Entry Title: "Cleaner's Life"
Name: Katherine CHAN sim-kuen , Hong Kong
Category and Expertise: Deeper Perspective, Non-Professional
Entry Description: By chance, I accidentally entered into the cleaning staffs’ resting room. I was fascinated with the surroundings and its aura. It is there that I took my first steps in shooting this project.
Story: Cleaner’s Life
In traditional Chinese culture, using hundred families’ donated rice or cloths to make meal or clothing is a true blessing from the families. But in the circumstance of collecting hundred families’ trash, I believe that is totally different from the meaning of blessing.
Considering the subject of poverty, I grew up in a poor family and therefore I have first-hand experience on how life is without money. Articles or objects that were considered extras or that were left behind by other people were treated as treasures by us. As I grew up, I developed an appreciation for the patience of cleaners. Their job is regarded by society as lowly, but it is a very very important job. If it not were for those unsung heroes, it would be difficult to imagine what Hong Kong would be like.
In my project, I want to understand more about the working poor's jobs through their office spaces and in their rest areas in order to record the truth about their treatment. To illustrate how they are ignored by society, but worthy of respect. Under the consumerism, we are always urged non-stop consuming, at the same time, create non-stop wasting, we own more than we need! I found the forgotten treasuring in the cleaners’ area, they make the best use of the objects. I hope the viewers will think about issues of giving and receiving, and reflect on treasuring what we have - respect and equality!