By Lesley Hobbs

Sacha Yasumoto is a British-born, Hong Kong-based interior designer, aromatherapist, amateur photographer and urban explorer. Since the start of the global pandemic, she has visited and photographed over 500 abandoned buildings in Hong Kong alone – around 350 of which helped to create her visually stunning coffee table book Loved Then Abandoned 愛逝終棄.

On 26th October, WiPS committee member Lesley Hobbs sat down with Sacha in the Sheung Wan offices of the American Women’s Association of Hong Kong (AWA) to talk about Sacha’s urban exploring (urbex) adventures and her self-publishing journey. After introductions by Lesley, Sacha showed slides from her book and explained the dos and don’ts of urbex. She had so many derring-do stories to tell that it was hard to keep the conversation and Q&A under the allotted ninety minutes. With Halloween only days away, Sacha insisted she had not been visited by a ghost in any of the abandoned buildings, but she still managed to share some spooky moments with her large audience of WiPS members and guests.

These events involved climbing out of broken windows, falling through rotting flooring, exploring a convicted felon’s forfeited mansion the day he was released, and finding out that the owner of an apparently abandoned house was very much alive and well and planning to move back into his property. He did permit Sacha to host one of her “dangerous dinners” before his home was renovated – but that’s a story for when we invite Sacha back to talk about her next book!

Who would have thought that all the trespassing we might have done as children would not only get turned in to an art form but end up with its own 24k+ member Facebook page.

Photo credits: Jayne Russell Photography