Hong Kong: A Promising Dystopia

Monday, June 24, 2019|

At first glance, you may think this title is contradictory: how can a dystopia be promising? Hong Kong appears to be a miraculous metropolis trademarked by a spectacular skyline of skyscrapers that symbolize our city’s status as Asia’s financial hub. The business sector hails it as the Promised Land for investors. Yet several cyberpunk movies feature a dystopia set in Hong Kong. How can these contrasting views of this city be reconciled with each other?

Cyberpunk is a genre of science fiction characterized by an oppressed society dominated by technology. Because of the injustice that arises in a lawless society, cyberpunk is often associated with dystopia. The unusual facet of Hong Kong, chaotic visual space and the exotic, slum-like noir of urban areas, has inspired the cityscapes of many cyberpunk movies, from Blade Runner (1982) to Ghost in the Shell (the Japanese anime and the 2017 Hollywood film) to the proposed animation Dragon’s Delusion by local artist Kong Kee. These stories are set in an undesirable future where people are living in an oppressive society dominated by computer technology. It is the eccentric, paradoxical aesthetics of Hong Kong that appeal to many cyberpunk film producers.

You must have heard of the (in)famous quote from George Orwell’s 1984, ‘Big Brother is watching you.’ Orwell’s dystopian narrative is influenced by widespread concerns over extensive surveillance. It is fair to say that if utopia reflects the ideals of the contemporaries, dystopia is a reflection of their anxieties. Fear of authoritarian rule and advanced technology causes people to feel constantly watched. There is no shortage of anxieties in Hong Kong about its future, particularly now.

A dystopian Hong Kong should take credit for being the ‘beacon’ to the world. Not only do the aesthetics of the city give us this title, but Hong Konger’s sentiments do as well. Threats of Chinese control in regard to the extradition bill have caused many to fear for Hong Kong’s political independence. However, in the past few weeks Hong Kongers have inspired the rest of the world with their determination to fight. Hong Kong’s people have risen up and flooded the city center in peaceful protest. In the face of impending dystopia, Hong Kongers are fighting for a better, more promising future — perhaps a Promising Dystopia.

啟迪未來建築師:巴馬丹拿集團 × 活現香港 Inspiring Future Architects: P&T Group × Walk in Hong Kong

Friday, May 10, 2019|

有冇諗過四十年後嘅中環地標建築會係點嘅樣?Walk in Hong Kong 活現香港最近再次同屹立香港 150 年嘅建築師樓巴馬丹拿集團合作,將導賞團結合模型工作坊同建築師分享會,啟迪小朋友欣賞建築嘅唔同可能性,再將自己心目中嘅建築設計活現眼前,向成為未來建築師之路進發。唔知今日喺模型裏面見到嘅大廈,四十年後會唔會成真呢?

How would our CBD look like 40 years from now? Last month Walk in Hong Kong worked with architectural firm P&T Group to organize a series of walking tours, workshops and architects’ talks. Youngsters were able to walk into the skyscrapers of our city to appreciate their cutting-edge architectural features, before showcasing their creativity and imagination in the architectural designs they create with building blocks. Will the designs by these budding architects dominate the skyline of Hong Kong in 2059?

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城市,由無數建築師嘅夢想交織而成。香港歷史最悠久嘅建築事務所巴馬丹拿集團 1868 年起為我城「築夢」,一百五十年來成就中環無數建築。香港人非常熟悉嘅畢打行、怡和大廈(康樂大廈)、交易廣場、渣打銀行大廈等等,通通都係巴馬丹拿歷年來嘅作品。巴馬丹拿將最先進嘅建築技術引入香港,又將香港嘅獨特經驗帶到全世界。

Rome was not built in a day. It takes more than a century to shape a city. Likewise, it takes decades to realize an architect’s dream. Since 1868, architects and engineers at P&T Group (formerly Palmer and Turner) have been realizing their dreams in the course of incarnating Hong Kong’s urban landscape. P&T Group played a crucial role in designing the city’s skyline — over 20 existing buildings in Central, including Exchange Square, Jardine House, Bank of China Building and Standard Chartered Bank Building (SCBB). They are the masterpieces of P&T over the years. It introduced cutting-edge building technologies to Hong Kong while at the same time leveraging local expertise and knowhow in high-density developments around the world.

