After the 1997 reunification, Hong Kong did not have a huge creative scene because it was so driven by cooperative consumerism. But in recent years the creative class of Hong Kong made up a small portion of dichotomies, giving diversities and growing opportunities like pop-up galleries, westernized cafes, street arts and innovation.
Hong Kong has now got a unique culture combining East and West together and there is no other place like this. Being born in such a diverse city, we embrace the fine lines between traditions and the modernisation of both Cantonese culture and Western influences.
Carnaby Fair will feature an expansive series of Hong Kong urban cultures, from the dense environments to high rise architectures that construct the modern lifestyle we have today; City planners went wild with housing designs in the 60s and 70s so this is a treat for all photography geeks out there!
1. Sheung Wan’s Soho Youth Movement
Sheung Wan is one-of-a-kind, it is the most culturally explored town in Hong Kong. It is being interpreted as ‘Upper District’ or ‘Gateway District because it was the first location where the British first entered and occupied Hong Kong. It is relatively high ground compare to Central, which is the most financially globalized area in Hong Kong and we are able to spot numerous Wall Street alike here. There are numerous restaurants catered only to international customers, and the youth movement began when international students came back with hype street brands, basement clubs, and pop-up art cafes.
2. PMQ, Hollywood Road
PMQ was a former Police Married Quarters. In April 2014, it has been revitalized into a creative hub for local design talents. The whole building was transformed into residential units for design studios, shops for creative enterprises and exhibition spaces. The mission is to nurture local designers, providing a stage for creative happenings and an experience of creative lifestyle. There are no other places other than PMQ that you will find exhibitions spaces with wow backdrops to express your photographic senses.
3. Streets in Sham Shui Po
“The Real Hong Kong is on the Kowloon Side.”
We are very grateful because places like Sham Shui Po still exist. Sham Shui Po is an old district in Hong Kong- It is where all the street markets, second-hand ghetto goods, electronics, and fabrics are from. If you can’t find anything here, you can’t find it anywhere else! It is cheap, plentiful and traditional! Last year, ‘HKWalls’ came together to collaborate an Art festival in bringing new life to Shan Shui Po, it was a very special art movement where it combines New and Old, and working class with imaginations. It wasn’t easy to convince the tight-knit community to host such expat-centric activity, but the people were willing and very energetic to learn! This is the true spirit of Hong Kong people!
4. Montane Mansion, 1028 King's Rd, Quarry Bay
This is often called the 'Monstrous Buildings", due to the overwhelming claustrophobic symmetrical composed by Hong Kong’s housing estates architectures. In the 70’s, Hong Kong was on the brink of overpopulation. There were too many people and not enough housing. To alleviate that problem, the city developed large housing facilities in Quarry Bay. One of these estates is the Montane Mansion.
"All it takes really is a keen eye for finding the beauty in the monotonous; the everyday structures that we often fail to appreciate.“
5. Wontonmeen Hostel
Wontonmeen Hostel understands the struggle for creative people, they aim to provide satisfying loft for starving artists to rest their heads. In respect, they also transferred the 11 Storey old shop house into an eccentric tenant mix, a unique and diverse living space that is buzzing with art and creativity. It is a mixture of vintage furniture gallery, bicycle store, coffee shop and Hong Kong’s aesthetics. To those who don’t need a stay, it is also the place for vibe photography!
6. Mido Cafe, Cha Chaan Teng
This place brings back the 80s Wong Kar Wai vibe. A throwback to Carnaby’s personal all time favorites ‘As Tears Go By’, ‘Fallen Angels’, ‘In The Mood For Love’ and Chungking Express, this Cha Chaan Teng resonate on the melancholy, great historical moments. It is definitely amazing for photography, but the best part is you can enjoy a cup of local hot milk tea and a buttery pineapple bun too.
7. Choi Hung Estate
Built in 1962, Choi Hung Estates houses over 18,000 people. Rumor has it that the government chose a colorful theme as a way to raise the spirits of its people. As a result, the buildings are a spectacular palette of hues that is delightful to the eyes. A family couldn’t resist taking photos with the colorful courts. The palm trees also add a nice tropical touch, reminiscent of Miami Beach.
8. Instagram Pier
A cargo loading area doesn’t sound like a great photo spot, but Western District Public Cargo Working Area in Sai Wan is one of the best. Although it’s not technically a public space, if you go when it’s safe (when they aren’t unloading cargo), you can get panoramic views of Victoria Harbour. This is the spot where people get what are known as “mirror of the sky” images. After rainfall, the layer of water on the ground makes for some beautiful, reflective shots of the sky.