Temporary cover shields graffiti by 'King of Kowloon' Tsang Tsou-choi

A board is placed over Kwun Tong doors that are among artist's four surviving street works

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 11:42am

A temporary structure has been installed to protect one of the remaining pieces of street art by late graffitist Tsang Tsou-choi, dubbed the "King of Kowloon".

The frame covers decaying ink calligraphy on metal doors at the defunct Silver Theatre in Kwun Tong, which is set for redevelopment along with the surrounding area.

The Urban Renewal Authority promised action last week after the South China Morning Post reported that the unprotected work, which fronted a CLP Power utility room, was prone to damage.

"At least this is something positive. [The authorities] are using their ways to protect the work," artist Pak Sheung-cheun said.

"Those who care about the King of Kowloon care not just about his graffiti but also the memory of the area. The whole area is waiting to be taken over and redeveloped."

Pak said people had begun scribbling around the work, raising fears of damage, although many of the messages were positive.

"There was one who wrote, 'Please treasure this'," he said.

The Kwun Tong doors are among four of Tsang's surviving street works. The others are a pillar at the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui, a lamp post on Ping Shek Estate and a wall near Baptist University's Academy of Visual Arts. While the authorities have painted over most of his calligraphy, the arts community has been pushing for the work to be preserved. After Tsang died in 2007, the Home Affairs Bureau promised to do so.

But nothing has been done to save the Kwun Tong doors, until recently.

The URA earlier said it would keep the doors safe before finding them a good home, but not until redevelopment work begins at the end of this year.

Last year, West Kowloon visual culture museum M+ bought a pair of large wooden doors covered with Tsang's calligraphy, the latest official recognition bestowed on him after an exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2003.


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