HK$101,000 paid for 'King of Kowloon' piece

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2007, 12:00am

A 30cm high terracotta warrior statuette covered in 'King of Kowloon' Tsang Tsou-choi's trademark graffiti was auctioned for HK$101,000 yesterday at a charity event.

The figure was initially marked at HK$1,000 when internet bids opened on August 4. The identity of the bidder who paid more than 100 times that price was unknown.

The money will be donated to Oxfam Hong Kong.

'It shows that many people rank the work of this Hong Kong graffiti artist highly,' the charity group said.

The figure and other Tsang exhibits can be seen at Telford Plaza, Kowloon Bay, until September 2.

Tsang died on July 15 at the age of 86, but news reached the media only about two weeks later.

His death brought a flood of appreciation from the public, many of whom regard his renowned writing - densely packed Chinese script in neat lines on the sides of pedestrian overpasses and phone and electrical boxes - as part of the collective memory of Hong Kong.

Much of his work was washed away over the decades, but the government agreed to preserve the remaining pieces of street calligraphy a day after news of his death spread across the city.

Tsang's graffiti can still be seen on pillars at the Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui, near Kwun Tong police station and a few other places around Hong Kong.

A clothing collection inspired by Tsang's calligraphy is on display at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin until March.