The graffiti scene in Hong Kong is relatively new, but there are some great artists in the city. Most of the graffiti in the streets are simple tags (signatures) or throw-ups (these are fairly simple filled-outline works), however, there are a few places where you can see more elaborate works. In Kowloon, you can find street art mainly in Mongkok, a busy shopping an entertainment area, and Kwun Tong, and industrial area in which quite a lot of floor space is now being taken up by musicians for rehearsal an recording rooms. In other areas, like Tsim Sha Tsui, you can find little pockets of graffiti
Hong Kong Street Art: Graffiti Lane Mongkok
To see the whole set of pictures in this series (over 150, at a resolution of 2048×1365), go to Hong Kong Graffiti Part 1: Complete Set of Images (on Google+)
To view the following pictures in a slideshow, just click on any of the photos.
This alley near the Mongkok East MTR station has lots of more elaborate pieces in a variety of styles. It’s one of the few places where street art is generally left alone. It is also home to a fair number of homeless men who live in make shift cardboard shelters and who have a set up a mini-kitchen with a gas stove. Just around the corner is Argyle street, which is jam-packed with shoppers and tourists. It seems that there is an unspoken deal in place: ‘you can do what you want in this lane, just don’t take it outside’. Here is the scary-children graffiti presented in video:
Hong Kong Street Art: Mongkok & Tsim Sha Tsui
These are busy commercial and entertainment districts with a nightlife going on round the clock. It’s a challenge for graffiti artists to even find a blank wall yet alone work undetected. Thus, the art tends to be something that can be done in a hurry (tags, stickers or stencils) and is often done in dingy alleyways. There also tends to be a lot of çrazy messages left on utility boxes and lampposts. Can we call these mad ramblings street art?
Hong Kong Street Art: The King of Kowloon
Speaking of ramblings, perhaps the first graffiti artist in Hong Kong was thee self-proclaimed Emperor of Kowloon Tsang Chou-choi, who throughout the 1980s and 1990s painted messages in his distinctive Chinese calligraphy claiming that he was the rightful owner of the entire peninsula. At any one time, there were a few hundred of his messages spread around Kowloon. He tended to write on government owned walls and utility boxes, perhaps because he viewed the government as the thieves who stole his family’s land. He died in 2007, and towards the end of his life was considered an artist, with galleries curating exhibitions of his work. However, it took the government a while to realize that his graffiti was part of Hong Kong’s collective memory and by the time they took measure to preserve his work, only three pieces remained. These are now sealed in plastic (the easiest to view one is at the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui). I took the following two pictures years ago in Diamond Hill (click on each image for a larger version on Google+).
Image Galleries on Google+
To view the complete sets of images at higher resolutions, select the click on the following links:
- Graffiti Alley in Mongkok 150 images
- Street Art in Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui 40 images
- The King of Kowloon 2 images
More Galleries of Hong Kong Street Art
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