Chungking Mansions is located on Nathan Road in Hong Kong which is, by any account a modern luxury shopping mile. The walk along its stretch starting from the harbor-front promenade is adorned with the typical Hong Kong style LED signs, and takes you past hyper-modern shopping malls, half a dozen jewelry and high end fashion stores, and a range of five star hotels. In between stands Chungking Mansions. The building is completely out of character. The exterior looks like an extract from the dystopian manga “Ghost in the Shell” — a monstrous 15-storey, three-block high-rise, sitting atop a vibrant indoor marketplace, whose ground and first floors could be compared to Calcutta’s markets while its residential floors at first view appear to be stacked slums.
The building - myth and key scene of many popular movies - is considered a place of vice and crime by many, and has been coined as the World Trade Centre of the Third World by social scientist Gordon Mathews.The proposed book is divided into two parts:The first part is an emotional rationalisation of the subject exploring the people the spaces and their transformed use.
The second part is a suggested architectural analysis of the building and it’s use.
Audience & ObjectiveI consider the book targeted as a coffee table book for artists, architects and other intellectuals who have an interest in Hong Kong and Asia or in uncommon spaces and events that represent an "other". Additionally the book could target people who have lived in or are visiting Hong Kong. Beyond this distinguished group of expats, professionals, politicians/diplomats, students and educators, I also consider fellow photographers and journalists as well as social scientists to have an active interest in the subject.