The mysterious East

1 02 2016

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Heng Fa Chuen is probably the least distinguished station on Hong Kong island’s MTR line. In the four years I have been in the city, I am pretty sure I have never heard anyone mention it. Located in the Eastern stretch of the island, just before the Chai Wan terminus, it is a no-mans land of middle class housing estates and old industrial buildings around a working harbour, overlooked by hills covered in graves.

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But its also home, I discovered this week, to a bizarre “Paradise mall” with faux-Roman interior and “suicide angel” art work. Even more surprising is that a little walk away, about half the way to Chai Wan, hidden away in the port district is one of HK’s cooler stores, from Japanese brand Undercover. Featuring some cool (and I thought, reasonably priced) designer gear, a canopy of lightbulbs and a door made of a photo-collage with eyes cut out crazy style, it provides a hip edge to what is still a quite a rough and ready part of town, with its looming vacant blocks and windowless canyon streets of concrete industrial silos.

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