The media usually portrays the lives of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong as one of extremes—a black and white world of abusive employers and irresponsible ‘helpers’. Yet how accurate is this one-dimensional view in representing the daily experience of tens of thousands of women trying to cope with the challenges of providing a better life for their families?
In the cramped living spaces of Hong Kong, two cultures joined by an employment relationship are forced together by the mandatory live-in requirement. How do both workers and employers walk the line between the intimacy of proximity and the distance of professionalism? Back in South East Asia, families are left for years without daughters, wives, and mothers. How do they deal with the separation and sustain relationships over such distance and time?
Independent journalist So Mei Chi and human rights photographer Robert Godden explored these issues and more in the book Strangers at Home to be published on 20 September 2015. An exhibition of the photos from the book will take place at Open Quote, Joint Publishing’s space at PMQ on Aberdeen Street, Hong Kong. The exhibition will open on 20 September and run for three weeks.