The Kowloon Walled City

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'Bout time it got its own thread

http://projects.wsj.com/kwc/#chapter=intro

, Monday, 28 April 2014 10:18 (ten years ago) link

Obviously lots of discussion previously itt good places to set up a colony of noise dudes

, Monday, 28 April 2014 10:19 (ten years ago) link

http://live.wsj.com/#!36585ADF-5AEA-438F-8C4A-4C90D25B545A

, Monday, 28 April 2014 10:20 (ten years ago) link

German language documentary from 1989 (before it was torn down):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lby9P3ms11w

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

Congratulations! And my condolences. (Sanpaku), Monday, 28 April 2014 10:33 (ten years ago) link

This has fascinated me ever since I first heard about it. It just emphasised how weird the continued existence of Hong Kong as a British colony was between 1949 and 1997.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 28 April 2014 10:34 (ten years ago) link

I just finished this book and highly recommend it if you can find a copy

http://www.amazon.com/City-Darkness-Life-Kowloon-Walled/dp/1873200137

Googling fortuitously brings me to this

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1060791749/city-of-darkness-revisited

, Monday, 28 April 2014 10:35 (ten years ago) link

emphatic yes way sna

estela, Monday, 28 April 2014 10:48 (ten years ago) link

$2500 is a little steep but Melbourne uni library have a copy

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 28 April 2014 10:51 (ten years ago) link

I was in Guangzhou earlier this year and there are parts of the city that have a very claustrophobic feel, just tons of little three story buildings constructed very, very close to each other (like can't fit a body between buildings close)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipai_Village

, Monday, 28 April 2014 11:16 (ten years ago) link

Fucking love this place. Seen that doco too.

the Bronski Review (Trayce), Monday, 28 April 2014 11:36 (ten years ago) link

'Bout time it got its own thread

http://projects.wsj.com/kwc/#chapter=intro

― 龜, Monday, April 28, 2014 6:18 AM (4 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

OTM. Thanks for starting.

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Monday, 28 April 2014 15:14 (ten years ago) link

http://i.imgur.com/NyWTM7t.jpg

From after the fall but what an amazing airport

, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 01:42 (ten years ago) link

Also the fact that the height of the buildings in the Walled City were limited by how low planes landing at Kai Tak were flying

, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 01:43 (ten years ago) link

friend and former bandmate band
http://kowloonwalledcity.bandcamp.com/

Tom Waits for no one (outdoor_miner), Tuesday, 29 April 2014 01:51 (ten years ago) link

it's the best city

gbx, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 01:58 (ten years ago) link

can't believe this thread's so new

difficult listening hour, Tuesday, 29 April 2014 02:02 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

http://i.imgur.com/5SlpTtR.png

, Saturday, 21 June 2014 22:43 (ten years ago) link

Ha I tweeted that yesterday.

Immediate Follower (NA), Saturday, 21 June 2014 22:45 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...
two weeks pass...

Kinda blowing my mind that a guy from the KWC did a Reddit AMA

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/13muo9/i_grew_up_in_the_cyberpunkesque_dystopia_called

http://www.reddit.com/r/tabled/comments/13ns5y/

, Sunday, 21 September 2014 12:45 (nine years ago) link

thx dayo for keeping this thread up to date. what an amazing place.

sktsh, Sunday, 21 September 2014 17:44 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

kowloon walled city themed game centre in yokohama

http://randomwire.com/kowloon-walled-city-rebuilt-in-japan/

you can barely see it in these photos but it has a sit-down outrun cab!

fuhgeddaboudit! (missingNO), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 11:24 (nine years ago) link

kawasaki, even

fuhgeddaboudit! (missingNO), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 11:26 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

I can't believe I never knew about this until yesterday!!!!! I spent most of last night looking up anything I could on it and watching that German doc mentioned upthread. This is blowing my mind. How was there never some major scale electrical fire or something what with the DIY wiring and all the water and I just . . . this is unbelievable and I need to know more.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 4 December 2014 20:39 (nine years ago) link

ENBB if you can, get a copy of City of Darkness through yr library (I doubt they have it tho)

You can also buy one right now (it's a rerelease) but it's like one hundred bux

, Thursday, 4 December 2014 21:57 (nine years ago) link

Also if you open the image in the first post in its own tab it's like a gazillion pixels

, Thursday, 4 December 2014 21:57 (nine years ago) link

trees were growing on top? :o

mrs. missus (clouds), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:16 (nine years ago) link

Yeah there is frustratingly not a richness of online info about the kwc in which to wallow.

a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Friday, 5 December 2014 00:21 (nine years ago) link

Dayo I saw how $$ it was online but I'm gonna try the library. So fascinating.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Saturday, 6 December 2014 13:40 (nine years ago) link

Even though HK is really different from China this sort of thing could only happen in Chinese community. Chinese are really good at working and living together.

