Kinder Au was born and raised in Hong Kong, that tumultuous city, once a fishing village, now a thriving gateway to the emerging powerhouses of Asia. His first impressions were of crowds of people, in a hurry, intent on their private purposes and hemmed into a tiny space by the high-rise buildings that covered every surface of the land that encircled the intruding ocean.
The contrast with Kinder's first impression of the South of France could not have been greater. From the terrace where he sipped his first drink, a vast vista of ocean stretched before him, framed by the green hills of the Alpine foothills in the foreground and the snow-capped High Alps reaching skywards beyond. Of crowds, there was no sign. Birdsong and the whisper of the breeze in the mimosa and eucalyptus replaced the roar of traffic.
Yes, Kinder left his heart in Theoule-sur-Mer, also once a fishing village. It is now a charming resort, small but perfectly formed on the Bay of Cannes, with a few restaurants dotted along its main street and a sweep of sand curving away to a series of bays separated by the towering red cliffs of the Esterel coast.
From a villa tucked into a fold on the cliff-face directly above the sea he made his forays into the surrounding villages and towns, his camera always at hand. The result is this collection of images that, for him, capture the magic of this unique area. And it’s a magic not of style or sophistication, but of nature at its most beautiful, history at its most memorable and people able to relax and enjoy themselves under a deep blue sky, next to a deep blue ocean.