In an age marked by alienation between people and disintegration of communities, how shall we respond to commercialism’s inevitable intrusion into the traditional way of life?
Wanchai is a place with rich and extensive cultural and historical background. Through time, seemingly scattered neighborhoods grew amidst common collective memories, developing a strong community bond and resulting in a unique sense of place. This is evident to those who visit Wanchai and more importantly, cherished dearly by the local residents. However, the blueprint proposals for redevelopment have been nonchalant to this and instead, yield to Estate Developer’s plans of rapid commercialization. In what ways would the these plans jeopardize the existence of the traditional Chinese interpersonal values, which are deep-rooted within Wanchai’s community? How is it possible to synthesize the new and old community values through Architecture? Based on the existing proposals, the livelihood of individual shop owners and hawkers are ruined and they will have to relocate.
Low income residents will no longer be able to afford the new rents resulting in decades of community ties dissipating. Tenement buildings will be replaced and their facades, the streetscape that wraps the public spaces- the vessel for interaction between people and generator of the community life, will be gone and replaced by cold and aloof shopping malls.
Wanchai Imagined: Super Consumerism Machine by Groundwork was first exhibited in a Hong Kong cafe in 2006, then in Shanghai’s Himalaya Museum in September 2016 and Hamburg Germany in May 2017. Consumerism was a reoccurring theme that Groundwork was, and still, obsessed with.
GROUNDWORK TEAM CY Lau, Manfred Yuen
LOCATION Wanchai, Hong Kong
CLIENT Self initiated art piece
EXHIBITION Nordarts, August – October 2017, Büdelsdorf, Germany