How to Become a Street Artist in Hong Kong

Chief Executive Donald Tsang is telling us to develop Hong Kong’s creative industries. But not everyone can join a band, start a graphic design firm or curate an art show. If you’ve got enough talent and a penchant for risk, there is one thing you can do: become a street artist. To find out how, […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on How to Become a Street Artist in Hong Kong , , ,

Phuket’s Chinese Altars

Phuket’s Chinatown is well past its prime, consisting mainly of old shophouses that seem not to have been touched, inside or out, for the better part of a century. It isn’t even that overtly Chinese anymore. What gives away its cultural background are the Chinese altars mounted in the sidewalk arcades around the neighbourhood. The […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Phuket’s Chinese Altars , ,

À l’heure des marchés

Kate McDonnell points the way to a promotional magazine published in 1964 to attract tourists to Montreal. It’s partly a snapshot of Montreal in the mid-60s, but also in large part an example of how the city was being branded and its image constructed in the years leading up to Expo 67. The text is […]

Posted in: Canada, History, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , , ,

Gargoyles, Horny PhDs & Spoiled Newspapers: an Afternoon at McGill

Ce mois de mars. Incroyable par sa fraicheur, déroutant par sa chaleur inopinée. Frébilité perceptible. Émotions intenses. Je parcours le campus de l’Université McGill, en plein coeur du centre des affaires de Montréal, à la recherche d’une place apaisante où lire ce journal pris à la course aux portes du métro. J’adore ces petits endroits, […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada, Society and Culture by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Gargoyles, Horny PhDs & Spoiled Newspapers: an Afternoon at McGill , , , ,

Wan Chai in 1966

Hong Kong’s vertical urbanity was already taking shape by the mid-1960s, but as this 1966 aerial photo of Wan Chai shows, it still retained a bit of its earlier Southeast Asian character with rows of pitched-roof shophouses. The older parts of Guangzhou, Macau, Taipei and Bangkok still look like this today.

Posted in: Asia Pacific, History by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Wan Chai in 1966 , ,

Pirate Radio Storms Hong Kong’s Airwaves

Earlier this week, in a Kwun Tong industrial building, three young people sat in a smoky studio talking about art, family and music. Every so often, they took a break and played a song from My Little Airport, an independent band known for its twee sound and ironic lyrics. After an hour and fifteen minutes […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Politics, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Pirate Radio Storms Hong Kong’s Airwaves ,

Life in Hong Kong’s Birthplace

The layers of irony in Nantou can be hard to appreciate. Here is a town that reigned supreme over the surrounding lands for hundreds of years; when China lost the first Opium Wars, it was here that British emissaries met Chinese officials to claim the nearby island of Hong Kong. Later, as a result of […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, History, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Life in Hong Kong’s Birthplace , , , ,

The Artist’s Subject Goes Wandering

We’re in an age when every other person is a wannabe Walker Evans, and every single object and person in the city is a potential subject for self-reflective urban photography. (You know, the kind you sometimes see here.) Washington, DC artist Alexa Meade takes that situation to its logical extreme by turning her photo subjects […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Public Space, United States by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Artist’s Subject Goes Wandering , , , ,

Urban Renewal: Quartier Concordia

Froideur intellectuelle

This Café is Seething! Guy-Concordia Station

DCorbeil | Passage, Montréal 2010 Guy-Concordia Station : 18h37. Il y à cette foule touffue, opaque, qui me traverse sans même me voir. Je suis là, pourtant, à multiplier les clichés de cette cohue fébrile et qui s’agglutine, comme le mercure qui se déverse sur le sol. Une tâche métallique, au reflet d’un soleil au bord […]

Posted in: Canada, Fiction, Society and Culture by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on This Café is Seething! Guy-Concordia Station , , , , ,

Graffiti Alley

Street art in Hong Kong tends to be limited to specific areas and the scene is dominated by a handful of very prolific artists, like Start from Zero and Graphic Airlines, who work mainly with posters, stencil art and stickers. In a few corners of town, though, it’s possible to find clusters of exuberantly traditional […]

De l’Abitibi à Hong Kong

Franco-Algonquin hip hop is the last thing I expected to encounter in Hong Kong, but that’s exactly what I heard this past weekend at the former Central Married Police Quarters, which has suddenly become the most interesting cultural space in town. Over the past month, the Heritage X Art X Design festival and the Indie […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Canada, Music, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on De l’Abitibi à Hong Kong , , , , , ,

French Expats, Here and There

French football fans celebrate in 2006 on the Plateau Mont-Royal Photo by Oliver Lavery It’s been a long time coming, but the French — in the words of a shop manager on Mount Royal Avenue — “are taking over the Plateau!” French immigrants have been coming to Quebec for decades, but the past few years […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Canada, Demographics, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on French Expats, Here and There , , , ,

Google Street View Comes to Hong Kong

View Larger Map When Google Street View was finally launched in Canada last fall, I was nearly ecstatic, since it let me revisit familiar old places I hadn’t seen in awhile, like my favourite Montreal streetcorners and memorable places from my life. Now Street View is available for Hong Kong, too. Though you’d think it […]