In the January edition of the Urban Diary, we feature Siu-chak and Fredie. Siu-chak is a professional clown and Fredie is an independent film maker. They opted for a career that deems lonely and uneasy in this highly capitalistic city. Although the macro-environment is not favourable to their pursuit, it is not impossible. One possibility comes from the seemingly obsolete industrial buildings. Built to house manufacturers decades ago, a substantial amount of spaces in industrial buildings are taken up by the creative sector.
Siu-chak is a self-made professional clown as Hong Kong offers many opportunities for him to learn various artistic skills. He made a bold move early this year and this audacious act wouldn’t be possible if Hong Kong doesn’t have industrial buildings that provide relatively inexpensive space. He rented a 600-sq.ft office in an industrial building near Kwai Fong MTR station. With this space, he can practice overnight, have business meetings, run training workshops and store the gigantic stage tools. He explained to us that industrial building is his only option because commercial buildings are too expensive and restrictive for him to run a creative business.
Fredie can focus on unprofitable projects because he shares working and living space in an industrial building with five like-minded friends. This helps on suppressing expenditure to the minimum. We promised not to disclose the location of his home because rules in Hong Kong prohibit people living in industrial buildings. Fredie likes Hong Kong because this city still has grey area where he can have fun. He introduced Lai to us. Lai is a vocalist, lyricist and drummer. He has been living in various lofts for more than 10 years. The musician showed us his converted apartment, also in an industrial building.