I loved going to wet markets when I was a child. Yes, they can be smelly and noisy, their floors are wet and slippery, and you usually get splashed with water when you pass by the seafood stalls; but they are never boring.
Often, I would watch in awe as my grandmother used one of the markets' iconic red lampshades as a quality-control device - she would rotate eggs one by one under the harsh lighting to check they hadn't spoiled.
Those who prefer the cleanliness and convenience of supermarkets probably don't understand the appeal of wet markets, but they may get an idea at the Street Market Symphony exhibition, which is showcasing their many charms under one roof - or, rather, under three huge red lampshades.
Jointly organised by the Sino Art programme, the Olympian City shopping mall in Tai Kok Tsui and lifestyle brand G.O.D., the exhibition aims to "bring out the sublime in the mundane", says G.O.D. founder Douglas Young Chi-chiu. "We want people to experience what they may assume to be a mundane street market in a new way."
The exhibition features three giant red lampshades housing artwork inspired by Hong Kong's wet markets. One contains a market scene where the observer becomes part of the work, appearing as a store owner or a shopper; another is screening a video showing a dish being prepared from ingredients bought at a market; while the third displays a series of photographs of students, taken at the Mong Kok wet market under the guidance of photographer Simon Go.
The exhibition is open daily from 10am to 10pm until October 23, at the central atrium of Olympian City 2 (G/F, 18 Hoi Ting Road, West Kowloon; inquiries: 2397 3636).