Teaching Materials - Exercise

Strangers in a strange place

Name of Artist Educator: Ho Man Kei, Vik Lai
Excercise Category: Visual storytelling

“Photography was a licence to go whenever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do.”

Concept / Inspiration:

“Photography was a licence to go whenever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do.”

People always pay extra attention to themselves. However, when they interact with different people, it might change their world. Comparing to interacting with their old friends, making attempts to approach strangers and to understand the things outside their zones could help people broaden their horizon as well as to benefit their personal growth. Photos could solidly reflect the worldview of the photographers. People could see the world when they see themselves; people could discover more of themselves when they see the world.

Instructor referenced from Dian Napiece, “Photography is the permit for entering others’ world.”


To encourage students to open up their mind and horizons. Get to know someone they have never met and learn to make use of photography to start conversation with strangers and to unfold their stories.

Materials / Equipment:

  • Camera


Places students have not visited before

Workshop Description:

  1. Students are asked to visit a place that they have never visited, talk to a stranger and take a photograph.
  2. Students could ask different questions to start a conversation, i.e. “Can I speak to you for a while?”, “I wonder what you are doing.”, “I would like to take some photos for my assignment.” These questions could be used as the introduction to start approaching strangers. The process could be fun. If they fail to do so, they could continue to ask until they knock the right door and discover more stories.

P1040929 P1050033

Expected Outcome:

To allow the students to find different strangers to meet up and chat in order to open up their minds. Being in touch with a wide variety of things could change a person as we do not want to be dull or lethargic. We hope to be a flexible individual who become healthier and happier, a person who wish to have more vocabularies to describe the inner world.

Actual Outcome:

One of the students walked into a house in a village and talked to a woman there. She chatted with the student and opened up herself. She gradually fell into the topic. For example, she mentioned about her retiring life and how she worried about whether her son could get married.


Student Work:

Law Suet Po

Lo Cheung Au
Chit chatting about the move of wet market with the hawkers.

Mok Wing Tung

Student Feedback:

“I can chit chat with strangers easily. It is natural. In the end, strangers are also just ordinary people. Even if he is a really bad guy, I could also talk with him.”

Reference Materials:

“Photography was a licence to go whenever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do.” – Diane Arbus