Urban Diary
未來故事 永續香港|Sustainable Future, Hong Kong Tales
Diarist's Notes
19 March 2023

“Hong Kong Faces and Places Graduation Exhibition: Dear Communities” was successfully concluded on 12 March. You are welcomed to revisit the creative works of our participants on our website and continue the journey of exploring communities.

The last graduation exhibition was held on 4/F of a tong lau. To arrive at the exhibition space, visitors had several flights of stairs to climb. Both their strength and sincerity were put to the test. This time we had the exhibition at the mall, which was more convenient and accessible. Maybe that was one of the reasons why it attracted so many passers-by. Those who had brunch at the café opposite, or those who just shopped at the bookstore coincidentally changed their itinerary to watch the exhibition because of a single spark of curiosity.

Unfolding the tabletops to appreciate the exhibits, they wanted to find out what, who and where the works were about. What story does each piece of work endeavour to present, and what was so special about it? What kind of people were the participants of our programme? Why were they so passionate about creating something for the communities they are interested in?

Visitors resonated deeply when reading the stories related to their personal experience.

 “I live in Shau Kei Wan. I feel so familiar when I see that painting, as I always go to the Lei King Wan promenade for a walk too.”

 “My mother was also a garment worker. I was kind of a kid who grew up in a factory. Winning one’s bread with bare hands is really down-to-earth.”

Borrowing the lens of others, they re-discovered the community they are used to and saw the neglected details, such as a particular tree, some types of birds or a corner perfect for daydreaming.

 “I have been living in Mei Foo for more than two decades and had no idea about the names of trees planted in my neighourhood. Now I finally know them!”

 “Living in Tai Po for so long, I’m so surprised to know there is a secret place I have never been to.”

We imagine, people who came across this exhibition would also start to pay more attention to their daily life, in turn attempt to observe their surroundings and empathise with others. Ordinary things, such as footbridges in Tai Po, a mini meadow next to a minibus stand, or construction workers at sites in Hung Shui Kiu, can all lead to further contemplation, questioning and experimentation. Even if visitors are not familiar with the subject portrayed, they can get to know them with reference to the community stories they have read.

The semester VII of Hong Kong Faces & Places has started. We are still eagerly curious about the diversity and richness of sustainable community imagined by this season’s participants.

Leanne Wong

Diarist's Notes