A Revolution in Place

It has been more than four months since Occupy Hong Kong’s pro-democracy encampments were cleared away, but the Umbrella Revolution continues to evolve. More than a protest in favour of genuine universal suffrage, the 79-day occupation sparked a “revolution in public consciousness.” Among the notions being overturned: Hong Kong’s neoliberal approach to managing the urban […]

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 […]

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 […]

Don’t Touch the Art

The scene plays out hundreds of times a day, like a sad rendition of Groundhog Day. With nowhere to sit, a weary passerby leans against the leg of Happy Man, the nine-metre-high sculpture by American sculptor Larry Bell that stands in front of the Langham Place shopping mall at the corner of Argyle and Portland […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Canada, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Don’t Touch the Art , , , ,

Mongkok’s Rural Past

Hong Kong remakes itself with such ruthless efficiency that few physical traces remain of its past. In many neighbourhoods, the only reminders of what came before are the names of streets. Take Mongkok for example. Today, this is one of the busiest and most crowded parts of Hong Kong, a shopping district, transport hub, industrial […]

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Building a Better Street Market

Photo by Shichao Zhao When a blaze in the Fa Yuen Street market killed nine people last November, it was Hong Kong’s street hawkers that took the fall. Even before arson investigators had discovered the source of the fire, the government’s Hawker Control Officers ordered market stalls to remove their awnings and reduce the size […]

Real-Life SimCity

The aroma of wood smoke is not one of the things I expected to smell when I moved to a new apartment on the 35th floor, but there’s a rooftop barbecue restaurant just down the street from my building and the smell often floats upwards. When I sit on my balcony, I can watch little […]

Night at the Typhoon Shelter

On a pleasantly warm evening last November, my thoughts wandered over to the nighttime activity at the Sai Wan pier and I wondered if the same sort of thing happened at the nearest bit of waterfront to my apartment, the New Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter. I grabbed my camera, stepped out of the door, […]

A Short Detour in Mongkok

Mongkok might be one of the world’s most crowded places, but sometimes all you need to do to escape is to make a right turn down a quiet alleyway. That’s what I discovered when I was walking from home to the Flower Market the other day. Instead of taking the usual route along Sai Yee […]

Hong Kong Rooftops: You Are Being Watched

Last month, I paid a visit to Hong Kong Reader, a great independent bookstore on the seventh floor of a building in Mongkok. Before I entered the shop, though, I gazed up the stairwell and wondered whether there was an interesting view from the roof. I climbed an extra few floors and emerged onto a […]

Online Shopping in the MTR

The Internet meets the MTR: trying on a jacket bought online. Photos by Oliver Tsang for the South China Morning Post Nobody seemed alarmed by the sight of two 17-year-old boys playing with guns in the Hong Kong MTR. It was early Wednesday evening at Prince Edward Station and Kelvin Cheung was inspecting a pistol […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Interior Space, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Online Shopping in the MTR , , , , , ,

Follow My Steps

It’s rare to come across any unorthodox street art in Hong Kong — it’s mostly stencils, paste-ups and graffiti. So I was pleased to see these vinyl footprints glued to the pavement at the nearest crosswalk to my apartment. They remind me of a couple of things: the footprints placed rather whimsically on metal grates […]

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Mongkok Sunset

Sunset over Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong

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Say Goodbye to Old Hong Kong

Old buildings bought for redevelopment are displayed in the window of an acquisition company office on Victory Avenue in Ho Man Tin There goes the neighbourhood. A new government policy on compulsory sales in old buildings has led to a property gold rush in Hong Kong’s older districts, putting homeowners on guard and worrying many […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Demographics, Heritage and Preservation, Politics, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Say Goodbye to Old Hong Kong , , , , , ,