The King of Kowloon
June 23, 2022 3:54 AM   Subscribe

The legacy of one persistent public scribbler - a tale of determination and self-determination in Hong Kong. Louisa Lim [author's website] chronicles her and Hong Kong's obsession with one stubborn graffiti "artist." Archived link
posted by Glomar response (11 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
My first blue post!
posted by Glomar response at 3:55 AM on June 23 [5 favorites]

This was a fascinating read, thank you for posting! :)
posted by Dysk at 4:06 AM on June 23

I’ve wish-listed her book.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:11 AM on June 23

Nifty story! (But were potatoes involved somehow.)
posted by praemunire at 7:18 AM on June 23

This is such a great article. Thanks for posting!
posted by toastyk at 8:16 AM on June 23

(Some of us are appreciating a post without potato content. Nothing against those who are enjoying the running gag, but please and thank you for also leaving some other space.)
posted by eviemath at 8:53 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]

Thanks for the post! Without intending to sound fighty, I'm curious what's meant by putting "artist" in quotes here, which the article does not do; should graffiti be considered distinct from 'real' art?
posted by churl at 11:52 AM on June 23

Yes I just read the introduction to Lim's Indelible City but then had to return the book to the library. Excited to check it out once I move and have a brand new library card (fingers crossed they will have a copy, otherwise happy to buy a copy too!)
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:15 PM on June 23

churl, is it maybe in part because the graffiti was text rather than images, so the King of Kowloon might have also somewhat accurately been described as an author? (I suspect that’s not the complete answer, unfortunately, what with general gatekeeping around what is or isn’t art being fairly common.)
posted by eviemath at 1:04 PM on June 23

Hi churl! OP here.
I put the word artist in quotes because another article/excerpt stated that Tsang did not identify with the label.

The King lived off disability benefits, awarded after his legs had been crushed in an accident at work. There was a steady stream of collectors and fans at his doorstep, and they often paid for his work in lunchboxes of roast pork with beancurd, and cans of ice-cold Coke. The King, who never saw himself as an artist, seemed content with those arrangements. “I don’t care about money and fame,” he told one interviewer, “They should just give me back my throne.”
[emphasis mine]

I think it is a kind of art, but it may be something deeper, as well.
posted by Glomar response at 1:13 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]

Interesting! Thanks for the context
posted by churl at 2:52 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

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