過去半年間,活現香港有幸同巴馬丹拿集團合作籌劃建築導賞團,帶領參加者重新認識中環區嘅建築同發展歷程。我哋翻箱倒籠檢閱巴馬丹拿歷代建築師嘅手稿同圖則,又訪問集團內嘅資深建築師,用導賞團訴說中環以至香港嘅建築故事。舊年 11、12 月舉行嘅「築城香港百五載:巴馬丹拿中區建築行」公眾導賞團深受歡迎,超額報名接近十倍!

Walk in Hong Kong is honoured to work with P&T Group to curate a series of architectural walking tours. We had the opportunity to dig into the firm’s archives of drawings and photos. We also interviewed key architects like Remo Riva, the chief architect of the Exchange Square and SCBB projects, and heard insider stories and lesser-known facts about P&T’s various works in Central. When we formally launched the resulting “150 Years Sculpting Hong Kong’s Skyline” public tours in November and December 2018, they were oversubscribed 10 times!

今年適逢第十六屆威尼斯國際建築雙年展香港回應展,巴馬丹拿集團同活現香港再次聯手,喺 3 至 4 月舉辦結合導賞團、工作坊同建築師分享會嘅一連串「城市之夢 。與未來建築師同行」活動,希望啟發年輕一代成為未來建築師。活動主打 10-15 歲嘅青少年,參加者首先參加導賞團,由我哋嘅導遊 Olivia 由中環建築出發認識基本建築概念,然後再喺展城館用積木堆砌心目中嘅新一代中環建築。見到參加者將公共空間、行人天橋系統呢啲喺導賞團介紹過嘅 P&T 創新意念用喺自己嘅設計裏面,Olivia 都非常之感動,大讚呢班未來建築師創意無限!

As part of the 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition – Hong Kong Response Exhibition events, we adapted the public tour itinerary into a version that will inspire teenagers, and tied it with the architectural model workshops and architects’ sharing sessions P&T organized. Aspiring young participants had the chance to see the masterpieces by P&T architects and applied what they learn in designing the future cityscape. We are so glad to be part of this one-of-a-kind architectural education event.


Why are Chinese Vampires Better than Zombies and Mummies?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019|


Are you afraid of zombies? Do mummies scare you away? If you are not daunted by the living dead, you must be a brilliant warrior when zombies attack. (Let’s hope they won’t.) But even the valiant may find Chinese vampires terrifying. Yes, the Chinese have their own vampires. They are drastically different from zombies and mummies in western popular culture. In addition, they are better than them in some sense. Here’s why.

Starting with their appearance, Chinese vampires look more dapper than western zombies and mummies. Zombies that rise from graves are usually covered in rags. As for zombies manufactured in biochemical experiments, they may wear dull patient clothes. Mummies do not have the best fashion sense either. Wrapped in white cloths, they appear less luxurious and mighty than Chinese vampires. Every Chinese vampire wears a uniform. The uniform resembles the ones worn by officials of the imperial court. A dragon is sewed on a silk cloth of midnight blue.

A key feature of Chinese vampires differentiates them from zombies and mummies. While the latter can walk, jump, and run, Chinese vampires only hop. Their bodies are so hard that they cannot bend their limbs and bodies. You may find it funny, but it proves that they overpower zombies and mummies. Calculation shows that jumping rope burns a lot more calories than running at 7 miles per hour. The same applies to the moving corpses too. Chinese vampires have the stamina to hop as long as they want, while zombies and mummies need to consume something when they are tired.

The discipline of Chinese vampires also deserves our respect. Legends have it that Chinese vampires hop in a line, stretching out their arms to touch the next’s shoulders. They rarely launch lone wolf attacks as zombies and mummies do. So you will definitely be overwhelmed by the assault of Chinese vampires.