Raccoon Tanuki, Saturday, 6 December 2014 17:35 (nine years ago) link

:)

, Saturday, 6 December 2014 17:36 (nine years ago) link

there was a playstation 1 game called kowloon's gate that i always wanted to play but i heard mixed things

basically, there needs to be an insanely detailed, total 3-D reconstruction with a serial story structure that you could play, like a combo detective/adventure game

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 7 December 2014 12:36 (nine years ago) link

^^^shenmue 2

fuhgeddaboudit! (missingNO), Sunday, 7 December 2014 15:00 (nine years ago) link

This is the best thing I have learned about in a long time!

pilate is my cogod (Crabbits), Sunday, 7 December 2014 22:35 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

https://hk-devblog.com/2016/05/14/alley-graphic-test/

, Friday, 22 July 2016 14:42 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

https://i.imgur.com/ZrRele7.jpg

Karl Malone, Saturday, 22 December 2018 00:57 (five years ago) link

ENBB if you can, get a copy of City of Darkness through yr library (I doubt they have it tho)

You can also buy one right now (it's a rerelease) but it's like one hundred bux

― 龜, Thursday, December 4, 2014 4:57 PM (four years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I did end up getting a copy of this as a gift and it’s one of the best things.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Saturday, 22 December 2018 00:59 (five years ago) link

http://www.imagebam.com/image/43f4151068785224

calstars, Saturday, 22 December 2018 02:38 (five years ago) link

BIG NEWS: with the help of dayo and (possible ILXor?) justinetlai, I've put together what I believe to be the FIRST full image of the infamous internet classic Kowloon Walled City Cross Section image.

https://i.imgur.com/n7x7y7p.jpg

I wrote quite a bit about the process here:

http://www.zachscott.org/2018/12/23/compositing-kowloon/

Karl Malone, Sunday, 23 December 2018 19:58 (five years ago) link

nice work & interesting blog post, thank you!

(daydreams of ultra-hi-res deep-zoomable version - until checking the price tag of that book, anyway... also I don't know how you "deep zoom" anything, obv)

a passing spacecadet, Sunday, 23 December 2018 20:59 (five years ago) link

yeah, my hope is that someone will just buy the book and scan the living daylights out of it. i know what you mean by deep zoom! someone just needs to scan it as ultra hi-res.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 23 December 2018 21:05 (five years ago) link

Cool sh1t KM!
Greg is on insta fwiw. . .

calstars, Sunday, 23 December 2018 21:38 (five years ago) link

i'm not sure who Greg is! (sorry if it's someone on this thread whose irl name i don't know)

Karl Malone, Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:00 (five years ago) link

lol, Greg Girard, one of the authors of City of Darkness. Though apparently at least some of the photos in the book are by Ian Lambot. . .

calstars, Sunday, 23 December 2018 22:21 (five years ago) link

this is astonishing, incredible work

calamity gammon (Autumn Almanac), Sunday, 23 December 2018 23:24 (five years ago) link

haha, it wasn't that big of a deal, i was kinda being tongue in cheek with announcing it as something big and new. :) but still, it may be, temporarily at least, the best version of it that's accessible online! i'm guessing that at some point pretty soon we'll get a better, full scan that will render all previous versions obsolete.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 23 December 2018 23:44 (five years ago) link

BIG NEWS: with the help of dayo and (possible ILXor?) justinetlai, I've put together what I believe to be the FIRST full image of the infamous internet classic Kowloon Walled City Cross Section image.

🖼

I wrote quite a bit about the process here:

http://www.zachscott.org/2018/12/23/compositing-kowloon🕸/


a Christmas frikkin miracle

gbx, Monday, 24 December 2018 00:51 (five years ago) link

mad props to Karl! I hadn't even seen the original cross section until just now

poochie mayne (unregistered), Monday, 24 December 2018 06:34 (five years ago) link

this owns

there are no good podcasts (||||||||), Monday, 24 December 2018 13:22 (five years ago) link

amazing work, karl.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 25 December 2018 18:11 (five years ago) link

karl u are a goddamn hero

H00kup with Jaundice Singles!! (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 25 December 2018 18:20 (five years ago) link

holy moly km

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 6 January 2019 09:58 (five years ago) link

https://www.greggirardpictures.com/product/pre-order-tokyo-yokosuka-1976-1983-signed-available-april-1-2019

