APF2015_Paul-Yeung01Yes Madam, Sorry Ah Sir (2014)
Hong Kong

Following my concern on the collective behavior of common people, I direct my camera lens to the group possessing power: The Police. People with uniforms always attract me. They look professional, highly disciplined, obedient, smart, efficient and emotionless, which are the images and character the government and hundreds of movies deliver onto us.

I observed the police during their work and relaxation for a few years. I always find a tension between the individual and the collective amongst the uniform. Every police is a human who eats, smiles, gets angry, does stupid things, lacks of self-questioning, have bad luck and loves Hello Kitty. They are ordinary humans, but with weapons and the power to enforce law. On the other hand, they are trained to take collective action very closely and efficiently. Absolute submissiveness to superiors and the peer relationship/pressure always affect their own thought and behavior.

Honghongers like to call policemen as “Ah Sir” and policewomen as “Madam”. It maybe an English tradition from the period under British Colony. This language shows a kind of respect, and even a sense of hierarchy. Through my observation and tableau-like images, I would like to penetrate the Police as a “rigid wall”, and discover a totally different narrative and aesthetics of them.


Paul Yeung (b.1978, Hong Kong) graduated from MA in Image and Communication (Photography) at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2011. Yeung embarked on his profession in photojournalism in 2000 after graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).

Yeung has also worked extensively as a photo editor and lecturer. He was a former chairman of the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association (HKPPA), and has received more than 15 awards from The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong and HKPPA. At the Hong Kong Photography Festival 2010, he was selected as one of Fourteen Hong Kong New Generation Photographers.