Old town serves up modern art show

Old town serves up modern art show

A series of eye-catching creations by artists in different venues across historic Yau Ma Tei is challenging the idea of viewing art inside museums


Artist Tsang Kin-wah's The Fourth Seal
Artist Tsang Kin-wah's The Fourth Seal
Photos: Chris Lau/SCMP
Our junior reporters went on a tour of art installations in the Mobile M+: Yau Ma Tei exhibition last Sunday. They visited six large installations - each one with a story to tell - at different sites, designed by seven Hong Kong artists. They also wandered along Yau Ma Tei's streets to look at some of the area's oldest buildings.

The exhibition has been organised by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, which is challenging the idea that art belongs in a museum. Here are some of the things that caught the aspiring young writers' attention.

The Fourth Seal - He Is To No Purpose And He Wants To Die For the Second Time

This is part of Tsang Kin-wah's continuing Seven Seals project, in which he projects sentences on the floor of a dark room. He has based his digital video exhibit on religious beliefs and moral thoughts, which outline what is regarded as judgment day in the Christian religion. The word "judgment" appears several times, as does "blessing". The idea of "The Fourth Seal" comes from the Book of Revelation, in the New Testament, in the Bible.

Tayyab Shahzada

Yau Ma Tei police station

Yau Ma Tei, where city life and a vibrant cultural scene have long intertwined, is one of old Hong Kong's best-preserved areas. Many buildings that were built almost 100 years ago are still standing.

Yau Ma Tei Police Station, which opened its doors in 1922, has survived such turmoil as the Japanese occupation during the second world war and the riots in the spring of 1966. The iconic police station has been featured in many films and television shows.

Yau Ma Tei is a haven for tourists, but also a hub for criminals. Police can often be seen patrolling the streets.

Henry Lui


Filmmaker Yu Lik-wai's exhibit impressed me the most. He created a train of moving images displayed on a three-part screen. He also showcased his photographs, inspired by his background in cinema and his thoughts on the supernatural and social fears.

His works are easy to relate to and understand, although they deal with controversial issues. He offers a new perspective and - in my opinion - is warning people not to give up on life.

Dorothy Tsang

To defend the core values

A couple, Kwan Sheung-chi and Wong Wai-yin, designed one of the art exhibits. They produced a 24-carat gold coin weighing about 180 grams, and engraved it with the words "Hong Kong's Core Values". Its design was inspired by Hong Kong's recent political debate on core values.

The exhibition also gives people a chance to write down on a slip of paper what they think Hong Kong's core value should be. The slips will be entered in a lucky draw, and the winner will decide if the coin should be kept, or thrown into Victoria Harbour as a gesture of defending Hong Kong's core values.

Kent De Jesus

The exhibition is open every day from 10am to 7pm until June 10.

An English tour is available on Sundays, including this Sunday, at 4pm. A Cantonese tour is available every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.

The meeting point is Shop 1, G/F, Yen Chun Building, 18 Portland Street, Yau Ma Tei.

For more details, go to www.wkcda.hk/mobile-mplus



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