Island_Peninsula - Glamor, Efficiency, Orderliness & Constant Change: Making of the Hong Kong Architecture Landscape: HKIA Architecture Exhibition in Los Angeles

Hoi-wood Chang, Kwok-kin So, Wai Keung Yeung, Ming Sze Au Yeung, Mehran Ayati

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Co-chief curator of the HKIA Architecture Exhibition in Los Angeles organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Los Angeles, USA; lead sponsored by CreateHK; other sponsors include Chinachem Group, L’Hotel Group, KWG Group Holdings Ltd., The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd., Hysan Development Company Ltd.

Hong Kong is a city resting on a unique landscape form by islands and a peninsula. It does not have many natural resources, but given its unique historical background, as well as economic and politic development, it has become the international city as we know it. Many people who have not visits Hong Kong imagine it as an island, while in fact, it is made up of over 200 islands. The city is spread across the Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon peninsula, and extends all the way to the mainland of the New Territories.

How should Hong Kong’s architectural landscape be portrayed in Los Angeles? Compared to Los Angeles’ flat terrain, Hong Kong’s landscape stands out as hilly and filled with twists and turns. Los Angeles’ dependency on private vehicles stands in stark contrast to Hong Kong’s highly efficient and convenient public transport system. The endless horizontal development of Los Angeles takes an opposite direction to the extreme vertical tendency of Hong Kong’s architecture. Between the two city’s completely different cityscapes, the uniqueness of Hong Kong’s architecture can be clearly articulated.

The concept of this exhibition came from “Island and Peninsula”, a novel about Hong Kong city life written by renowned Hong Kong author Liu Yichang in the 1970s. In the book, fragments of stories came together to showcase the nearly mundane daily life of the inhabitants of a city made up of an island and a peninsula. This exhibition takes the imagery of Hong Kong as an island and a peninsula as a point of departure, and assembled many unique “Hong Kong style” architecture stories. In the exhibition venue, continuous landscapes resembled an abstract, conceptual model of island and peninsula. The exhibits take root on the contours of the landscape, and fall within one of the four zones representing the core values of glamor, efficiency, orderliness, and constant change. These 4 core values give rise to the 14 ways of Hong Kong architecture. Apart from the architectural works, artist Keith Lam created a multimedia work depicting the 4 values through data visualization. Writer Wong Yi created an alternative Hong Kong Writing, which provides another imaginative dimension for the exhibits.

While Mr. H was aimlessly driving around City H, Mr. L and his car had travelled from City L through countless cities and states. As Ms. H enjoyed the soothing sea breeze and sunshine on a yacht sailing between the islands of City H, Mrs. L jogged along the beach of City L and looked out into the boundless ocean….

Hong Kong.
Los Angeles.
Two sides of the Pacific Ocean.
12 degrees apart in latitude.
15 hours apart in time zones.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventIsland_Peninsula, HKIA Architecture Exhibition in Los Angeles : Glamor, Efficiency, Orderliness and Constant Change: Making of the Hong Kong Architectural Landscape - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: 19 Sept 20192 Oct 2019


  • Architecture


Dive into the research topics of 'Island_Peninsula - Glamor, Efficiency, Orderliness & Constant Change: Making of the Hong Kong Architecture Landscape: HKIA Architecture Exhibition in Los Angeles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this