Hello 麗閣！Hello Lai Kok!
Hello, welcome to Lai Kok Shopping Centre! It was built in 1977 and has stood in Sham Shui Po for more than four decades, witnessing the development of this neighborhood. In 2019, Lai Kok Shopping Centre re-emerged as an edgy shipping container shopping centre, bringing a novel experience to our neighbours and visitors.
People’s Place collaborates with a local artist to create a series of murals, presenting the stories of Sham Shui Po as well as Lai Kok Estate. Once again, we are pleased to see you here.
洋紫荊上的麻雀 Sparrows on the Bauhinia
麻雀, 正名 「樹麻雀」, 是香港普遍常見的鳥類，牠們喜愛在人煙稠密的地方上生活。麻雀富有生命力而且適應能力強。跟據香港觀鳥會的麻雀普查，全香港麻雀數量最多正是深水埗區。
Sparrows are commonly found in Hong Kong. They love living in densely populated places and are of great vitality and adaptability. According to a sparrow census conducted by the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, Sham Shui Po district has the largest number of sparrows in Hong Kong.
There is a fire hydrant close to the wall, making the graffiti design more difficult. The artist, however, turns such defect into part of the painting creatively. The fire hydrant has become a branch of the Bauhinia blakeana, our city flower, letting the sparrow rest on it. This piece of work instantly becomes a three-dimensional space.
Po, means valuables in Chinese. In Sham Shui Po, you can find surprises and treasures everywhere. For instance, you can buy a variety of electronic equipment and uncommon electronic appliances in Apliu Street, also known as the “men’s heaven”. Right next to it is Ki Lung Street, a place where you can fine clothing materials such as buttons and zippers. Meanwhile in Yu Chau Street, you will discover bead jewelries that perfectly match with your outfits. Looking for groceries? You may go to Nanchang Street nearby. You can always enjoy treasure hunting in Sham Shui Po no matter what you are looking for.
The artist applies Chinese calligraphy in showing those familiar street names. Meanwhile, he blends the Chinese characters with the treasures you can find in Sham Shui Po.
醒獅 / 獅子頭貨車 Lion Dance and Lion Head Lorry
Since the 1960s, Sham Shui Po has been famous for its textile wholesale market, with a wide range of goods from ready-to-wear, fabrics, tools and toys. There are lorries and trucks going around in this bustling area all the time. Meanwhile, if you look at those lorries carefully, you may find them look like the head of the gigantic lion used in the traditional Guangdong lion dance, that’s why those lorries are also called “Lion Head Lorry.”
These “lions” have been running in this buzzy place over the past decades. It is naturally considered as another kind of “Lion Rock Spirit”!
In this mural, the artist pays tribute to the Hong Kong Lion Rock Spirit by merging the lion dance and lorry. He also paints with the colours of the classic red-white-blue canvas bags, which originated in Hong Kong in the 1960s.
Put on the 3D glasses and cover one eye, you will see two different images of a lion dance and a lion head lorry.
麗閣 / LAI KOK
相信舊街坊對於作品上「麗 / 閣」兩字形狀並不陌生。麗閣邨於八十年代興建，當時的設計師在東京街巴士總站對出的牆身，用磁磚碰湊成簡化版「麗」和「閣」兩字。雖則設計簡約，但對於每天經過的街坊卻是一種集體回憶。
此作品特意保留原有「麗閣」 兩字形狀，利用地道的紅白藍經典配色，重新呈現在街坊眼前。戴起以往流行的紅藍眼鏡，用手遮蓋一邊眼睛，會發現除了「麗閣」，還有「LAI KOK」的英文拼音。作品展現出麗閣商場的活化理念，在改造及加入特色設計同時，亦保留區内原有特色。
Folks are probably familiar with the image of this “Lai Kok” Chinese characters on the wall. Lai Kok Estate was built in the 1980s, the designer at that time used tiles to make a simplified version of the Chinese words Lai Kok. This simple design has become a collective memory of the people living around.
This piece of work retains the original shape of the word Lai Kok, while re-paint it using the classic red white and blue colour. Put on your 3D glasses and cover one eye, you will see, apart from the Chinese characters, Lai Kok’s English name.
The mural shows the revitalisation spirit of Lai Kok Shopping Centre, transforming the Centre while keeping its original characteristics.