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Something new: an excellent experimental experience

Vanessa Yung

 

The label "community art experimental project" might suggest mime artists clowning around in their underpants and the like. For Kobe Ko Wing-lam, however, it describes a treasure hunt on her doorstep.

The 20-year-old Hong Kong Institute of Education student and former intern with the Yau Ma Tei-based art group Woofer Ten wanted to do something creative in her own neck of the woods. Ko, who has lived in Kowloon City for more than a decade, has commissioned works by some 20 artists that explore or take inspiration from the historically and culturally rich district.

"I hope to use art to help people approach this neighbourhood," says Ko.

Daily, from noon to 6pm, until Friday, people are invited to experience "Chow Kai Chin", which translates as "exhibitions on the street". Works are being shown on the street and in local shops.

Ko herself has devised a work titled Sa Wa Dee Cup: audio broadcasts of Thai people working in the area's abundant Thai restaurants and grocery shops. A screen will show Chinese translations.

Wong Chun-hei's creations are inspired by the finger and fist calligraphy of the early 20th-century general Cheung Yuk-tong, who guarded the old Walled City; and Dunet Chan Sheung-shing's score, mixing the noise of aircraft - a reminder of Kai Tak airport - with symphonic music, will be played in several stores.

Local people were also asked to contribute. Li Wai-hang, a photographer and the owner of a jewellery store, is exhibiting photos of the area taken from the perspective of his dog - which is something of a celebrity in the neighbourhood, according to Ko.

Milk Yeung Miu-fun, who sells vintage cameras, has captured the district's skyline - which she finds special due to the high (for Hong Kong) number of low-rise buildings - with a Polaroid.

Maps outlining the locations of the "Chow Kai Chin" artworks are available from various sites: Woofer Ten on Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, and the Kubrick stores in Yau Ma Tei and Kwun Tong's APM mall.

 

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