Photographer reveals the secret lives of Hong Kong's market cats in captivating series

Love or hate them, there's no denying that cats rule the Internet. With their bold personalities and unbound curiosity, they find themselves in all kinds of situations.

With that in mind, the latest series by Dutch photographer, Marcel Heijnen, captures the lives of Hong Kong's Market Cats – a sequel to his popular collection Hong Kong Shop Cats.

Taking a slightly darker angle than his previous work, Hong Kong Market Cats takes us to areas of the city few will associate with caring relationships between humans and felines. However, Heijnen’s photos reveal the cats he found lurking in markets are very much at home in their surroundings and are well taken care of – valued for their companionship and ability to keep spaces mice-free.

Marcel said: “Like most good things in life, the Hong Kong Market Cats series was a happy accident, or perhaps more of a by-product of something larger. While working on my Hong Kong Shop Cats series I initially made no distinction between shops and markets while capturing these retail felines. But the collection grew so rapidly that it made total sense to separate Market Cats into its own book, to be released a bit later than Shop Cats.

"Again, the series is as much about the context as it is about the beautiful animal. The backdrop takes centre stage. And while there are lots of similarities with the Shop Cats series, there are distinctive differences as well. For starters, the markets are more chaotic and less clean than the shops. Boxes, crates, grimy walls, forklifts, pallets. More human activity and perhaps a bit less of a connection between the owner and the cat. Markets are busy places in which fresh goods move rapidly. They make for more dynamic subject matter."

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All images courtesy of Marcel Heijnen