While personally I got very, very tired of those boring and overflowing instagram selfies in front of painted walls around the world, it is not the paintings that annoy me, but more the mainstream individuals posing in front of them. As a world metropolis, Hong Kong, of course, features many photogenic hotspots for wannabe influencers, so during this layover I headed out towards Hollywood Road on Hong Kong Island. But instead of promoting myself, it was more important to me to draw the attention to the artwork itself. And it proved once again, that a graffiti does not need a person in front or have to be huge to leave an impression or to add to the surroundings.
Spray art has been a rather unwanted and controversal discussed form of art for many. many decades in many societies. Though I personally have found it always (if well-done) to be definitely worth considering to be some sort of Pop Art and therefore a complement to big city skylines, it took some time until artists and sprayers have truly developed a style that was finally accepted by the public as an artwork, rather than damage to property.
Having another Hong Kong layover and after being on the ground for almost three weeks, I was sparked to explore another piece of a city that is more and more becoming one of my favorites around the world. But this time, I wanted to do something different from walking through temple premises. I was in the mood for a bit of art and culture, yet wanted to spend the sunny day in the open air rather than an acclimatized museum (though it was so hot and humid, that I probably would have done better staying inside 🙂 ).
So after a little research in the internet and on blogs, I finally decided that it would not be a bad idea to head over to HK Island and stroll along Hollywood Road, just off the Mid Level Escalators. This area, which is also quite famous for antique stores, seemed to be quite promising for finding authentic spray art without having to wait in a line until the next person was done with his/her selfie. And it proved right.
I love this neighborhood. You will find tons of cute little antique shops that come after one another scattered with stylish bars, cafés and restaurants. A wonderful place to spend an entire afternoon if you enjoy to pass your day with strolling around and soaking up the atmosphere. Or when you are on the hunt for wall art. It is also home to my favorite Taoist temple in Hong Kong, Man Mo temple.
How far you want to go after Hollywood Road has merged into the busy Queen´s Road West is, of course, up to you. But once I got sparked with wanderlusting to the left and the right into decayed little side streets, it was difficult to actually stop.
So in the end, I suddenly found myself in Sai Wan, one of the most Western districts on Hong Kong Island. A place where hardly tourists find their way to and where the air is filled with the scents of exotic spices and the street life is colorful. An “authentic Hong Kong experience” if you would like to put it this way. Before heading back to the hotel to seek shelter from the merciless sun and the outrageous heat, I continued to walk zig zag around and watch the locals negotiate prices with the spice shop owners. A life so different 9000 miles away from home.