David Cheng is a Hong Kong-based freelance lifestyle photographer who only occasionally ventures into the bustle of Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s infamous nightlife district. A private guy, Cheng far prefers to spend his spare time exploring his city from unconventional angles – places hidden in plain sight that only a keen eye would notice.
Cheng has a particular affinity for rooftops, and has earned a name for himself as Hong Kong’s resident rooftop aficionado. But despite the thousands of likes his rooftop Instagram images garner, what Cheng savors more than his online renown is the overflowing sense of serenity that comes with being 55 floors above the rest of the world. His rooftop oases are some of the last remaining bounties of solitude in all of busy Hong Kong, though Cheng knows it’s only a matter of time before they, too, disappear.
“Rooftopping used to be something only a few of us did,” says Cheng onboard the Star Ferry crossing Victoria Harbour, the waterway connecting Hong Kong Island with neighbouring Kowloon. “We kept it low-key and secretive because we didn’t want people to know where these places were.”