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」

很多來過香港的朋友,對香港的感覺都是:擁濟、緊張、千篇一律、處處商場名店,有時想找一些悠閒小街,總要離開市區,走到郊外。但其實,香港的市區還有寧靜的小清新,就是上環的太平山街。

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.

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太平山街位於上環太平山山腰,是一條全長300米的直街。太平山街本來是充滿義莊、殯儀館及廟宇的街頭,原因在當年英國進佔香港島後,大量華人都被逼遷至山上一帶,造成嚴重的衛生問題,終於在1894年太平山街一帶爆發鼠疫,一個月內就有數百人死去,最後政府封閉了太平山街民居,收回土地,建立大量醫院。

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.

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1880年的太平山街 Tai Ping Shan Street in 1880
(Photo from Wikipedia)
 

100年過去,太平山街發展䁔慢,殯儀及醫院慢慢不見了,只餘下幾座古老的廟宇在街頭的西邊,為我們保存著中國悠久的民間風俗。不過在太平山街的東邊,近年卻開始吸引了年輕的創意工作者進駐,可能是因為這裡租金便宜吧,慢慢地,更多的個人工作坊、獨立品牌、小型畫廊及露天咖啡室紛紛加入,營造了一個氣氛悠閒,步調和緩的創意社區。

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.

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從上環鬧市往山上走,途中經過海味集散地永樂街、是無數電影取景地的樓梯街、再經過處處古玩的摩囉上街,人潮漸漸散去,展現寧靜。街頭兩旁仍是古舊的唐樓,但地面的商舖卻充滿年輕的創意氣息,盡感放鬆舒閒,各式店面都小巧精緻,街道牆上多是塗鴉,與山下的PMQ相對,更顯藝術氣息。由於太平山街與上環市區都尚有20分鐘路程,加上沒有政府的「大力宣傳」,一般遊客甚至本地人都未必知道這街道的存在,醞釀出香港市區難得一見的優哉悠哉。

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.

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現在太平山街的店家們更漸漸形成一個小社區,我在太平山街就找到由這裡的店家們合力推出的「太平街坊」,內有附近的地圖,並介紹其中的特色小店。同時,他們正合力打造出一個「公共空間」,如在空地鋪上草地地氈讓客人休息,或在週末於街道盡頭舉辦工作坊,創造真真正正的藝術創意社區。

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.

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只可惜,香港政府就是愛規管這些事情,一一以「佔用行人道」為理由檢控,可幸的是,太平山街的店家們仍然繼續努力,以不同的形式來宣揚公共空間,空間共享的概念。

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.

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(Photo from MingPao)
 

政府近年花費大額金錢開始打造「創意空間」,但環顧數個落成的空間,如「賽馬會創意藝術中心」、「美荷樓」、以至PMQ,都有一種局促的感覺,且人流不多,反觀太平山街只靠街坊店家之力,但成功打造一個公共的創意空間,不過所謂「鼓勵」創意的政府卻由不斷打擊太平山街的街坊,實在是矛盾之極。它們何不好好參考太平山街的例子?少一點官僚?少一點官商勾結?

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.

 

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