MY CITY: WILLIAM WONG

The photographer and Instagram storyteller on what makes London a special city and always having something to look forward to

01 July, 2020

WHERE IN LONDON DO YOU LIVE AND WORK? 

Walthamstow – part of the first London Borough of Culture – has been my home since the mid-90s. I work internationally, or I did before the lockdown happened.


WHAT
’S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF THE CITY? 

Taking a train from Gatwick Airport into London Victoria. I had to pull the window down and open the train door from the outside.


WHAT MAKES LONDON SPECIAL TO YOU?

It’s one of the three world cities (NY.LON.KONG) where people call themselves Londoners ahead of nationalities and cultural heritage.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE LONDON IN THREE WORDS?

Open, green, eclectic.


WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE LONDONER?

Dame Vera Lynn, her voice gave hope to so many.


WHAT
’S YOUR MORNING RITUAL?

Mondays to Saturdays: BBC Radio 4 Today. Sundays: Sophy Ridge on Sky News, then The Andrew Marr Show on BBC 1. Unseasonal sunshine during the lockdown means I have had to water the garden every morning. I also began writing down what I could create daily to inspire, inform and challenge.


WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP A GOOD WORK/LIFE BALANCE?

My daily The New York Times. Wine and whisky-tasting. Gardening and walking  – though hard to resist photography opportunities. Being a photographer is who you are, not what you do.


WHAT
’S THE BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS?

Living in a Troubled World: Popular Selections From the Writings of William C Menninger, MD; a book I inherited from my mother. I am currently reading Elizabeth Buchan’s The Museum of Broken Promises.


WHAT
’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Always have something to look forward to.


William Wong is a photographer of people and places, with previous lives in management consulting and theatre directing. He is the editor of the Instagram community platform
@london_only, which invites people to submit imagery of London that relates to a new #hashtag theme each week; with every featured image critiqued. It also champions arts and cultural happenings across the capital and beyond.