Almanac of To | 土家曆
|Being one of the largest redevelopment projects in scale by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), Kwun Tong has evolved into a new town centre in just 10 years’ time. Many then existing buildings were demolished, and many more former residents were forced out of their old homes. Witnessing the sharp contrast of Kwun Tong before and after, the design graduate Allie So was prompted to develop her final-year project “Bonding in Kwun Tong” to reconstruct the fond memories of old Kwun Tong.
“Bonding in Kwun Tong” aims to develop a sense of belonging within the community of Kwun Tong by strengthening the bonding among individuals. Allie’s way to improve life and social network is to organise an exhibition to recall buildings of collective memories in Kwun Tong through sculpting these places on thin wooden sheets. She also believes that this artistic method could facilitate the development of a sustainable society in the future.
Seeing where Allie is coming from, the「DesignXcel」team was quick to consult Cultural Community Concern (CCC), an NGO with missions to promote the merge of cultural-social innovation and community building, to offer professional cultural advices to her for further project development. All the parties involved then met for the first time at CCC’s base “ToHome” House of To Kwa Wan Stories, only to know that the URA had just announced its acquisition plans for To Kwa Wan at $16,000/sq.ft. of effective area on the same day.
The somewhat fated news had turned Allie’s focus temporarily away from Kwun Tong to To Kwa Wan, where she would now focus her collaborative project of “Almanac of To” with CCC. The “Almanac of To” is a documentation of the daily life of To Kwa Wan residents during the renewal transition in the form of a traditional Chinese calendar. With the help and district connections of CCC, Allie participated in various community events and gatherings for interviews. The verbal history of small people in small communities she collected has eventually been consolidated into this memoir before the imminent teardown of yet another unique place in Hong Kong.
So Ka Lam, Allie | 蘇嘉琳
Cultural Community Concern | 社區文化關注
Visual Communication | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Community College