Sep 25 2014

“Caring” Photographs: Xyza Cruz Bacani

by Billy Kung

In June, the New York Times’s “Lens” column featured a series of stunning images from Xyza Cruz Bacani. Bacani is a Filipino domestic worker helping a well-off family on Hong Kong Island, who, in her spare time, wanders the streets of Hong Kong taking photographs.

Bacani’s beautifully composed black-and-white images reveal, moment after moment, life on the bustling streets and narrow alleyways in an almost theatre-like fashion. Her keen perspective captures faces of the old and young, the foreign and local, with each frame conveying a unique story of its own. It’s when looking at her photographs that we are reminded of how much we fail to see.

Much has been written over the last few years on Vivian Maier, an American street photographer who worked for about forty years as a nanny in Chicago. After her death in 2009, her work is now receiving critical acclaim and gaining interest. Unavoidably, comparisons have been made between Maier and Bacani for obvious reasons, but Bacani is driven to carve out a path of her own. I believe she will.

Copyright the artist.
Copyright the artist.

See more of Xyza Cruz Bacani’s photographs here.

Billy Kung is photo editor at ArtAsiaPacific.