City of Darkness: 50 Years in the Shadow Revealed in Photographs
Why We Recommend it
The exhibition explores the famous and infamous long gone Walled City of Kowloon by photographers Greg Girard and Ian Lambot and reveals the extraordinary community that cuts a dark presence in the heart of Hong Kong.
For almost 50 years, Kowloon Walled City ran without legislation and had little regard for basic services, planning and regulations or building standards. Yet, it not only survived but also positively thrived.
But how could such a place exist in a modern metropolis without administrative oversight, ‘triply neglected by the British, Chinese and Hong Kong governments? Who would choose to live there? And why?
Lambot and Girard set about photographing the Walled City shortly before its demolition prior to Hong Kong’s handover to China . A portrait of a living structure: “for all its horrible shortcomings, its builders and residents succeeded in creating what modern architects, with all their resources of money and expertise, have failed to: the city as ‘organic mega structure’, not set rigidly for a lifetime but continually responsive to the changing requirements of its users, fulfilling every need from water supply to religion, yet providing also the warmth and intimacy of a single huge household…”
Nearly 30 years later this exhibition offers a unique insight into the remarkable community that was Kowloon Walled City, home to 35,000 people at its peak and by far the most densely populated neighbourhood the world had ever known.