Tag Archives: Hong Kong


Wen Yau: Occupy Movement expands imagination, experience of city space


Dubbed ‘the city of protest’, Hong Kong has seen various demonstrations that effectively engaged a growing number of people and redefine their experiences of using public spaces.

According to Wen Yau from the Academy of Visual Arts, HKBU, civic-led campaigns have negotiated the desired ‘openness and transparency’ as claimed by the government and re-interpreted the site-as-an-open-platform for civil engagement in Hong Kong.

“For example, the (re-)naming of the plaza outside the Government Offices as ‘Civic Square’, making Tamar Park as an open space for autonomous learning during class boycotts, and camping on the roads during the Occupy movement have opened up our imagination of city space and let us perform our rights to the city in creative ways,” she said.

Occupation is not only a tactic of protest that allows people to voice their demand for democracy; it also facilitates the building of an ideal community by co-living in the site and continuous deliberation, she added.

By performing a high level of self-discipline and mutual support in the non-violent and peaceful protest, people are also demonstrating an ideal humanity in contrast to the frustrating social reality and unequal political system, she noted.

“Such a utopian experience of occupation, I’d argue, is the driving force of the movement even in the face of the local and PRC government’s suppression,” she said.

Wen Yau will present her paper Performing Hong Kong’s Identity: From Civic Square to Occupy Movement – A Spatial Perspective on Social Activism during the XD conference—to be kicked off coming Thursday (27 Nov). Her paper examines how these new spatial experiences have contributed to the building of public sphere in civil society and performativity of the people’s identity in these civil movements.

Designing Experience: ‘The Ballerina on the Elephant’ is a 3-day international conference on experience design (27-29 Nov 2014). Make your booking here.

Marisa Yiu

Public spaces in HK: Beyond commercial gains

Marisa Yiu

Marisa Yiu

What could transform the commerce-dominated public spaces in Hong Kong?

According to Marisa Yiu—an architect, a curator, and an educator, she tries to build a feedback mechanism that can shape new types of conversations necessary to transform sites beyond commercial gains. This could be achieved through curating and designing interactive installations that deal with public participation and pedagogy, she added.

“I examine our collective desire to inject more educational and interpretive experiences for the public’s interaction, as positive elements for societal gain within the creative and cultural
landscape of Hong Kong,” she noted.

Yiu will present her paper Curatorial Networks: Designing Alternative Landscapes to Commercial Interventions at the XD Conference. She will share case studies on the recent urban transformation
of public spaces from the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture sites along Hong Kong’s West Kowloon waterfront to the recent Value Factory venue in Shenzhen and smaller non-profit art spaces in Hong Kong.

Marisa Yiu is an architect and founding partner of ESKYIU, a multi-disciplinary architecture studio actively integrating culture, community, art and technology based in Hong Kong. She was the chief curator of the 2009 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture. Recently Yiu curated the POP-UP Studio-X Shenzhen. Yiu is also teaching at the School of Architecture, Chinese University Hong Kong.

Designing Experience: ‘The Ballerina on the Elephant’ is a 3-day international conference on experience design (27-29 Nov 2014). Make your booking here.