual lowering of the Union Jack in our city until its last time. Coincidence? Or history?
Also in the closed area, stands a discoloured motto board in the front of a classroom of an abandoned village school; on it writes, “Don’t live in the past, but live out your best today.”
Perhaps history is only illusionary. Or, it is some kind of melancholy and loss as one “fails to cut away, fiddling into disarray”? But, if there’s no dialogue between today and yesterdays, will tomorrow ever dawn?
This New Territories Frontier Closed Area with the burden of history on its back, that lets us glimpse into the paradox vaguely visible, will it be still there tomorrow? How about the New Territories, Hong Kong……?
p.s. Closed area refers to a place that could not be entered with out permissions from relevant departments. Before 1951, when China and Hong Kong were yet to establish boundary control points, the people of these two places were enjoying their freedom of movement. Then the civil war in China had the defeat Kuomintang packed and fled for Taiwan as the Communist Party took over. The then Hong Kong Government was so worried about that the mainland government would propagate its communist ideology to its territory and undermine its ruling foundation, that it amended the Public Order Ordinance to create the New Territories Closed Area. This restricted area which peaked at 2,800 hectares, spanned across the North District, including Sha Tau Kok, Lo Wu, Man Kam To, Ta Kwu Ling, and Yuen Long District’s Lok Ma Chau area,. Since 2005, the Hong Kong Special Administration Region Government began to explore the possibilities of opening the area up, and had set the timetable of doing so phase by phase.