This is Sham Shui Po, a vibrant district with rich history, a unique community and many hidden stories.
There are extensive cultural heritages within the district, due to its diverse community and years of colonization. Starting from a poor farming village, Sham Shui Po developed into a center for manufacturing goods and commodities such as textiles, leather, electronics, and other accessories. In addition to an influx of migrants with different culture and background, Sham Shui Po became a well-knitted and diverse community that developed specialized trade in the production of the above goods. Furthermore, there are both colonial and traditional Chinese buildings with unique architectural styles, holding significant values for the local community.
Unfortunately, the multitude of cultural heritages within the district are increasingly under threat. With an influx of large businesses hoping to capitalize on the cheap cost of living and the ready supply of cheap commodities in Sham Shui Po, the district is currently facing urbanization and gentrification. Old shops close down due to rising rents while traditional crafts are under threat of extinction with a lack of successors.
Therefore, we decided to create a digital gallery on the theme of Sham Shui Po, providing a tool to document the unique cultural heritage and maintain the cultural identity of the district. We digitized historical buildings like Mei Ho House, Sham Shui Po Police Station; and also museum items like household objects displayed in the Mei Ho House Museum. We also showcased different intangible cultural heritage found in Sham Shui Po, such as food-making skills and leather crafts.
We hope our digital gallery can act as a medium that connects future generations with the past, in hope that they will not forget the importance of these cultural heritages and the values they provide. With each item containing extensive factual information regarding the heritage, users can have all the information for educational and recreational purposes. Both locals and tourists can be benefitted. Let’s hope the cultural heritage in Sham Shui Po can continue to be preserved and maintained.
Image from Takungpao, shot on Garden Hill and published on 25 February 2018.