An uncertain future looms for the street eats sellers of Asia.
As the governments of China and Indonesia make plans to sweep woks
of hot oil off the pavement, the livelihood of the humble hawker hangs in the balance.
A few years ago I photographed a story for Cathay Pacific’s inflight magazine Discovery about street food vendors in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. These photographs sat in my archives until recently, when an editor at Asian Geographic Magazine reached out to me seeking photography to illustrate a feature they were publishing about hawkers in cities across Asia. I dove into my image library and the result was a 10-page story in Issue 5/2017 of Asian Geo about the history and heritage of street food, its appeal to both locals and visitors, the challenges that hawkers and municipal governments are facing and its place in shaping the identity and culture of the respective cities across the region.