In his project 100×100 Michael Wolf photographed 100 rooms in Hong Kong’s oldest public housing estate.
Detention-life was tasteless and all detainees felt lonely in this small world, especially once there was no handwork to do. The materials we normally used for our work hadn’t arrived and no one knew how to kill their time. So it was that one morning in March 2002, some of us were playing cards, while others read some outdated newspapers and magazines.
With a few of the more intellectual inmates, I talked about an incident that had happened at Linshui airport in Hainan province one year ago. A Chinese warplane and an American plane had crashed into each other. One of the inmates had worked at the airport as an air force mechanic two decades ago.
Suddenly people started shouting. They’d seen a mouse and immediately began trying to seize it. A few minutes later the mouse was caught and then was hung downward by a string on the steel line, which we ordinarily used to hang our damp clothing to dry. It still struggled, squeaking floundering tones, “ji, ji, ji.”
“I’ll beat you dead! Beat you dead! The police beat me as brutally as I’ll beat you,” one young man yelled waving a short plastic stick in his distorted hand.
Others started yelling and the mouse soon died from the savage beating by detainees, who found revenge in their rage at the way they had been treated themselves. The inmates began talking noisily about police torture previously undergone by them. (more…)