Hong Kong’s Problem with Heritage

Kowloon Station, 1981. Photo by Loose Grip 99 It’s one of those mid-summer days when it seems impossible to escape the heat, so it comes as a relief to step into the air-conditioned room that houses Sparkle! Can We Live (Together), an oddly-named exhibition that explores the relationship between artists and the communities in which […]

Inside Victoria Prison

I’ve been seeing a lot of old Hong Kong photos lately. There was the John Thomson exhibition I wrote about last year, along with an even larger show of historic photography at the Museum of History. HSBC has just unveiled a new historical exhibition in the public space beneath its headquarters. Even Nick DeWolf’s photos, […]

In the Forest, in the City

All photos by JJ Acuna from the Wanderlister To get to the Asia Society’s Hong Kong Centre, you must go up. Up from the MTR through shopping mall escalators, up the steep slope of Justice Drive, towards skyscraping apartment towers and the jagged ridge of Victoria Peak. So it’s a surprise that when you finally […]

From Industry to Art at Warp Speed

It’s a familiar story: old industrial area becomes creative hub. What makes OCT Loft different is that the entire process took just six years — and it’s on the vanguard of Shenzhen’s transformation from factory town to Chinese creative superpower. In the mid-1980s, a swath of farmland in the newly-established Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was […]

New Life for the Blue House

Hong Kong’s Blue House has a secret. The Wan Chai landmark, built in 1923, is known as one of the city’s last remaining examples of early shophouse architecture, but it is even more renowned for its azure hue – rare for a place where blue is associated primarily with funerals. But the colour came about […]

Looking for Life in Puerto Madero

The walk from the Plaza de Mayo, the political heart of Buenos Aires, to Puerto Madero, its redeveloped waterfront, begins inauspiciously. Cars barrel down multilane boulevards devoid of people; a weed-strewn lot slated to become a monument to the country’s deeply-loved former president, Juan Perón, lies unconvincingly fallow. Then there are the railroad tracks severing […]

Shanghai’s Seventh-Day Adventist Inn

“No, I told you, you can’t go upstairs if you’re not a guest,” the teenage hotel desk clerk scowled at my camera. Just then, a portly middle-aged man waddled up to the counter and interrupted me, “How much for a room for 3 hours?” Her suspicious eyes not leaving me, the desk clerk pointed to […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Interior Space, Society and Culture by Sue Anne Tay Comments Off on Shanghai’s Seventh-Day Adventist Inn , , ,

An Old Building Given New Life — For Now

In Hong Kong, the fate of an old building is virtually predetermined. Worn by years of intense use and little maintenance, it is snatched up by a property developer who waits for the right moment to knock it down and replace it with shoebox apartments, or maybe a cookie-cutter hotel. Carl Gouw wants to break […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on An Old Building Given New Life — For Now , , , ,

Macau Art Space: Lun Hing Knitting Factory

Just a brisk walk from the Ox Warehouse is another one of Macau’s contemporary art spaces: the Lun Hing Knitting Factory. When I arrived, a group of old people sat in the lobby playing mahjong as the security guard watched idly. There’s little to indicate the presence of artists, when I took the lift up […]

End of the Line

At the southeastern corner of Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood — the cape that put the Hoek in the area’s original Dutch name, Roode Hoek — almost nothing is used according to its original purpose. A rail barge has been repurposed as a waterfront museum, a warehouse has become a massive Fairway supermarket, some streetcar tracks […]

Some Weeds Grow in Brooklyn

I photographed this old (and perhaps abandoned) industrial building in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood just a few years ago. At the time, it was a captivating relic — almost entirely ensconced in graffiti, it was sprouting weeds that had either spilled onto the sidewalk, or had climbed up from the sidewalk onto it. The old orange […]

Posted in: Environment, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Some Weeds Grow in Brooklyn , , , , , ,

High Times

Opening weekend for the High Line, Manhattan’s latest, most expensive new playground, is a mob scene: a line of cabs and SUVs blocks long throng the streets of the Meatpacking District, which, full for once, seem almost grateful to be receiving as much attention as they did when trucks filled with carcasses from somewhere west […]


YMCA, Park Avenue at St. Viateur Street YMHA, Mount Royal Avenue at Jeanne-Mance Street In 1936, when these photos were taken, Montreal was just beginning to climb out of the Great Depression, which had hit this industrial city with particularly brute force. Unemployment remained high and thousands of the city’s inhabitants lived in squalour — […]