Hong Kong Snapshot (32) (With Video) Sheung Wan(4) – Tai Ping Shan Street, Oasis of HK, a public space by the community 香港随拍(32) (附有视频)上环(4) – 太平山街，香港市區的綠洲，民間發起的「公共空間」
I believe that many tourists of HK may feel HK as a crowded and tensed city. Every place seems the same with malls and malls. We need to go far away for a relaxing street. Actually, there are stills such relaxing some towns and streets in the urban area. Today I will introduce the Tai Ping Shan Street.
Tai Ping Shan Street has the same name as the Victoria Peak in Chinese. It is at the mountainside of the Peak, with length of 300m. When the British occupied HK Island, the Chinese was moved to the mountainside resulting in over population and the hygiene became worse. Finally in 1894, the bubonic plague erupted and caused massive deaths in the area. The HK Government soon closed the street and built lot of hospitals there.
1880年的太平山街 Tai Ping Shan Street in 1880
(Photo from Wikipedia)
After 100 years, the hospitals are gone and there are only a few temples remaining in the west of the street, preserving our old Chinese tradition. But at the east side of the street, there are some young creative artists moving to the street. Maybe the rental fee is cheap comparing to the Urban area, more and more workshops, local brands, art galleries and cafes move to the street. Tai Ping Shan Street becomes a young and relaxing creative community.
Walking up to Tai Ping Shan Street from Sheung Wan, we passed Wing Lok Street, a famous street for Chinese medicine; the Stair Street, popular shooting area of HK movies; Upper Lascar Row, famous street of antiques. In Tai Ping Shan Street, the stream of people is gone and we feel a peaceful environment. Two side of the street are old Tong Laus (HK old style tenements) but the ground floor are young and creative shops and workshops. The design of the shops is exquisite and we can see graffiti on the wall of the street. Comparing with PMQ downstairs, the Street is a much better expression of creativity and arts. As there is a 20 mins walk distant from the busy area, and without the “Promotion” of the government, even local people may not know the street. It shows a rare peace in HK urban area.
Now the shops owners and residents of the street is gradually forming a community. In the street I found the “Tai Ping Commons”, a small booklet published by the community who show the map of the street and introduce the shops of the street. At the same time, they are creating a “public space”, such as grass carpet on empty space of the street for people resting, and workshops in the street at weekend. They are working on a creative arts community.
But the HK government charged the shops with the reason “occupy the pavement”. Luckily, the community is still working hard to promote the concept of “public space, sharing space” in different medias.
(Photo from MingPao)
The HK government recently spends lots of money to develop “creativity space”, But from those “Creativity spaces” we can see, like the The Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre”, “Mei Ho House”, or PMQ, we can only feel cramped, stuffy. And we look back Tai Ping Shan Street. Buy the work of the shops owners and residents, the community forms a success public creativity space. But the government who are “promoting” arts and creativity is trying to ban the work of the community. I think they should take Tai Ping Shan Street as a reference and do something really good the HK.
Thanks for spending your time to read my articles. I like to share stories of Hong Kong. I wish you may support me and I will keep going!