“Culture is ordinary, in every society and in every mind”
Raymond Williams, 1958
Integer is grateful for the opportunity of mapping out the cultural chronicles of Wan Chai. In this collaboration with the Cultural and Leisure Services Committee of the Wan Chai District Council, we documented the daily tales of 20 cultural practitioners in the district. For us, culture is not confined to orchestra performing in concert halls, or art work exhibited in museums. Culture is ordinary. Culture manifests in everyday life.
Thus, in Tales of Wan Chai: A Cultural Chronicle, we collected tales of the fishing folks practicing the traditional water craft in the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter; fire dragon dancers sprinkling best wishes to their neighbourhood in Tai Hang; young people busking in Time Square; book-lovers ventured into the bookstore business to provide more reading options; art group running cultural fair in the Victoria Park to make art accessible, an individual regenerated an historical mansion and turned it into a museum, art administer collaborating with independent musician, together they run regular outdoor music shows; church-goers preserving an old cinema building and open-up to the community, or the hundred-year-old Po Leung Kuk’s renovation plan so to respond to cotemporary demand
Vibrant, diverse and friendly, Wan Chai is where the cultural practitioners transform ordinary spaces into unique places where the kaifong mingle, experiencing arts and culture. Because of them, Wan Chai is a cultural mecca.
Culture thrives on talents. We ran a series of creative writing workshops for the younger generation of writers. Their writings are included in this book.
Without the support of the Wan Chai District Council, neither the book, nor the writing workshops would become reality. Our utmost gratitude to the Cultural and Leisure Services Committee and the District Council.