Outside The Margin: Remembering King of Kowloon


Outside The Margin: Remembering King of Kowloon

City of Victoria Sketching Tour by Frank Tang

Date & Time

17 Jul 2021 10am-5pm


F Hall Studio


Free of charge


Tai Kwun Contemporary’s current exhibition INK CITY sets out an expanded vision of ink art firmly grounded in current social, political, and aesthetic concerns, featuring artists inspired by immediate encounters with contemporary life. Often caught between an overwhelming urbanism and intimate brushes with everyday life, the artists offer keen observations, commentaries, and sometimes even deconstructions of contemporary culture and society through their artworks.

Self-proclaimed as “King of Kowloon”, Tsang Tsou-Choi’s works featured in the exhibition INK CITY. He has spent years covering electrical utility boxes around Hong Kong with wild graffiti-like calligraphy. For decades since the 1950s, to the frustration of the authorities, these writings appeared all over the city on public surfaces and were viewed as a visual symbol of Hong Kong. What is most defining in these works by Tsang Tsou-Choi is that his activities did not take place in officially recognised art venues nor were they intended to be seen as artwork. Yet as the curator and writer Hou Hanru astutely affirms, Tsang “is a genuine insider of a specific social reality in a city like Hong Kong, where the real creative energy and efficient modi operandi exist and function exactly in the space beyond the officially sanctioned rules. A grassroots culture of independent thinking and action, the culture of DIY (Do-It-Yourself), is the very core of everyday life.”

As 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tsang Tsou-choi, we invite guests from various fields who are familiar with Tsang to share their stories of Tsang with the audience:

Morning Section Rundown


Film Screening: King of Kowloon

10:30am-12pm Lau Kin Wai: Ink Art Now and King of Kowloon

anothermountainman (Stanley Wong): King and Mountain Man Spent A Day Together

Afternoon Section Rundown


Jehan Chu: Activating the Past: The Future of the King of Kowloon Community

3pm-4pm Joel Chung: The (In)Visible

MC Yan: King of Kowloon and Graffiti Culture

This event will be conducted in Cantonese and English, with simultaneous interpretation.

*Tai Kwun will adhere to the latest health and safety regulations and enforce social distancing measures.

Speakers Bio

Lau Kin Wai
anothermountainman (Stanley Wong)
Jehan Chu
Joel Chung
MC Yan

Lau Kin Wai received his Master of Fine Arts at Chinese University of Hong Kong; he focused on art criticism and exhibition curation after graduation. At 1997, Lau curated “Street Calligrapher: Tsang Tsou Choi”, which brought King of Kowloon into the context of white cube galleries and the art scene, and began discussing his calligraphy work in an intellectual fashion. He had published art criticism collections Landscape in the Mirror and Moveable Landscape, and the monograph on King of Kowloon,The Street Calligraphy of Tsang Tsou Choi. He is now a columnist for Hong Kong Economic Journal and the founder of Kin’s Kitchen.

A visual communicator, Stanley Wong gained international awareness with his ‘redwhiteblue’ series, portraying the ‘positive spirit of Hong Kong’, which he presented at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005, representing Hong Kong. He established 84000 Communications in 2007, branching out his creative career.

Wong is the recipient of more than 600 local and international awards for his art, design, photography and advertising works. Many of his art works have been exhibited in local and overseas galleries and museums, while collectors include Hong Kong M+ Museum and London V&A Museum. Wong was awarded the Artist of the Year 2011 (Visual Arts) from Hong Kong Arts Development Awards and was named DFA 2020 World’s Outstanding Chinese Designer.

Jehan Chu is Founder and Managing Partner at Kenetic, an early blockchain technology VC. Chu is a Kauffman Fellow, co-Founder of Social Alpha Foundation, a blockchain for social impact non-profit, and former Board member ParaSite (2008-2019). He is the Crypto Advisor to Christie’s Auction House and sits on the Director’s Circle of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Chu is also the publisher of The King of Kowloon: The Art of Tsang Tsou-choi and Google Cultural Institute's "King of Kowloon: Life and Art of Tsang Tsou-choi".

Born in 1965 in Hong Kong, Chung grew up in a squatter settlement in Diamond Hill. After finishing secondary school, he studied commercial and industrial advertising design at the First Institute of Art & Design before working in the advertising and film industry. He also previously studied in Japan and managed museum construction in Taiwan. Since 1988, as an avid collector, he has organised exhibitions both on his own and with different institutions, and has donated a number of his private collection to the Hong Kong Museum of History and Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Over the years, he has served as consultant and curator of numerous local cultural exhibitions, and hosted public workshops and talks in an effort to expand the society’s understanding of and interest in local culture and history. In recent years, he aims to establish the world’s first permanent Hong Kong children cultural centre featuring children’s literature, toys, stationeries, and materials on history of education. He has published Object: Tales of Photo Studio 1, Tales of Stationery: Writing History Through Time, and a series of books on the King of Kowloon, among other publications.

A graffiti artist, Hong Kong rapper, and who many call the ‘godfather of Chinese hip hop’, MC Yan still spits what we think. Most recognised for co-founding Cantonese hip hop group LMF in 1993, the group quickly became the voice for the underclass in Hong Kong. MC Yan himself grew up in the 2000s in the suburbs of the American west coast. As a seminal figure and legend in Chinese hip hop, MC Yan continues to channel the sentiment of the working class and underrepresented in Hong Kong, amplifying a narrative often overlooked in the mainstream.

Tai Kwun Treats

“Tai Kwun Treats” are now available for the participants of this programme! Get the vouchers and enjoy various privileged offers at designated shops and restaurants.

Get more details!