Hong Kong as an enclave of East meets West has been a source of identity crisis; yet from it emerges inspiration. Hong Kong is simultaneously an ex-British colony, a Chiense territory, and a global city. The broken Chinese heritage operates under a western political system while striving as a financial node of the region.
An amalgam of 'Chineseness' and modernity emerges from such conundrum. Vivienne Tam and Goods of Desire are two brands typical of "Chinese-postmodernism," through which a culture superimposes upon another.
Usage of self-exotification can also be observed in Hong Kong architectural movement, such as in the Community Museum Project (CMP). The small collective founded in 2002 takes the concept of the museum as a method to represent everyday life and values of Hong Kong. It documented the disappearance of small print shops in the Wanchai district before its demolition in 2005.
The documentation capitalises upon the "politics of disappearance" in which it juxtaposes its Chinese heritage against the modern force. The tension surrounding urban development and reconstructing a district takes on a cultural rhetoric due to its bicultural nature.
Conversely, the complexity of the city's identity is a design opportunity. Buildings such as PMQ and ComixHomeBase in Wanchai where the buildings attempt to combine the two cultures rather than juxtapose them.
While the case of CMP is an example of using the cultural dichotomy to make a case against expanding urbanisation, the dichotomy can conversely be used for construction of urban structure with a theme.
Ref/ Back to the Future, or Forward? Hong Kong Design, Image, and Branding by Hazel ClarkPhoto/ ColonialHongKong.com