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Stephen JB Kelly March 30, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China, Macao.
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From the series “Sin City”,  Macão, China

Stephen JB Kelly (b. 1983 , England)  spent his early childhood in Africa and the Middle East before moving to Hong Kong where he lived for ten years. He graduated in 2006 from the University of Wales, Newport. Stephen recently received a nomination for the 2009 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass and has won a number of awards for his work, including the 2008 Gareth Jones Memorial Traveling Scholarship (University of Wales) and a 2008 ‘Made in China’ award at the International Festival of Photography in Lodz, Poland. His work has been exhibited in galleries such as The Guardian/Observer Newsroom and The Getty Images Gallery in London and the Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande in Bologna, Italy. His work has been published in The Observer Magazine, D di Repubblica and The FADER Magazine among others.

About the Photograph:

“During the month of November 2008, I worked on a story documenting life in China’s self-styled ‘city of dreams’. Situated on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, this semi-autonomous region of China is the sole territory within the People’s Republic that permits gambling. In 2008, Macão is reported to have topped US $13 billion in gambling revenue, doubling that of Las Vegas. For the majority of my time I worked within the vast casino districts, photographing the huge explosion in wealth and trying hard not to get kicked out of every casino I walked into!”

“This particular photograph was taken in the foyet of the mainland owned Greek Mythology Casino on Taipa Island. This casino was by far the most visually interesting of them all for me and was the easiest to take pictures in. I found myself being drawn back there night after night. The walls of the foyet were covered from top to bottom in tacky murals which the mainland tourists would queue up in front of to have their pictures taken. The foyet of the casino was the only place where you were allowed to freely take pictures, so I took my time, blended in with the hordes of tourists, waited for the right couple to pose and I took this picture.”

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Comments»

1. James - May 4, 2009

Growing up in Las Vegas, I was always surrounded by this stunning visual imagery. The lights, sounds, and smells would constantly bombard me. Every time I walk into an airport, I still expect to hear the clinking of slot machines. Living in Midwest America, I long to go back to my own “Sin City” and photograph where I grew up. The detail and tackiness of the hotel and casino are juxtaposed in a fashion that remain unique and certainly timeless.


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