Lost in Hong Kong

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/15464649[/vimeo] Imagine if all of your most mundane moments were set to a melodramatic Hans Zimmer soundtrack and filmed like a Hollywood suspense flick. That’s a bit what Edwin Lee‘s new video is like. It’s a straightforward piece of work: a guy in a “I Am Lost in Hong Kong” t-shirt stumbles around the city […]

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Those Grey Metal Fences

Sidewalk fences at a typical corner in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon Earlier this month, a pair of pedestrians tried to push their way through a crowd of people on Dundas Street, one of the most crowded streets in Hong Kong’s most crowded neighbourhood. One of them cast a withering glance on the grey metal fence […]

How to Lose a Sense of Place

You can’t touch the sculpture in front of Langham Place. It’s a nice bronze piece by Larry Bell, and it looks great from a distance, but if people touched it, their oily hands would ruin the metal. So there’s a security guard stationed out front, all day, every day, to make sure nobody crawls onto […]

Hong Kong Rooftops: BBQ

There are signs that something is amiss as I make my way up the narrow stairs of this nondescript building, passing by boxes of empty beer bottles towards the smell of charcoal and the sound of laughter. What’s going on becomes clear when I emerge onto the roof, a verdant oasis filled with smoke and […]

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Killing Prince Edward Road’s Creative Buzz

Twenty years ago, when film producer Amy Chin was looking for a new office, she came across a 1,500-square-foot flat in an old shophouse in the Mong Kok Flower Market. She fell in love as soon as she saw the 12-foot ceilings, balcony and huge, enclosed verandah. “This place is very good for creative people […]

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Renovating Hong Kong’s Flower Market

There are many easy things in life, but selling flowers, apparently, isn’t one of them. For more than 30 years, Cheung Yuk-hing and his family have run a flower stall in a laneway near Mong Kok’s Flower Market Road, selling peonies, orange trees and other plants they grow in a New Territories orchard. The hours […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, History, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Renovating Hong Kong’s Flower Market , , , , ,

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 […]

New Home, New Roof

Last October I moved to a new apartment — and with a new apartment comes to a new roof to explore. Unfortunately, my new building’s rooftop is far from spacious, with just two narrow platforms accessible through the fire stairs. Ladders lead up to two higher platforms, one atop the elevator shaft and another on […]

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Fighting Over Flowers

I’ve never seen anyone get so angry over flowers. It’s tradition to buy flowers in advance of the Chinese New Year, a festival that celebrates renewal as one lunar year gives way to another. Last year, when I was living in the Mongkok Flower Market, I watched as traffic became more and more snarled as […]

My Old Rooftop

Before I moved from the Flower Market to Homantin last year, I went up to my building’s rooftop for a few last photos of the view, which gave out onto the towers of Mongkok on one side and the mountains north of Kowloon on the other.

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Co-opting the Commercial Street

It’s hard to describe the sound of Sai Yeung Choi Street on a typical evening. It’s the echo of horns and sirens through the Mongkok canyons, the cacophony of video billboards and shop stereos. It’s the sound of sixteen thousand shoppers flocking each hour to the most crassly commercial of Hong Kong streets. But there’s […]

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Under the Wrecking Ball’s Shadow

There is not much to indicate that the rundown shophouse on Shanghai Street in Mongkok houses anything but a pawn shop. On the third floor, however, is Tong Saam, an unmarked space that has positioned itself on Hong Kong’s creative vanguard. Since it was opened earlier this year by three friends interested in music and […]

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A Door to Anywhere

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/6373774[/vimeo] Every evening, Sai Yeung Choi Street becomes a parade of shoppers, street performers and promoters that lasts until after midnight. There are few other places in the world where you come into such close proximity with so many people, but contact is fleeting: a bumped elbow, a wayward glance, a shared moment while watching […]

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Indie Radio in a Shopping Mall Basement

The basement of a shopping mall is the last place you’d expect to find the stirrings of a revolution, but that’s exactly what is happening in a tiny studio on the bottom floor of Langham Place. For the past year, Radio Dada has been dishing up indie music and irreverent discussion about Hong Kong arts […]