Mapping the pulse of Sham Shui Po
Exploring the integration of Past and Present
around one of the oldest districts in the heart of Hong Kong
Sham Shui Po has a long history of East-meets-West as well as an ever-evolving diversity. It’s said to be one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the world - a place where new and old can seamlessly assimilate to create a distinctive identity unique to this historical district.
The SHAM SHUI PO IS STILL SHAM SHUI PO map is an exciting project and representation of the neighbourhood. It features four suggested trails that take us on a parallel journey exploring the past and present, highlighting the complementary integration of the old and new.
The detailed map takes into consideration the many facets and features Sham Shui Po has to offer, from historical landmarks, bustling shopping streets, and local eateries, to art communities and creative design stores. All with the hope to encourage people to experience and ultimately re-discover Sham Shui Po.
Through the visual language of one of the most significant comic artists in Hong Kong, Li Chi Tak (who could in fact be considered a Hong Kong treasure himself), the map demonstrates his distinctive artistic style that tells miniature stories of the district and inspires the observer to explore the area themselves.
The creation of this map serves as a reminder of the value behind the historical landmarks and commerce, one that should be treasured for the collective memories and connections within the local community, both old and new.
Facing displacements by an influx of new infrastructure, we must not forget the seeds planted by the previous generation, but rather learn to preserve and treasure the significance of the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood. Let’s honour the past, as we move forward together and pave the way for the future.
About Li Chi Tak
❝ There is no need to differentiate alternative comics from commercial comics, for the so-called 'alternative' is just another side of the commercial. Comics is at the same time a form of art. ❞ - Li Chi Tak
Li began his career in the comics industry in 1982. After working for a corporate comics publisher in Hong Kong for a month, he decided to start his own venture as a freelancer. Following on from the release of The Wisely series, he self-published Tong Men Shao Nian, a prominent title which rocketed him to fame in 1987. He has since developed a distinctive art style, creating his own visual world with eerily experimental works that broke genre rules.
Black Mask, Assassins, Tien Yao Ji, Superbaby, Little Strawberry, and K are major works that he created in the early stage of his career. Selected publications from this decade include The Voyager, The Lover, and Folio, Little Circle, Vicious and Solar Eclipse.
Li’s transmedia creations transcend the boundary of comics and expand into movies, experimental theatres, literature, pop music and sculptures. His idiosyncratic style has attracted the attention and commissions from local and international brands such as Nike, New Balance, IdN, Uniqlo, Starbucks and Hong Kong International Airport.
Li is also well-known to the international comics scene. His comics have been published in places like Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Mainland China, France and Italy since the 90s.
In 2016, the Hong Kong Arts Centre had jointly curated Li’s solo exhibition with the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France as one of the Festival’s thematic exhibitions. His French comics The Beast, a collaborative project with the famous Belgian writer Jean Dufaux, was released at the same time. This solo exhibition had given birth to another international cooperation opportunity. Li was invited by the Louvre Museum to create a new comics Moon of the Moon. The French version has been released in November 2019 in Europe, with a Hong Kong Chinese version keenly in preparation by local publisher, Today Publications.