Hong Kong shop cats

Via The Guardian

All photographs: Marcel Heijnen/Blue Lotus. The book Hong Kong Shop Cats is published by Asia One

When photographer Marcel Heijnen moved to Hong Kong, the territory’s shop cats instantly caught his eye. While the ‘feline emperors’ are the stars, his shots also offer insights into Hong Kong’s wares, from dried fish to paper.

Dutch artist Marcel Heijnen returned to Hong Kong in 2015 and found himself living without a cat for the first time in decades.

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Soon, though, he was indulging in what he calls ‘re-tail therapy’ and found himself on a first-name basis with a number of cats in his neighbourhood, Sai Ying Pun.

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Heijnen, who co-founded the design collective Chemistry and Singapore gallery cafe Artistry, is as interested in the shops his feline subjects haunt as the cats themselves. His new book includes haikus and calligraphy alongside the images.

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Traditional Chinese shops are, he writes, ‘places in which time seems to have stood still, devoid of branding and all the other modern-day retail trickery’.

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Some shop cats have been adopted for their mouse-hunting skills, while others are welcome squatters, as valued for their company as for their claws.

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