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Across Hong Kong Island, Its Natural Beauty


Porcupine, Ecology and Biodiversity Journal, The University of Hong Kong, 1998    

This beautifully photographed book, written in English and with a Chinese translation, celebrates the beauty and grandeur of Hong Kong Island. Edward Stokes takes the reader, or viewer, on an exhilarating series of treks across the Island’s interior. Stokes clearly hopes to engender in his audience an enhanced appreciation of Hong Kong Island, and to encourage preservation of what remains. In this respect, the book is a natural progression from Stokes’ earlier work, Hong Kong’s Wild Places.


Throughout the book we are aware of the city’s presence. A powerful underlying theme of Across The Island is Hong Kong’s spectacular marriage of natural landscape and cityscape. Stokes recreates his moments of discovery with a commendably spare lucidity. Elsewhere, his meticulous research is evident in the texts’ historical backdrops.

Many of Stokes’ photographs, taken with an array of filters, full depth of field, and extended exposures, bear a resemblance to painted works. This is particularly striking in the numerous richly textured images of running water. The quality of light achieved in many of his images is arrestingly beautiful.     


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