Kowloon Walled City recreated in JapanSpeculative Design
Kowloon Walled City was a largely ungoverned densely-populated settlement in Hong Kong. Due to the political factors against a specific historical background, the Walled City get into a hotbed of criminal activity. While this region was notorious for its public safety and sanitary problems, the residents here developed the tightly knit community and relationship in overcrowded living conditions.
In January 1987, the Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish the Walled City. Before the demolition was completed, Canadian photographer Greg Girard spent five years to know the residents and take pictures here. The photographs, oral histories, maps and essays in Greg’s book recording the daily life, memories and its spirit of this “city of darkness”.
The unique aura and architecture of Kowloon Walled City inspired many authors, filmmakers, game designers, and visual artists. The scenarios were depicted in different creative work to convey a sense of oppressive ungoverned criminality. The most fascinating one might be the recreated Kowloon Walled City diorama in Kawasaki, Japan, an amusing arcade which made the perfect backdrop inside Kowloon Walled City and replicated the atmosphere through elaborated details.
Under the sign boards, neon lights and pipe, the Kowloon Walled City was reborn by the way of reconstruction. It is sort of ironic that the destroyed past was re-made to an attraction, for both commercial profits and entertainment. In this moment, this diorama was not only a part of amusement attraction, it turned into an indelible existence in people’s heart.