Hong Kong’s public spaces have radically changed since September 26. Here are some of its new landmarks, including many from just this week.
Road signs with new features:
Umbrella’d pedestrian at Admiralty station.
Brainwashing alert on Tim Hei Avenue, next to LegCo.
At Mong Kok, a careful revision of “Do Not Enter.”
As well as roads with new names:
Tim Mei Avenue has been renamed.
as has Nathan Road, across the harbor in Mong Kok.
Connaught Road Central has become Long Drive.
Alongside entire new districts, heading “True” instead of “West.”
I love the umbrella sculptures:
A bouquet in the center of the traffic circle opposite LegCo on Tim Mei.
A better photo of it, in daylight.
and in Mong Kok, a ship holding up striped sails,
whose umbrellas themselves are striped with slogans.
Also at Mong Kok, individual umbrella canvases.
And back at Admiralty, a pastel rainbow highway divider.
And broken umbrellas stitched together by Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts Students. Photo Credit Alex Ogle.
My favorite is this elegant skeletal monument in the square outside LegCo.
There are other kinds of ribbon art:
The slim majority vote, 689/1200, received by C.Y. Leung, on the United Centre overpass.
A transparent wall beneath LegCo.
And near it, a pillar of wishes.
This street sign got its own giant ribbon hug.
And in Mong Kok, an interactive timeline equipped with pen and paper, so passersby can add.
The original creative barricades have mostly been cleared:
Admiralty Station Exit A, Monday September 29.
Causeway Bay avatar, Hennessey Road, Monday September 30.
The “Democracy Wall,” a bus in Mong Kok referencing China’s Democracy Wall Movement of 1978-1981, Wednesday October 1.
But Mong Kok, at least, has rebuilt its barricades artfully, out of materials at hand:
including HK public works standbys like the orange rubbish bins and green mini-bus stops,
and hardhats, traffic cones, cement bags, and the green netting which usually clothes buildings under construction.
Even one of HK’s behemoth sorted-recycling bins.
The northernmost barrier, made entirely of wooden pallets and bamboo scaffolding,
features a monument to the bus that’s no longer there.
The paper art is going strong:
The first stages of Admiralty’s “Lennon Wall,” Wednesday evening, October 1.
Which stretched all the way up the pedestrian ramp by Thursday night.
And migrated to umbrellas and “No Entry” signs, protected from the rain by plastic wrap.
By Tuesday October 7, it had become a dense, fluttering monument,
covering every available surface
including a wall cubby, complete with post-it curtains.
The exterior wall of the LegCo complex’s amphitheater has become a gallery.
Which includes a multitude of caricatures of C.Y. Leung:
In this one opposite the wall, he even gets his own umbrella.
And very professionally done, a triad film poster starring C.Y. Leung and the gang. Leung holds the Bank of China Tower like a shiv.
And some cameos by incongruously familiar faces:
Paddington. With a tear at his eye?
….and Beavis and Butthead, surrounding this sincere-looking clerical fellow.
Designs range from professional-grade, to home printing, to mimeographs colored in with highlighter:
and even include body art.
Admiralty is home to multiple iterations of the post-protest Hong Kong flag:
Black and white.
and billowing color.
While Mong Kok’s stretches of blockaded street have become a gallery of installation and performance art:
And Mong Kok’s protest newly emphasizes the core principles of the original Occupy Wall Street movement.
a neighborhood map of Mong Kok, with independent local businesses marked.
The sign in the center says “recommend your neighborhood shops.”
And this sign repurposes what looks like a commercial real estate banner.
While this ATM is overwhelmed by its company.
They’re not shops, exactly, but there is some local arts entrepreneurship happening:
A busking didgeridoo player.
And a guy who has presumably relocated from one of Mong Kok’s actual pedestrian malls.
Mong Kok, the heart of Hong Kong’s bargain commercialism, turns out to be capacious enough to accommodate protesters, artists, entrepreneurs and critics of any and all those things. And even, last night, table tennis.
More to come as I find it.