Not Kowloon but this looks cool in a somewhat similar way

calstars, Friday, 18 January 2019 02:47 (five years ago) link

I just got a softcover copy of this (Japanese text), pretty stoked

calstars, Friday, 1 February 2019 01:08 (five years ago) link

how has it not burned down?? dumb luck?

calumy (rip van wanko), Friday, 1 February 2019 02:44 (five years ago) link

(did)

calumy (rip van wanko), Friday, 1 February 2019 02:53 (five years ago) link

nine months pass...

did you ever see? Kawasaki warehouse - 5 story themed arcade outside tokyo based on Kowloon walled city - unfortunately just closed down this month :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYA_0-X7kLg

lumen (esby), Saturday, 23 November 2019 16:42 (four years ago) link

Would have loved to have gotten in there to take photos

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Saturday, 23 November 2019 17:00 (four years ago) link

Why is KWC so haunting and intriguing and fascinating? I've spent hours reading about it, looking at pictures, watching documentaries

cryborg (rip van wanko), Saturday, 23 November 2019 18:14 (four years ago) link

At this point I can just casually drop the fact that I visited the Kowloon walled city park last month! I spent the morning looking at what remains of Kai Tak airport, then I visited a place called Bleak House Books, which is on the 27th floor of an office building - Hong Kong is like that - then I walked along to the park. I remember the walled city from Bloodsport. Here's a view of where it used to be:
https://i.imgur.com/kGpKOhC.jpg

Here's a view as it was when Jean Claude Van Damme visited it:
https://i.imgur.com/cJC03r9.jpg

The park itself has a baseball court, a pond, some bonsai trees, and a little display area with a model of the walled city just inside the entrance:
https://i.imgur.com/CD0MeRm.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/lmhGiXu.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/XBRYizT.jpg

There's an exhibition about the walled city, although it was surprisingly small. Is it a cultural thing? Europeans tend to fetishise the recent past but I had the impression that Hong Kong wasn't all that interested. I don't know how residents of the walled city felt about it, or residents of Hong Kong. But then again no-one memorialises all those Victorian terraces that were torn down to make way for Ronan Point.
https://i.imgur.com/UnYP0Ta.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/rvbWwU8.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/8H8ZcWO.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/8H8ZcWO.jpg

In the local area there was a big flyover, and a gold Range Rover:
https://i.imgur.com/TCnPxUa.jpg

That street had a bunch of posh cars double-parked, so either there were some top bargains or someone was being tortured to death in the back room of a shop. I don't know. It struck me that photographing golden Range Rovers in Hong Kong was a bad idea.


Now I'm trying to psyche myself up for the Arctic circle trail, which is an eighty-mile trek from Greenland's main airport to another airport also in Greenland. On the one hand it's apparently not as hard as it sounds - it's mostly flat grassland, there are huts along the way, the temperature from May-September is generally above 0c - but on the other hand it's staggeringly expensive to get there and involves walking ten miles a day in Greenland for eight days and sleeping outdoors.

How many blog posts can I squeeze out of a bunch of similar images of rolling hills? One blog post about the kit; another about cooking; a third about the trip. That's not a good return for the outlay involved. Hong Kong on the other hand is an endless source of amusement. The irony is that I used to detest the kind of internet people who casually boasted about their travel adventures - they seemed to compete with each other to say as little as possible about Japan and Iceland etc, as if they visited all the time and felt nothing of it - and now I am turning into one of them, but on a minuscule budget, and twenty years after the novelty of blogging about non-US countries lost its novelty.

Ashley Pomeroy, Saturday, 23 November 2019 19:28 (four years ago) link

Nice photos Ash, are you on Insta?

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Saturday, 23 November 2019 19:30 (four years ago) link

Oh. I posted the same image twice. And the last chunk of images didn't appear. They were:
https://i.imgur.com/wxPFDzy.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/wDpPNFt.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/DE6FUGi.jpg

Ashley Pomeroy, Saturday, 23 November 2019 19:32 (four years ago) link

I was going to say "I'd set fire to HER consulate any day!" under the picture of the woman in a bikini, but that would be sexist so I won't.

Ashley Pomeroy, Saturday, 23 November 2019 19:33 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

Oooh thank you

I really want to see this, just came out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_of_the_Warriors:_Walled_In

Humanitarian Pause (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 4 July 2024 15:10 (two weeks ago) link

That is incredible

beamish13, Thursday, 4 July 2024 15:10 (two weeks ago) link

"two replica sets of the Kowloon Walled City were built for filming"

Humanitarian Pause (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 4 July 2024 15:11 (two weeks ago) link

"Mr. Big (大老闆): a crime lord who is solely focused on maximizing his wealth and personal interests"

mark s, Thursday, 4 July 2024 15:18 (two weeks ago) link

Tag yrslf I'm the enormous dog (or small horse) on the bed.

ledge, Thursday, 4 July 2024 15:28 (two weeks ago) link

Need to watch

calstars, Thursday, 4 July 2024 17:22 (two weeks ago) link

love soi cheang, love the walled city, would love for the floundering hk film industry to get a big kick in the butt - i’m very excited for this one

more here, sounds great

https://filmexposure.ch/2024/05/17/twilight-of-the-warriors-walled-in-a-blast-of-hong-kong-kinetics/

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Thursday, 4 July 2024 17:46 (two weeks ago) link

I watched that while vacationing in Macao - really good movie, def miles ahead of the contemporary Hong Kong average. Based on a Chinese comic book and there's sequels planned. The final scene featuring (this isn't really a spoiler I don't think) random inhabitants of the Walled City going about their business I found genuinely moving.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 4 July 2024 19:03 (two weeks ago) link

sad lol - a few years ago a couple ilxors hooked me up with some awesome detailed scans of that illustration. i wrote about it a bit upthread:

The Kowloon Walled City

i wrote about it at length on my website (rip, though i killed it) and posted/hosted the huge illustrated scans, and tried to write interesting things about it. unfortunately all of my efforts fell into that uncomfortable middlezone between amateurish and slightly competent. i was writing about big topics but without any real knowledge, just really pretentious, and also my writing voice (and this is still true) wavered between reliable and somewhat informative vs silly and completely joking the entire time. it's confusing for readers, especially strangers who come across your website by googling for kowloon walled city. i started to get emails from very interested people who wanted to know more. i stopped answering them after a while, the trump era continued and covid happened and my world ended, i let the website expire and definitely didn't back any of it up.

it's awesome that someone did the work and shared it (https://cohost.org/belarius/post/6677850-architectural-cross)! i do regret that dayo and justine also did the work, years ago, and generously shared it with me, and i didn't really carry it through like i should have. it's an amazing image, lovely work of art

z_tbd, Thursday, 4 July 2024 19:13 (two weeks ago) link

I just got a softcover copy of this (Japanese text), pretty stoked

― calstars, Thursday, January 31, 2019

curious about this too, calstars, if you see this! i love the ilxor practice of taking a good 5 years or so to resume a convo

z_tbd, Thursday, 4 July 2024 19:24 (two weeks ago) link

Yup, it’s sitting on my bookshelf. I can share a few photos if I could just get off my damn couch

calstars, Thursday, 4 July 2024 21:59 (two weeks ago) link

"then I visited a place called Bleak House Books, which is on the 27th floor of an office building"

Sadly Bleak House Books closed a couple of years later - it became increasingly difficult to run a bookshop in Hong Kong. But happily the bookshop still exists, because they moved to New York and reopened in 2023! Which is nice. They must be glad to see the end of political persecution and financial instability.

I visited Bleak House Books to buy volume one of what was then a two-volume book of photographs of old Hong Kong. I planned to return and buy volume two, but COVID intervened. Every fibre of my being wants to waltz into the new store in Honeoye Falls NY while dressed in my Douglas MacArthur costume - as I walk through the door I will say "I have returned" - except that this being the United States there's no way to actually get there. The nearest train station is in Rochester, and there appears to be no public transport to Honeoye Falls at all.

Besides which Douglas MacArthur would not take the bus.

Ashley Pomeroy, Sunday, 7 July 2024 12:39 (one week ago) link

as I walk through the door I will say "I have returned"

irl lol

z_tbd, Sunday, 7 July 2024 14:51 (one week ago) link

no worries at all z!

i still have the original scans (altho not the composite), here they are: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1BJe6md48bfkIjQncTWjAjK5rb9Lg1Olr?usp=drive_link

, Sunday, 7 July 2024 15:51 (one week ago) link

Those look to be higher res....

Humanitarian Pause (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 7 July 2024 16:51 (one week ago) link

yeah it's been years since i looked at those images, but iirc the tricky part about making a single, huge composite image is that even in the book the scans come from, some of the sections of the images are split on different pages and at (very slightly) different sizes. hard to explain, but i remember bringing the images into photoshop and trying to make them fit together and running into some difficulties.

z_tbd, Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:00 (one week ago) link

(i guess i re-upped this thread without checking if i was repeating its earlier contents: apologies for that) (i was excited!)

mark s, Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:07 (one week ago) link

iirc i used the big office scanner to do the scans at the highest dpi setting xp

, Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:18 (one week ago) link


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