Monthly Archives: April 2013

HK LIFE – Hong Kong’s Cheapest Mobiles: Top 4 Places 11

Hong Kong is arguably the cheapest place in the world for new and used cell phones. Below is an unbiased guide to the four main options for bagging an affordable device in HK…

AST Global – Although they have a limited range, the cheapest deals for new, unlocked phones (and lots of other tech) is AST Global. They are online only and can deliver to your nearest MTR station. Customers can pay online or in cash and still receive the usual year-long manufacturer’s warranty. Their website isn’t the slickest, and be sure to inspect your goods before handing over cash, but all products include a 3-day money-back guarantee if you keep the packaging. This store is unbeatable on cameras too – cheaper than any of the arcades in Mongkok or Sham Shui Po…

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Sin Tat Plaza – Many Hong Kongers head straight to Sin Yat Plaza on Argyle Street in Mongkok. Walk straight along the road out of MTR exit D2 – it will appear on your left (no English signage). Once it was notorious for rip-offs and fake models, but things have been cleaned up in recent years, and – along with Sham Shui Po – it is a great place for second hand mobiles too.

ART – King Kong in Hong Kong 2

Woofer Ten is an non-profit political arts/community project on Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei. It was formed in 2009 by a group of artists, curators, critics, researchers, educators and art spaces organisers.

The alternative arts group were entrusted by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council to run the Shanghai Street Artspace (at number 404) for a year. It has become a community hub and artistic outlet for political resistance.

In addition to constantly changing curated exhibitions there are year-round projects such as ‘King Kong in Hong Kong’ by Jean Michel Rubio. The metal gorilla’s briefcase doubles as a local book swap…

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Click for more ‘making of’ photos.

POLITICS – Serious Crime Unit Arrests Graffiti Artist as US Criticises HK Human Rights 5

Sharp Daily has reported on a 46-year-old Hong Konger who has been arrested for writing ‘go to hell, Xi Jinping’ on a stairwell wall in Ma On Shan. Sha Tin police sent officers from the Regional Crime Unit (which deals with serious criminal cases), who ‘monitored’ the ‘crime scene’. The man was caught, ballpoint pen in hand, at 8am on April 18th.

Netizens were in uproar, believing the case to be an instance of political persecution, designed to intimidate citizens. Traditionally, cases involving graffiti are not investigated so thoroughly. Tsang Tsou Choi, the ‘King of Kowloon’s, scribblings were also anti-establishment yet were often celebrated. Tsang created 55,000 outdoor works over 50 years on everything from post boxes to flyovers. After his death in 2007, his work now changes hands for hundreds-of-thousands of dollars at Sotheby’s.

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The late, last King of Kowloon

ACTIVISM – Giant Dog Shit is Re-dedicated to Politician Chan Kam-Lam 11

Dreadful pro-Beijing DAB politician Chan Kam-lam reckons that art in HK should be censored, believing that works such as Tiananmen by Ai Wei Wei have no place at the upcoming contemporary art museum, Mobile+.  

The SCMP reported that Chan said that “Works that are indecent, vulgar, political and insulting are not works of art”. As a response to this viewpoint – a re-dedication ceremony took place yesterday at the Cultural District, where a giant inflatable pile of dog shit was renamed in his honour. Permanent signage was erected to inform visitors of the new commemoration…

‘Complex Shit’ by Paul McCarthy re-dedicated to Mr Chan.

The pile of shit has a lot in common with Chan Kam-lam – not only does he talk a lot of crap, but both of them are full of hot air and lacking in intellect.

It is not the only dubious accolade Chan received this year… He also happens also to be the laziest lawmaker in LEGCO. In February, it was reported that he had not initiated one single question or tabled a motion since the Legislative Council resumed last October.

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Left: Tiananmen (1998) by Ai Wei Wei. Right: Chan Kam-lam looking proper miserable.

By closing time last night, security and volunteers at the site were happy to leave the tribute to Mr Chan in place.

PHOTOGRAPHY – Highlights from ‘Inflation’ Festival at West Kowloon 4

Featured artists at Mobile+ ‘Inflation’ include Cao Fei (China), Choi Jeong Hwa (South Korea), Jeremy Deller (UK), Paul McCarthy (USA), Jiakun Architects (China) and Tam Wai Ping (HK).

For more on the festival, including opening times, click here. For more about the ‘re-dedication’ of the giant inflatable shit, click here.

PHOTOGRAPHY – Vertical Horizon: Amazing Photos HK Skyscrapers 13

Just when you think our city has been captured from every conceivable angle, along comes a photographer with a totally new perspective. Romain Jacquet-Lagreze is a French graphic artist who has worked in Los Angeles, Tokyo and now Hong Kong – he uses a  Nikon D5000.

Describing the dense skyscraper city as a “race to the sky“, he has used his camera to express his feelings about the concrete jungle… The project “…is a deep immersion into the city’s thick atmospheres and a visual record of its wildly diverse built environment. This book is like a contemplative dive into the raw nature of Hong Kong and an expression of its vertical élan.”

Jacquet-Lagreze is most inspired by the ‘geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters‘. Click here for more about the photographer, order his book here or see the series exhibited in HK next week as part of Le French May (free)…

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Click here for other photographic entries on the blog.

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