In Hong Kong, Sex Sells

I went to the Hong Kong Book Fair yesterday to cover a tattoo event. Except I got the wrong day. Duh. Yesterday was the book signing part of the event by author Phat Chan who has compiled a really great book on tattoos called 'Tat Addicts'. But since I didn't want to shoot a book signing as they can be quite boring for pix, I decided I would come back the next day - which is now today. Later there will be a live tattoo artist engraving (real and free) tattoos on the Book Fair crowd.

As I was leaving the book fair I passed a stand selling books by so called Hong Kong 'pseudo models'. These are picture books that look like soft porn, but aren't. The poses of the girls in the books are porno-ish, but their delicate bits are usually concealed by a bikini or a strategically placed ice cream or dribbling toothpaste or something. Or so I've read! This means that they can be sold openly and legally at the book fair, as under Hong Kong law the books are neither indecent nor obscene.

The reason I mention all this of is because there has been a huge outcry over the 'pseudo models' in the local press this week. The moral minority and the culture vultures are supposedly upset by the 'hijacking' of the Hong Kong Book Fair by these purveyors of smut with their pseudo models and their fans: hordes of hot-blooded teenage boys and taxi drivers. The Book Fair is seen by the local high brow crowd as the pinnacle of Hong Kong's annual cultural calendar.

Personally, I think the 'pseudo model' phenomenon is just another fad like so many others in Hong Kong, and it will go away by itself. The real issue at stake is that they be allowed to attend the book fair in keeping with Hong Kong laws protecting the freedom of the press, but perhaps they could have their own 'Category 3' area, or something.

As I left the Book Fair in the afternoon I walked through Wan Chai on the way to the MTR. I passed these ladies in plying their trade in broad daylight.

Like I said, sex sells.

All images and text © Alex Hofford / Image Solutions Ltd. 2011 | Web design in Hong Kong by Ugli © 2011