Monday, 14 March 2016

art promenade

The eastern boundary of Fanling is sharply defined by Ma Sik Road, which carries a lot of heavy freight traffic. There are high-rise apartment blocks on one side, and degraded countryside on the other. Next to the junction with Wo Tai Street, there is a signpost pointing to Ma Shi Po (‘horseshit area’) and a concrete footpath that leads, eventually, to the Ng Tung River. Next to the signpost, there is a painting of a cat dressed as a farmer, which was once the door of the cat man’s hut, since demolished.

When I wrote about this hut, I did so because of the images that had been painted on the door and walls after the old man left, or been evicted. These paintings were the work of a large group of evangelical Christians who had established Ma Po Po (‘horse poo poo’) Community Farm nearby and were executed around the time that much of the land in the area was being fenced off by the property developer—Henderson Land—that owned it. The entire area will eventually be built on.

 I should mention that these Christians do not know the difference between agriculture and horticulture, and they have a romantic view of farming, the main manifestation of which is the range of artwork to be seen along the path. This is the reason for this post.

At the start of the path, there are several crude plaster sculptures of various animals and vegetables, and paintings of cats on the concrete. And where the old man’s hut used to be—now fenced off—a stylized cat has been painted on an old water tank. However, it is only when you proceed along the path that you begin to realize just how much painting has been done here.

In the next photo, you can see the lines of painted vegetables along the edges of the path (the blue line is there to guide people to the river—it’s easy to get lost if you’re unfamiliar with the area).

 The next photo is a closer view of some of the paintings on the right of the path, while the subsequent three pictures are of paintings on the left. These images are still being added to.

 At this point, there are two huts set back a few metres from the path. Both huts were decorated when the Ma Po Po ‘farmers’ first came to the area, so the paintwork is fading now. The left-hand hut has lines of snails crawling and bats flying across its fa├žade, but the decoration on the right-hand hut is more complex:

The renderings of the magpie robin and common kingfisher are not accurate, but the whole is clearly the artist’s impression of nature in the area. This is also the likely explanation for the final three images, which are located much further on. Anyone venturing along this path on a spring evening could not fail to notice the frog chorus. The flower is a lotus.

These are currently the last images before the path reaches the river, but I would not rule out finding more such creations further on in future—I was surprised to discover the frogs so far from the main centre of activity.


  1. It certainly makes the place more fun for visitors ;-)

    1. As long as the visitors come in the first place.


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