The Hong Kong Hawker As Muse

  • Here is a twist on the beloved street food trend. Hong Kong artist Kacey Wong’s latest sculpture, ‘Transform Bar’, is inspired by his local hawker culture.

    Once an integral part of the food scene of industrializing Hong Kong, food hawkers were severely restricted in the 1980s in an effort to modernize the image of the city. Licensing for hawkers became increasingly rare, but still many depended upon the craft for their livelihood. As a result, many stalls were retrofitted with clever innovations so that they could be moved very quickly in the case of an imminent police raid.

    Wong’s art is a commentary on the hawker way of life, with a contemporary twist. The bar is made from scrap wood that the artist had collected. The walls are planter boxes of wheat grass, which is juiced for ‘healthy’ street food. The planters are all on tracks so they may be extended for better sun exposure.

    The design also enables the stall to become very compact very quickly. Wong chose the hawker stall as his muse when he observed that each is unique, changing its form depending on location and time of day. His visually dynamic and functional piece of art also represents the importance of urban adaptability.