In 2020, as the situation of the Uyghurs in China continues to worsen dramatically, Hong Kong photojournalist Kan-tai Wong takes a look back at his trip to Urumqi, Turpan and Kashgar in Xinjiang, the Uyghur’s autonomous region, in 1980. Armed with color slide film, Wong recorded scenes from the Uyghurs’ daily lives in photographs, showing us the cities, clothes, lifestyle and faces of the people he encountered.
“During that time, mainland China was like forbidden land slowly emerging from her gradually revealing but still secretive curtain. ‘Hong Kong and Macau comrades’ armed with a return permit could travel along the Silk Road as far as the border of Xinjiang. Having made use of our daring youthful time to get on board a train with overnight compartments, my two friends an I embarked from the south to travel to the west in order to pursue the dreams which had been bequeathed to us from ancient poetry.” (from Kan-tai Wong’s afterword (included in Chinese and English translation))