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History Will Save Itself

Hong Kong, China

Tape Art Crew: Michael Townsend, Leah Smith


The outter wall of this historic cattle depot turned artist village in an older neighborhood of Hong Kong is long and low. It is located in a neighborhood of shorter buildings from the 1940s filled with elderly residents whose homes are under continuous threat of removal for replacement by the ever-taller high rises that are everywhere in the city. This mural acknowledges the historic usage of this site while presenting an argument for optomism about the future of the neighborhood.


A line of cows (filled in with newspapers and dry-cleaning slips found on the street) are being driven towards the doors of the cattle depot to be slaughtered. At the end of the line (right) a cow that has fallen splits open to release a flock of birds that fly to the front of the line and lift the cows into the air to freedom.  The cattle depot's reinvention as an artists village has saved it from becoming another victim of high-rises, and represents perhaps the only path in this city of constant construction to preserve traditional architecture.

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