It’s a Wednesday night in the dog days of summer. Ah Wai’s taxi, a standard 4-seater Toyota Crown Comfort YXS10, pulls up outside the Canny Man pub on Lockhart Road. The cab’s livery and dashboard ‘for hire’ sign are ablaze with red and its roof light glows a soft yellow amidst the gaudy neon signs of Wanchai. We are taking a road trip into the world of the night shift.
This is the second in a series of articles in which we explore the cryptozoology of Hong Kong. Each month we’ll be taking a close look at one of the city’s many imaginary creatures. This is part two of our story of the Pokfulam Fire Dragon – you may want to read part one first. Continue reading “Night of the Fire Dragon”
This is the first in a series of articles in which we explore the cryptozoology of Hong Kong. Each month we’ll be taking a close look at one of the city’s many imaginary creatures. Naturally, the first addition to our mythical menagerie will be dragons. Continue reading “In Search of the Dragon”
When we arrive at the deserted Kwong Ming Shipyard after a short walk along Tam Kung Temple Road in Shau Kei Wan, Mr Au (亞神) is asleep. His dog eyes us suspiciously and barks the drowsy shipwright awake. Mr Au’s somnolence makes sense for a semi-retired 87-year-old and given the steep decline in the construction of wooden boats in Hong Kong. Boatbuilding has been his livelihood for over 60 years. Things were different in the past, and as recently as the 1990s, his yard produced most of the wooden boats built locally. Continue reading “Au Wei – Shipwright, Junk Builder”
It’s a late October morning and the city has shut down as typhoon Haima makes landfall. Despite the storm outside it’s business as usual at the Kwong Wah Printing Company on Sai Street in the quiet neighbourhood of Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan. In fact Yum Wai-sang, the second generation owner of Kwong Wah has been running his letterpress late into the night in spite of the storm. Pulling levers, turning knobs and daubing ink with a palette knife, Mr. Yum makes minute adjustments and calibrations to a huge jet black press. It inks itself and pumps out prints, by the hundred, with Teutonic precision. It pneumatically inhales paper like a champion sprinter regulates breath, with easy power. Continue reading “Yum Wai-sang, Traditional Letterpress Printer”
Since 1962 Oi Kwan Barber’s has been running out of a tin shack in an alley between two old Wan Chai tenement buildings. Over five decades the little shop on Spring Garden Lane has taken care of the neighbourhood’s barbering, serving men from all walks of life who reclined, gossiped, debated and joked while the barber, Master Lau, lathered and shaved, clipped and faded under the gentle breeze of a revolving fan. Continue reading “Mark Lau, Wan Chai Barber”
Leon Lam-Hien is a tattoo artist who operates his studio, Shitoujii, out of an old tenement building in Mong Kok. Born in South Vietnam, Leon grew up in Lyon, France. He worked as an industrial designer before becoming a professional tattoo artist 15 years ago. He’s been working in Hong Kong since 2007.