Derek Man is a photographic artist based in London. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he has lived in the UK since 2005 and became a naturalised citizen in 2016. His work explores cultural identity and what we call home – how we form a sense of place, and what makes us feel like we belong.
The themes of Man’s work stem from his personal experience with dual-cultural identities, as well as an acute awareness of the shared history between the UK, Hong Kong and mainland China. Striving to explore the idea of Britishness and the collective identity of the Hong Kong people as a way come to terms with his own sense of displacement, he also embraces the heightened sensibilities that come with being a stranger in one’s country, both native and adopted.
What Do You See, Old Apple Tree?
Since the 1950s, over half of traditional orchards in England have disappeared due to development, conversion of land to other uses, and intensive farming. The Orchard Project is dedicated solely to the creation, restoration and celebration of community orchards. Working in collaboration with the national charity, I visited sites under restoration and created pinhole cameras out of apples at each location.
Utilising these site-specific cameras, the work captures team members, volunteers and visitors, who are all integral to the survival of the orchards. By piecing together a narrative from the perspective of the preserved apple, the project seeks to highlight and reflect on the intertwined relationship between agriculture and community.