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STREET LIFE

In Hong Kong, many shops still carry out an outdoor business such barbers, noodle stall, street food restaurants ("Dai Pai Dong"), fortune teller, papercraft master, sewer shop, refreshment shop and so on...

Chow Kee shop
Many old traditional shops are being forced to close to make way for new towers or because they cannot afford expensive rents.
Chow Kee shop
One of them is Chow Kee shop which deals with paperwork associated with traditional ceremonies (Hungry Ghost Festival or locally known as Yu Lan festival). His shop had been on Stauton Street since one century.
Chow Kee shop
Chow Kee shop

The papercraft and offering store, Chow Kee, stands out due to the lanterns and Chinese decorations in various shapes of red decorating the front.

Paper body of the Hungry Ghost king
The old papercraft master born in year 1920 still makes the paper effigy of the Hungry Ghost king on Aberdeen Street from scratch. During the Hungry Ghosts festival, he creates a five-meter tall "Ghost King" and other figures from paper and bamboo.
Paper body of the Hungry Ghost king

In year 2008, the old papercraft master was forced out of his century-old shop because of the high rent but finally found a new shop on neighbouring Elgin Street.

A businessman even had offered the old papercraft master a space in Tsim Sha Tsui but he preferred to stay in the neighbourhood as most of the customers are long-time residents of the neighbourhood, who drop by on their way to shop and chatter away.
Chow Kee shop
Chow Kee shop

Mr Chan's skilful hands have created large paper sacrifices for traditional religious functions and delicate goldfish lanterns.

Old shop in Wan Chai
The economic boom and the lack of government backing (no cheap rental for traditional crafts) have placed many traditional festivals in danger of disappearing. There is a wish to have them recognized as intangible heritage items.
Old shop in Wan Chai
It is really good luck to take such photo because almost no generation in Hong Kong pick up such skill nowadays.
Chow Kee shop
Chow Kee shop
Chow Kee shop
Mr Chan still works one to two hours a day. He is leaving in a shop house.
Chow Kee shop
Chow Kee paper shop is located in Central district on Hong Kong island. Mr Chan, old papercraft master, is still working there. In June and July he is always working on the paper effigy of the Hell King that will be displayed on Aberdeen Street during Hungry Ghost festival.
Chow Kee shop
Chow Kee shop
Central Yu lan Papier Mache Master Chow Kee shop - has been on Stauton Street since one century. Aberdeen Street G/F, 14E Elgin St., Central At the Ghost Festival, Chan has been commissioned to make a paper Ghost King that is over 20 feet tall. According to Chan, the 1930s was the prime period for the ritual paper craft business. He was once asked to make a multitude of special paper crafts such as a puppet box for a mechanical puppets show Chiu Kee makes a 2-storey tall Ghost King

More pictures of Mr Chan to be added SOON in August 2011.




Click here to discover a book about Mr Chan



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