On Christmas Day in 1953, a fire swept across the shanty hillside village of Shek Kip Mei. Overnight, 53,000 people lost their homes. Within two years, the displaced people were re-housed as the site was transformed into Hong Kong’s first mass housing scheme. By 2007, most of these buildings were demolished to make way for new housing. The factory complex that houses the G.O.D. Street Culture Museum is one of a few that has been preserved.
The name “Shek Kip Mei” sounds as curious in Cantonese as it does in English. For the name of the museum, we substituted the word “Mei” meaning “end” for “Hei”. This is an archaic slang word, it can be loosely translated to mean “messing around”. Our intention is to create a congenial atmosphere for anyone who may be interested in Hong Kong culture.
To many, the concept of Hong Kong culture is still a mystery. Many details require research and academic study. This is in stark contrast with other advanced cultures whose every detail has been thoroughly documented. The fact that we lack a common understanding of our culture is one of the reasons why so very few local designers draw inspiration from our native culture. The collection of paraphernalia in this museum represents our definition of Hong Kong culture. With this collective resource, we hope to inspire other designers.
In the commercial world, very few designers are able to enjoy the luxury of conducting their own research. They often resort to books, magazines or on-line data. Such information is predominantly of the western and international variety, there is seldom any Hong Kong material.
This collection represents Hong Kong’s street culture. Many items are recovered from the streets. They exist in the twilight zone of junk and antique. They are not old enough to be true antiques, but are not new enough to satisfy today’s functional requirements. They are discarded because they have outlived their purpose. Many of the objects show signs of use; its patina gives it a human dimension. The vintage aspect of the product is what separates them from new products.
Our team have amassed this collection over a period of twenty years and they have been the inspiration for many of our designs. By placing G.O.D. products side by side with the originals, visitors will be able to trace the design and development of our products.
At G.O.D., we do not believe in simply replicating the original. We extract its essence and give it a twist. This treatment of updating the old to create a new fusion is the key to maintaining cultural continuum. It is not our intention to merely replicate the past. Mere nostalgia is not sustainable. We want to preserve heritage, we believe the best way to do this is by giving it new functions.
Appropriately, the building that houses this collection, the JCCAC, is a former factory building and an excellent illustration of this transformation.
As the G.O.D. Street Culture Museum is housed alongside our Design Studio, it is open to the public by appointment only from Monday to Friday between 2 and 6pm by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org.
G.O.D. Street Culture Museum
L2-09 Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)
30 Pak Tin Street
Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon