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TAXI ART is a celebration of the ‘art’ on the dashboards of Hong Kong taxis.
After many years of shooting and the many adventures and that went with it - Allison Haworth West has produced a book of images that portrays the ‘worlds’ that are created inside their taxis by taxi drivers on their dashboards and hanging from their rear view mirrors.
The art of the Hong Kong taxi is a cultural phenomenon. Whether it is a superhero, a cartoon character, a religious icon, a plant, some fresh jasmine or just a line up of multiple phones in stands - many of the dashboards of Hong Kong taxis tell a story. Sometimes carefully curated, other times haphazardly placed, they are part of the driver's world that they share with their passengers. It is something that means something to them and adds to the tapestry of the experience for the passenger whether they are cognisant of it or not.
The importance of TAXI ART is evident in the slow disappearance of these cultural icons – with the emergence of UBER and the consolidation of ownership in taxi licenses it appears TAXI ART might just be becoming a ‘dying art’.
About the Photographer
Allison Haworth West is an Australian who has lived in Hong Kong for 13 years and has spent many thousands of hours riding in taxis. She has always had an avid interest in photography, art, design and a passion for detail.
Her journey shooting the images for TAXI ART has been long and varied and involved rapid shots whilst being thrown around in the back of taxis as well as more studied images. Her intent was to create a varied visual record of this unique cultural idiosyncrasy of Hong Kong and it’s context.
She is a Director of her family business - Captain Cook Cruises in the Fiji Islands, founded clothing label Kuki Kids, is an Ambassador for CMH Heliskiing in Canada. She attended Loreto College Kirribilli, has a degree in Business Management from the University of Technology Sydney and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Allison lives in Hong Kong with her husband Mike, has two children aged 8 and 11, and continues to ride in taxis.