[Text by Nadine Ng & Lee Shum Yi Cameron]
‘Young, Wild and Free’ chronicles the lives of three individuals who much embody the cool, unique and different characteristics associated with all-things youth. From being adventurous, to being lost, or being an out-of-the-box thinker, all three profiles give an insight into the untold stories of the young creatives who roam this city.
ooftopper Roger from Manchester is new to the game. Soon after moving to Hong Kong in late 2015 and being inspired by the Russian duo behind on the roofs, he decided to explore his interest in roofing by utilizing the city’s concrete jungle to its fullest. He describes his initial entry into roof-topping as a somewhat straightforward moment of realization. Due to the ability to pick and choose from an abundance of buildings in Hong Kong, he soon realized that partaking in the roofing phenomena could be, in fact, very doable given the resources provided to him in the city.
After his first ten-story building, and experiencing the thrill of accomplishing his first roof, Roger soon took up the challenge to explore a wider variety of skyscrapers in the city. Despite initially only wanting to pursue roofing as a hobby, photography naturally became a big part of his desire to truly capture and record the viewpoints from the ‘top’. Disregarding the perceived complexity of the tools needed to perform such tasks, Roger affirms that equipment-wise, one simply needs a camera, a wide-angle lens (to capture the whole experience), and “balls”. Technical equipment aside, he strongly emphasizes that whilst one has to be “fearless” to engage in roofing, it is extremely important to draw a line at where they don’t feel comfortable or if they have reached their limit.
Roger also elaborates on the wide range of emotions felt through successfully getting up to a roof, and the incentives pushing him to continue his passion and scout for more. He touches on the surreal sense of liberation that he had experienced when roofing, in that he is able to semi-escape the hustle and bustle of the city through experiencing it from a bird’s-eye-view, absent from all the noise, the traffic and the city’s hecticness in general.
In terms of his most memorable and beautiful roofing experience, Roger provides two separate examples. Based on the memo of ‘significant roofing experiences’, he gives us insight into a roof-topping adventure spent on a fourty-story building in Shenzhen. Essentially, the story entails putting his sister’s camera down near the edge of the building, watching it fall, eventually hearing an explosive slam on the ground, and somehow attempting to escape using the fastest and most convenient means possible. When mentioning his favorite rooftop in the city, he describes the experience of going into a half-finished loft apartment complex in Kennedy Town, alighting about fifty floors due to the inactive elevators at the time, but finally reaching a truly breath-taking view like no other.
Ultimately, Roger prides himself in knowing where to hold his limit in terms of the legal implications of roof-topping. As many of the younger and more carefree generation of roof-toppers succeed in their roofing endeavors through unlocking locks and vandalizing property, Roger stresses his condemnation of such acts, and states: “if a roof is locked, it’s locked!”
As for the future, Roger has his eyes set on Dubai, New York, and Chicago, anywhere home to major skyscrapers. Follow him on Instagram @wingfitleung.