Bring in the Year of the Horse

Two weeks before Chinese New Year, the floor creaks as Sunny Yim walks through the bamboo theatre he has helped build. A few of his wiry colleagues stand on a platform, making adjustments to the lattice of bamboo rods that is holding this cavernous structure aloft, but the work is mostly done. Yim, a compact […]

Future Festivals

Clockenflap 2012. Photo by Chris Lusher Construction has only just begun on Hong Kong’s multi-billion-dollar West Kowloon Cultural District, but the 100-acre waterfront site has already become the city’s most coveted venue for outdoor events, with a string of festivals set to take place over the next three weeks. Among them are Clockenflap, a three-day […]

A Detour in Urban Design

When artist-activist John Bela wandered around Wan Chai, Hong Kong’s melting pot neighbourhood of historic shophouses, packed street markets and hooker bars, he encountered a sense of déjà-vu. “I felt like a prisoner in a cage surrounded by leering cars and trucks,” he says. “This is the case in many cities where traffic engineers have […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on A Detour in Urban Design , , , , , , ,

Free at Last

When the Hong Kong public was invited to choose a master plan for the West Kowloon Cultural District, they were met by ambitious presentations from each of the proposals. The most sophisticated pitch of all came from Norman Foster’s office, which provided seductively realistic renderings of their City Park concept, which included grassy meadows overlooking […]

Hawkerama

Michael Leung’s “Good Morning” towels were a welcome sight. It was a scorching day on Fa Yuen Street, one of Hong Kong’s most popular street markets, and the energetic young product designer was inviting passersby to take part in a game at his market stall, Hoi Tung (“We’re open”). If you managed to use long […]

The Death of a Village

It was bound to happen. 26 months after Tsoi Yuen Village received its death sentence, 100 police officers burst into the remaining villagers’ houses and told them to leave. The villagers were incredulous. “I was negotiating with the government peacefully only a few days ago,” one man, Cheung Sun-yau, told the South China Morning Post. […]

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 , , , , , ,

A Detour in Hong Kong

This might be an odd thing to say about Hong Kong, but the place lacks spontaneity. For all of its hustle and intensity, it’s awfully beholden to routine: every day, the same street markets, the same packed MTR trains, the same carnival of consumerism. Even the political protests, though frequent, are quite orderly, almost choreographed. […]

“We’re Just After the Profits”

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6501875[/vimeo] I like this short documentary about a Filipino carnival, even if it is essentially an advertisement for a new DSLR that shall remain unnamed (it should be obvious enough once you finish watching it). There are some remarkable shots here but the pace is a bit too brisk for its own good. I wish […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on “We’re Just After the Profits” , ,