Given Hong Kong’s surging home prices, public housing flats are increasingly sought after by residents whether or not they are genuinely needy. But how many of us know how the public housing concept works, let alone its history?
The 60-year-old Mei Ho House in Hong Kong stands out in the aging district of Shek Kip Mei with its bright orange exterior that is easily discernible from afar. As the only building left in a defunct housing block that once resettled thousands of squatters made homeless by a fire in 1953, it is an important relic of Hong Kong’s early public planning. Mei Ho House marked the beginning of Hong Kong’s public housing policies, making it an ideal site for setting up a museum focusing on the history of the local community and the evolution of public housing and folk life.
The estate underwent another major facelift in 2000, except Mei Ho House or Block 41 which was preserved for historical reasons. It is listed as a Grade II historic building and has been used as a youth hostel and heritage museum. Hong Kong movie director John Woo was one of Mei Ho House’s former residents and he made his first film at age 26, when he was still living in the housing block. A touching essay about the estate by Woo is now displayed at the museum.
My photo essay under pen name 蓝天游 on the former residence of Soong Chingling in Shanghai and The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, a.k.a Wan Qing Yuan in Singapore《走访孙中山夫妇上海与狮城故居》is published in today's LianheZaobao 联合早报缤纷版 dated 23 November 2017! 感谢、感恩! Thrilled to see it being featured nationwide in print! Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao, you have made my day! :)
Multi-disciplinary Arts Village & Performing Arts Centre housed in Hong Kong's Former Shek Kip Mei Factory Estate, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC) 香港石硖尾艺术村: 赛马会创意艺术中心
The old Shek Kip Mei neighbourhood may not be an obvious tourist hotspot in Hong Kong but the eclectic Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC) building alone warrants it a visit. The former 9-storey factory estate was built in 1970s. It has been successfully transformed into a community arts centre and turned the building into studio for artists and designers to pursue their creative work. It made a good use of the decommissioned factory building as an arts and cultural hub for the community. In addition to studio space for artists and art groups, the Centre features a black-box theatre, art galleries and communal studios/workshops for resident artists and the community to use.
The inauguration of JCCAC surely is a good start to nurture the local upcoming artists and to introduce arts to the public; it is also a milestone of developing the art and design industry in Hong Kong. I give it a 5/5 because I think this place deserves to be more visited, especially if you're into art. It's a building full of little ateliers / exhibition spaces for local artists. I found it very interesting to see the corridors, as there were interesting art pieces here and there.
My Photo Essay《 创意老街一座城市的记忆, 新加坡与上海创意文区哈芝巷与田子坊》Published in LianheZaobao 联合早报 Newspapers Dated 2 November 2017
My photo essay under pen name 蓝天游 on Shanghai's creative hip place Tian Zi Fang & SG's Haji Lane《创意老街一座城市的记忆, 新加坡与上海创意文区哈芝巷与田子坊》is published in today's LianheZaobao 联合早报缤纷版 dated 2 November 2017! 感谢、感恩! Thrilled to see it being featured nationwide in print! Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao, you have made my day! :)