Monday, March 17, 2008

Refabricating City (Part I) - Central Police Station Compound

Mike and I have been doing a lot of "cultural" things lately...

We went to the Hong Kong Science Museum two weeks ago, saw the Chanel Mobile Art Exhibition last week, wandered in the Refabricating City at Central and the annual Hong Kong Flower Show at Victoria Park this weekend...etc.

Well... More on the pretty flowers in a separate post. I wanted to write about the eye-opening Urban Refabricating City night stroll at Central first. =)


What is "Refabricating City"?

I have the same question when I first saw the exhibition title. So I looked it up - "Refabricating City" is the name of the Hong Kong & Shenzen Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture Exhibition this year.


Hearing the word "refabricate" immediately made me think of "fabric". This exhibition though, is not literally about the use of "fabric" in architecture and art. Instead it's more as a metaphor; it's about the tapestry of an urban city - its old buildings, walkways, marketplaces, skyscrapers - and about how all these things are all interwoven to give the city its identity.


Supposedly the exhibition's goals are to raise public interest about urban design and redevelopment and to inspire creativity amongst design professionals.


I am not a designer or architect by a long shot; however, this type of exhibition interests me a lot!! =)

I always enjoy learning about and appreciating more of my beloved city!!


See how excited I was! Couldn't even wait to take pictures before entering the actual exhibition!!!!

The Exhibition Venue

This large scale biennale exhibition has been running for 3 months since January (and closed already last Saturday), showcasing the works of Hong Kong, mainland-China and other international artists and architects.


The exhibit itself is staged in the historic Central Police station Compound (including the now-closed Victoria prison!). Can you imagine seeing a gallery at a closed police station and a prison (at the same time)?!


The entrance of the exhibition was decorated with very tall, traditional bamboo construction scaffold.


I never thought that bamboo scaffold could look so cold, especially the top, with the pretty green plastic nets.


If you look carefully, you could see the yellow leaves laid on the green net, and the moody-looking leafy branches behind (on top?) of the net!


Yea, we took two cameras with us, since Mike already sensed that I would hog the DSLR the whole time when we were there~ ^o^ (which I totally did, haha!!)


Just like this!

The Compound Central Ground

After going through the scaffold-built entrance, the first thing entered our eyes was this vast empty ground in the middle, surrounded by the police station compounds/buildings.


The dim yellow lighting added to the atmosphere an extra historic element.


A stage with a gigantic LCD screen at the far end of the ground (with special lighting effect on stage)


On both sides of the ground you can see the historic look of the colonial buildings at the Central Police Station Compound.


I really liked this shelter-shaped tree next to one of the compounds. I wondered how long the old tree has been there...? It must have witnessed all the changes to these historical structures....


There were art pieces on both sides of the ground.


Such as this one : A holed, metal sheet forming a 3D bent shape, reflecting the light from all angles, very "urban-feeling"...


Contrasting with this "art piece" - Old-style plastic foldable tables and chairs. I used to see them often at any "Dai Pai Dong" (HK-style outdoor restaurants with cheap food/drinks) when I was little. Now, especially after SARS, I don't even see a "Dai Pai Dong" that easily anymore nowadays. =(

Sad.... I remembered how mom and dad used to like those Dai Pai Dong's milk tea and egg sandwiches so much...


I have never been in the Central Police Station in person before. So of course I won't miss any chances to fully-document my "footprint" here, heh!!

Inside the Compound


Walking up the stairs, entering the police station building. You can tell how old and historical the building is by its worn-off ceiling and walls. I am glad that the HK government has made a much larger effort in preserving historic structures with memorial values like this!!


I'd never imagine the hallway of a police station can be so pretty at night!!


The Victorian-style architecture elements can be seen everywhere...


You can even see the landmark skyscrapers of Central from the opened hallway.


I am glad we came in the evening!! (The exhibition opened till 8pm on weekend. Normally it closed at 6pm)


The exhibition occupied a total of three floors of the police station compound. Each floor had (I am guessing) about 6-10 rooms, and each room was used to host different exhibits. In addition to the police station compound, the prison (which we didn't have time to go to.... what a shame!) was also used for hosting exhibits. You can imagine how large scale it was!!!

The Exhibits

Well.... have a lot to say about the exhibits and took many awesome pictures. Unfortunately thought, it's time to go to bed for me (well... actually, way passed that).

But don't worry - I have seen too many interesting and exciting exhibits that I would not dare NOT to write about them... (uhm... double negatives?!!) haha... anyways, stay tunned for interesting urban art and architecture show off in the next post !!!

No comments: