Alex Croft’s mural Yaumati in Central’s Graham Street is doubtlessly one of Hong Kong’s best-known murals. Since its creation for lifestyle store G.O.D. in 2012, it has appeared in countless Instagram posts, even became known as “THE Instagram Wall“.
The mural depicts a quintessential Hong Kong streetscape reminiscing the distinctively different facades of old school tenement buildings with their caged windows, unique window grilles and hanging laundry. Alex’s own impressions of Kowloon City but especially photographs of the long demolished Kowloon Walled City from the book City of Darkness by Ian Lambot and Greg Girard proved as vital inspiration for the mural.
Looking at Alex’s work on canvas and in the streets, Hong Kong’s architecture features prominently. In March 2021, he painted another cool streetscape-inspired mural in Chun Wing Street in Tai Kok Tsui, TKT.
TKT is a neighbourhood shaped by the contrast of the old school, nitty gritty high rises and the overpowering glitzy recent ones. Initially rather unfamiliar with the neighbourhood and looking for inspiration, Alex came for a stroll. The contrast of the buildings and the reflections of the old in the new struck him almost instantly. Luckily, the mural’s client granted Alex the creative freedom to capture these impressions in the mural.
The most challenging question was how to capture the reflected distortions of the distinctive old facades in the straight-lined new buildings?! Alex tackled the problem by snapping various photographs of the reflections using them as guidance. “I like working from photographs to create something else,” he says, which doesn’t come as a surprise since Alex holds a BA in fine arts and photography.
Painting the entire mural with spray paint, Alex finished the wall within 12 working days supported by his partner Bobo Leung. He aptly named his work Reflections.
Diving into the streets of Tai Kok Tsui, everyone who discovers this mural will instantly recognise how cleverly Alex captured the reflections of the old in the new, especially those of the Hong Kong typical rounded corner building. His mural is a simply a wonderful reflection of its neighbourhood.
Location of the mural: Chun Wing Street at the corner of Foo Kwai Street, Tai Kok Tsui (closest MTR station: Olympic, Exit C5)
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