The Last Days of 5 Pointz

Even if you don’t follow street art or hip hop, you might have heard the news: 5 Pointz is dead. Technically, the old warehouse in Long Island City is still standing — though it is slated for redevelopment — but its essence as an art space was stripped away in the early hours of November […]

The Bamboo Theatre

Standing inside the cavernous belly of the 800-seat West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre, bamboo master Ying Che and her head worker, Sunny Yim, gaze up at their creation. “It’s very satisfying,” says Yim, a sturdy man with a boyish face who has been building bamboo theatres for nearly 40 years. “When you come to a performance, […]

The Other Side of Hong Kong Nightlife

Nobody really remembers how they first discovered Sense 99. Usually, they hear about it through a friend, who heard about it through a friend, who heard about it through a friend and so on. It is not quite a bar, not quite a private club, not an art gallery or a music venue, but it […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, History, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Other Side of Hong Kong Nightlife , , ,

Music for the Kinetic Metropolis

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5NDzSsotvs[/youtube] Every so often a musician comes along that captures the mood of a city, or at least a certain subset of its time and population. George Gershwin’s compositions embodied the bittersweet optimism of the striver’s New York; more recently, LCD Soundsystem evokes the disaffection felt in the gentrified, Bloomberg-era city. And what better represents […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Music, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Music for the Kinetic Metropolis , , , ,

The Art of Personal Space

Nathan Destro and his “personal space protector” on the streets of Johannesburg. Photos by Christo Doherty In New York, bulging sidewalks have led to the partial pedestrianization of Times Square and plans for something similar along teeming 34th St. In Cairo, fed up pedestrians often take matters into their own hands, competing with cars to […]

Make Some Noise, Hong Kong!

Outdoor concert on St. Viateur Street in Montreal — something that could never happen in Hong Kong under the current noise regulations Last month, on a muggy Saturday afternoon, a couple of hundred people gathered in the courtyard of the former Central Married Police Quarters for a taste of something rare in Hong Kong: live […]

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The Wandering Rock Band

Like many people in Hong Kong, I first heard about Red Noon through a YouTube video that showed them rocking out on their iPhones in the MTR. At first I thought it was a gimmick, something like the iPhone orchestras that have become popular lately, but later, after I met the band, they explained that […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Music, Public Space, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Wandering Rock Band , ,

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 […]

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Suitman Goes to Sham Shui Po

On a muggy day last summer, I was on Apliu Street looking for a used camera stall when I noticed a street DJ playing 1960s Chinese pop. Since the working-class neighbourhood of Sham Shui Po isn’t known for its street performers, I was surprised and took a closer look. Lo and behold, it was Suitman, […]

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Liberating Hong Kong’s Times Square

Times are a-changin’ and so are the squares. This summer in New York, cars were banned from Broadway between 47th Street and 42nd Street, making Times Square a true gathering place rather than a glorified intersection. Here in Hong Kong, the plaza in front of the Times Square shopping mall has found a new vocation […]