Martin Stavars’ series, City Of Neon Lights is quite capable of making any Hong Kong native abroad homesick. Although rendered in black and white, Stavars is able to capture the singular charm and appeal that only Hong Kong can radiate. It is always an overpowering experience to be mesmerized by the neon signs that are everywhere and ever-present, layered on top of each pitching countless products and services.
Stavars cleverly uses long exposures, allowing the stark black and white tones to highlight their bright distinctive character. Stavars did an outstanding job of capturing the feel and atmosphere of Hong Kong. Relaxing, and yet full of life, every photograph puts in a nutshell the myriad of moods Hong Kong has to offer.
Here is what the Polish photographer has to say about his work,
“Lately, my interests widened to cityscapes, where I pursue qualities characteristic to nature – harmony and peace. As it is getting harder to find traits like that in our more and more hectic world, while taking pictures in the biggest European cities I had to develop the most important virtue of a photographer – patience. That is one of the reasons why there are usually no people (or only their silhouettes) on most of my photographs. But such character of my work is also a result of other factor. Whereas taking pictures with the main focus on a person involves emotions that are relatively easy to define, depicting an empty street or portraying pulsing nature usually requires qualitatively different feelings that have to fill in for the missing elements, thus making such photograph something more than a simple document.”
Stavars was born in Czestochowa, Poland in 1981 where he studied economics, computer science, and photography, which he ended up pursuing seriously. He concentrates his craft on black-and-white landscapes, cityscapes, as well as night photography. Stavars has visited more than twenty countries, but he has a special affinity for Asia. His work has been featured in many international competitions.