Time has no hold on this man or toward a singular career. Long distance runner and cyclist accustomed to the harshness of the Mongol Steppes that he covers in all directions. Marc Progin is 75. Slender, the muscle dry, straight like a post, he has the physical look of the marathoner and of the ascetic, 'I feel good in my head because I feel good in my body.'Read More
The constant search for wide horizons is the red thread of his rich life. Born in a working-class suburb of Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 1945, Marc Progin, a former watchmaker, settled in Hong Kong in the 1970s, becoming a pioneer in the conquest of Asian markets. At the turn of the millennium, the call of the unknown guided him in a new life as a traveller-poet.
Endurance leads him to a more fundamental, inner and cultural quest. The exploration of Mongolia, the original nature where the nomads live differently, without possessions, gives meaning to his life. He travels the deserts with minimal logistics. He explores its history and its paleontological treasures. At this cradle of dinosaurs, he borrows what becomes his nickname: 'velociraptor,' named after a species of which he found fossilised remains. Lover of words, erudite, the traveller fills page after page of notebooks with illuminated poetry. His 'Alexandrine' verses celebrate the beauty of Mongolian landscapes. They also tell of the spiritual quest of a man tired by the superficiality and illusions imposed by business, consumption and 'connected' society. Marc Progin photographs to convey what he sees and feels. In the bareness and the effort, in contact with emptiness and immensity, he clings to what he is, a being reduced to its vital needs: light, a little water and food.
Progin, the photographer, has had solo exhibitions in Hong Kong Foreign Correspondent's Club and Latitude 22n as well as shown work with Hong Kong Heritage Project and Children of Mekong. He gathers a crown whenever he gives lectures, previously he has been invited to talk at the Royal Geographical Society [HK], CH-Lausanne University [Switzerland], CH-Neuchâtel Academy [Switzerland], American Hong Kong Society, Swiss Business Council Hong Kong, and French International School to name but a few. When he is not behind the camera shooting both for his own artwork or as a Press Photographer, he is often on the other side being interviewed numerous times by the RTHK, TVB, and for Radio.
The Swiss former watchmaker and long-time Hong Kong watch agent tells of his encounters with nomads, eagle hunters and a bear, and how desert journeys broaden the mind