Yip Jing Wei
New Mong Kok Walled City
Thesis Supervisor: A/P Bobby Wong Chong Thai
Site: Mong Kok. Hong Kong
In 2047, the ‘One Country, Two System’ agreement between China and Hong Kong would have expired and the New Mong Kok Walled City would be erected as a containment city for Hong Kong’s rioters that are involved in the turmoil of the city. Inspired by the Opium War in which the British had left an indelible scar on Qing Dynasty China, the thesis envisages the reversal of China’s worst humiliation into a solution for Hong Kong’s intensifying riots. By inoculation, the walled city becomes one of China’s state apparatus to contain rioters in a false utopia of equality and freedom while Hong Kong proceeds smoothly into 2047.
The glory of Hong Kong which the freedom fighters of Hong Kong have fought so hard for, reveals that freedom and equality are both subjective constructs in the form of a Chinese body with western ideologies. As the saying goes, the only constant is change. The perceived glory of Hong Kong that clings to the past would therefore become nothing but encapsulations in time, a memory, a nostalgia if one refuses to progress with change. With the false perception of democratic utopia, the Opium that left an indelible scar on China becomes one that offers the inability to feel pain, a moral solution for an otherwise state of anarchy beyond salvation. Alas, Hong Kong rightfully returns to China, once and for all, ending one Century of Humiliation.
New Mong Kok walled city is a thesis located in post 2047 Hong Kong. In this thesis, the proposed design is a containment walled city to contain Hong Kong’s rioters that are involved in the intensifying turmoil towards 2047 when the one country two system agreement ends.
A century ago, the Chinese Kowloon Walled City exclusively in the British domain as an embarrassment. A century later, there exists the persistence of a growing enclave of English sycophants in the Chinese domain as a reminder of the humiliation.
The Union Jack Plan
In the New Mong Kok Walled City, the illusion of false utopia continues to feed the fantasy of the rioters as glorious fighters of true democracy, one that is of equality and freedom. While the wealthy escape Hong Kong, the residents of the walled city also enjoy a sense of emancipation that the opium poppy can offer, even though it is enclosed. From above, the walled city plan gradually reveals itself as a Union Jack , a settlement of British sycophants amidst the Chinese territory.
Stuck In Time
The preparation of containment begins with the hausmann bulldozing of what remains in Mong Kok, essentially exposing the interior of Hong Kong’s tenement buildings and its interior condition. In contrast with the new materials of glass cladding, the living exhibition within each floor offers a small snippet of Hong Kong that was stuck in the past as the world continues to progress forward. In the new Mong Kok Walled City, equality here is inspired by the precedence of the cage home, where the denominator of poverty is an identical and mass-produced cage unit. Therefore, in order to house the large numbers of rioters in the containment city, such a strategy of an identically mass-produced living unit is adopted as a form of control over the masses whereby the process of inoculation can take place during the rioter’s sleep.
Compared to the traditional steel cage home which denotes the first industrial age and its analog aesthetics, the aesthetic change in 2047, almost a hundred years apart, denotes the reification of the new network society of the digital age, even though the concept of the cage home is in fact, stuck in time, in an unfortunate recurrence.