Artist Adam Hong presents a selection of dynamic photography that reflects his lifestyle, from urban center to coastal scenes. Visit his website to see more of his work.
How long do you have to live in New York City before you consider yourself a New Yorker? This question comes up from time to time during small talks among strangers and acquaintances.
I am a New Yorker.
I felt at home the day I moved here—still do—21 years later. In his 1949 essay, “Here Is New York,” the great E. B. White distinguished three types of New Yorkers—the natives, the commuters and the settlers—of which the last is the greatest.
Unlike the natives or the commuters, I’m among those who choose the city with its awe-inspiring skyscrapers, historic landmarks and abundance of arts and culture. I’m inexplicably seduced by the various moods found in this urban setting.
I feel that I am in an ensemble whenever I walk the streets of Manhattan—at any moment, my storyline will converge with those of the others who live here. At any moment, some incident will push the story forward.
Like the others who have come this far, I am the protagonist of my story, and they of theirs—it’s a common and unshaken desire.
When I want to get away from the crowd, I go north to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. At the tip of Cape Cod, there’s a little beach town that I go to. When looking at a map, Cape Cod appears shaped like an iron hook, but, from my vantage point on a cliff, it looks more like a pollinated filament that is continuously unfurling as the wind kicks up the white powdery sand of its beaches.
I’ve been coming to Provincetown for years. Each time I visit, I fall in love with it all over again. During high season, there’s a bit of everything in this eclectic town that caters to the tastes of residents and visitors from all walks of life—from cheap eats to exquisite cuisines, a sweet tooth to exotic drinks, tacky novelties to artistic masterpieces. There’s even a drive-in theater showing double features.
I’ve found, like many artists before me, that Provincetown is a destination where one can find inspiration, especially during off season. When there aren’t any crowds, you can wander deserted sand dunes and vast wetlands, entering a window of time when the sun begins flirting with the horizon. Like its delicate geological makeup lying naked during low tide, Provincetown is where ideas and thoughts are shifted and exposed.
As an artist, I’m always looking for ways to tell stories—through words, paintings, drawings, photography or the combination of all of these art forms. I feel that there are more mediums yet to discover.
In this particular body of photographs, I set out to explore the contrast and similarities between the city where I live and the seascape that I visit. In my mind’s eye, it’s a storybook that has no linear narrative, no beginning or ending. Just the sheer depth of vertical and horizontal in which the seduction and solitude become hero and antagonist interchangeably.