Hong Kong / hong kong life / travel

3 Eras, One Photo – Life in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city of continual change. Often that change leaves behind little of what came before. Sometimes however rare and unusual gems of a city past can find a new leash on life and a path to preservation.

Here I give you one such example I photographed located in To Kwa Wan in Kowloon:


This photo shows 3 distinct eras of Hong Kong life and architecture. In the foreground is a Cattle slaughter house built around 1908. It was used up until the late 1990’s but is now preserved as an art place. Artists create and exhibit here amongst the preserved buildings , open yards and troughs. You can wander freely through this complex during the day to experience the unique heritage as well as the quirky art of the current artists who call these buildings home.

Meanwhile the area around this slaughter house has built up. The buildings just beyond are 1960’s developments. An emerging and optimistic Hong Kong growing into a world-class manufacturing city these buildings would have had height restrictions on them as they were built close to the old Kai Tak airport. They still stand robust and enduring over 50 years later but I can’t help and wonder how awful the smell would have been for residents when the slaughter house was still in operation.

Look beyond to the high rise towers in the distance of modern day Hong Kong life. Taller, no longer restricted by flight paths, modern and convenient to meet the demands of busy Hong Kong lives.

This is the evolution of Hong Kong old and new, side by side, enduring and ongoing.

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