Wan Chai is an entire universe inside a single neighbourhood. It’s the red light district of The World of Suzy Wong, a place where skyscrapers tower over prewar shophouses, where a good cup of coffee is just as easy to find as herbal tea. It’s home to family-run cha chaan teng and century-old temples – along with hip bars and boutiques.
All of this makes Wan Chai is an extremely photogenic place. It’s where Canadian photographer Greg Girard took his beautiful nocturnal photos of streets bathed in a sultry neon glow, and where German photographer Michael Wolf has captured mundane yet striking details — makeshift chairs, colourful laundry — in the district’s many back alleys.
Last spring, we teamed up with lifestyle brand Kapok and Walk in Hong Kong to offer a special journey through the streets of this fascinating neighbourhood. We revealed how Electric Street got its name, why the Blue House is blue and why Wan Chai used to be called Ha Wan. Now we’re doing it again on November 25, 2017 for those who were not able to join in the spring.
Whether you’ve been born and raised in Hong Kong or have just made the city your home, there is always enough left to discover. “The only true voyage of discovery … would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is,” wrote Marcel Proust in his renowned work In Search of Lost Time. One of the best ways to change your perception of a place is to look at it through a new lens. Photography forces you to slow down, notice the details and find beauty in unexpected places.
Our two-hour adventure will take you to The Pawn, the Happy Cake Shop, the Blue House and Pak Tai Temple, among other fascinating places. Participants will be armed with their own little time capsule: an analog disposable camera loaded with cinema film – for free. The 35mm camera is designed by Showa, a film and camera store in Hong Kong, and it comes with only 27 exposures, which means you will have to be selective with what you capture from one of Hong Kong’s most eclectic neighbourhoods.
When you’re done the walk, here’s a list with places where you can get your memories developed:
Showa, 3/F, 66, Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mongkok
Showa/Lab, Unit 1H, Poo Foo Building, 1-5 Foo Ming Street, Causeway Bay
ImagePlayground, 3/F, 11 Queen Victoria Street, Central
Megatoni Production, M/F, 188 Hai Tan Street, Sham Shui Po
Dotwell Photo Workshop, 44 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
This walk has been specially crafted by Kapok, Zolima CityMag and Walk in Hong Kong. Limited spaces are available so register now.
The walk will take place from 14:00 to 16:00, November 25, 2017. HK$490 per person. Meet at Kapok, 3 Sun Street, Wan Chai.