In pictures: Remembering Hong Kong's oldest tofu man
Mok Kau Moon came to Hong Kong from Dongguang nearly 60 years ago, dreaming of a better life.
He settled in Mui Wo on Hong Kong's Lantau Island where he eventually began to farm his own soybeans to make tofu for a modest income.
Until his last days, Mok made fresh tofu each morning to sell as the sweet Cantonese dessert known as "tofu fa."
"I think Hong Kong's elderly, at least when compared to other first-world countries or cities, are struggling to live a dignified life in their twilight years -- many are still working in their 60s, 70s, even 80s," says photographer Derrick Chang, who documented Mok's daily life.
"The pension and public housing system aren't very effective and many elderly people are living alone and falling through the social welfare cracks. With the widening wealth gap issue in Hong Kong, this problem is only going to get worse if it is not addressed in a meaningful way by the government."
Chang was a volunteer photographer for the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society where social workers introduced him to Mok.
Each morning Mok picked soybeans from his small backyard farm. He insisted on cooking over a wood fire and making his own ginger syrup, less for the authentic flavors produced, and more for economical reasons.
A mouthful of Mok's silken, nutty tofu fa was a taste of the fat of Hong Kong land. He was an accidental advocate of local eating.
Mok passed away in July 2011 in his 70s. Chang is about to stage an exhibition of Mok's photos that were first published on CNNGo to honor Mok's life of hard work and his tofu that has vanished from Mui Wo. Proceeds from the show will go to the Hong Kong Welfare Society.
The photos show a reality of elderly life in Hong Kong, as well as the oft-ignored, verdant rural areas of Hong Kong.
See the exhibition "Lost in Lantau" at Voxfire Gallery, opening night is July 6, 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. The exhibition will run till August 4.
Getting there: Voxfire Gallery, 1/F, 52 Gage St. (entrance at Aberdeen Street), Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2581 3385; www.voxfiregallery.com.
[This article was originally published in August 2010; updated July 2012.]