Then how can we stop them? Sorry, you can’t. Zombies can be killed if you remove their heads or take out their hearts. Mummies will roam no more if you lock them up in pharaohs’ tombs. But the best fighter just can’t stop Chinese vampires on his or her own. The Chinese say you can only stop a vampire by sticking a yellow paper on his forehead. You have to ask a wizard, who has been trained for years, to write a spell on a yellow paper.

Alright, you already know so much that you’re not supposed to know. If you insist, Walk in Hong Kong can help you enrich yourself with the forbidden knowledge. We are offering ghost tours in Wan Chai. The Chinese have an unusual attitude towards ghosts. Their ancient saint Confucius taught them to be frightened and respectful to gods and ghosts alike. So there are abundant rituals to pay tribute to ghosts. Many of them are beyond our imagination. In our Wan Chai ghost tours, you will know more about the rituals the Chinese perform to feed, pacify, entertain or even bribe ghosts. You can also taste the food that ghosts eat too.


What Do Ghosts Eat? Wan Chai Ghosts and Food Tour

Tour Name What Do Ghosts Eat? Wan Chai Ghosts & Food Tour
Date/Time Monday & Friday / 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location Wan Chai
Meeting Point Three Pacific Place, 1 Queen’s Rd East, Wan Chai
Duration Approx. 3 hours
Fee HKD 420 (adult) / HKD 250 (child aged 6-12) [All food tastings included]
Language English
Registration Book Now at http://walkin.hk/tours/ghost-myths/!


《亡友黃湛森》 – 「活現黃霑.重行深水埗」後感

Thursday, April 18, 2019|

James Wong

《亡友黃湛森》 – 「活現黃霑.重行深水埗」後感

我們剛舉行了其中一個活現香港五周年活動「活現黃霑.重行深水埗- 導賞團× 音樂會」,這是我們多年來最喜歡的導賞團之一。導賞團的講者,是黃霑生前的好友,吳俊雄博士。













James Wong Concert




《活現黃霑.重行深水埗 – 導賞團 × 音樂會》
日期:2019 年 3 月 23 日及 4 月 6 日(星期六)
主辦單位:Walk In Hong Kong 活現香港
協辦單位:黃霑書房 、Every Life Is A Song 一個人一首歌
場地伙伴:合舍 Form Society
特別鳴謝 We Like HK 冠名贊助

活現香港 × 協恩中學 @ 香港總商會商校交流計劃 Walk in Hong Kong × Heep Yunn School @ HKGCC Business-School Partnership Programme

Thursday, April 11, 2019|


活現香港身為商界嘅一份子(同埋香港總商會嘅會員),今年參與總商會舉辦嘅商校交流計劃,走入協恩中學校園。計劃上星期嚟到尾聲,協恩嘅同學仔運用我哋公司業務拓展顧問 Annie 傳授嘅講故事心法同佢哋參加導賞團嘅親身體驗,設計出四條土瓜灣文化導賞路綫,將自己學校所在社區嘅獨特建築、藝術、飲食文化同歷史介紹畀其他同學認識。


Walk in Hong Kong, a member of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, participated in the chamber’s annual Business-School Partnership Programme this year. Our company has been matched with Heep Yunn School, a prestigious girls’ school in To Kwa Wan.

On 3rd April, students from Heep Yunn presented 4 self-designed walking tour routes that showcase the distinctive architecture, art, food and history of To Kwa Wan to Annie Tong, Business Development Consultant of Walk in Hong Kong, and their fellow schoolmates. Prior to this the girls received storytelling training in the form of an executive talk by Annie, and participated in Walk in Hong Kong’s Sai Ying Pun community tour as well. They were able to make use of their first-hand tour experience and knowledge in curating the tours.

The students were given feedback by Annie and also their peers. “I thought tour guiding was easy until I tried it myself,” a student remarked during their feedback session. Annie gave the students pointers on the usage of storytelling techniques in real-life situations, and reminded them to have fun while being professional.

The soft skills learnt will definitely be helpful for the girls in their future presentations and interviews!