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History Made Modern: Hong Kong’s Folklore Redesigned

By Stasia Fong 11 November 2014
  A design student at London College of Communication has commemorated iconic items of Hong Kong folklore into a modern and minimalistic style, capturing our city's forward thinking spirit and traditional values. Having grown up in Hong Kong for six years, Sam Woolf, a 20-year-old West Island School graduate holds the city's culture close to his heart. Moving to Hong Kong from London at age 12, he’s always been fascinated with the unique convergence of Imperial China and British Colonialism. However, he noticed that the appreciation of East meets West was fading. “As an international student living [in Hong Kong], I came to realize that local cultural influences in everyday objects seen through daily living were taken for granted and its predominance blurred,” Woolf explained. The student designer then set forth to depict Hong Kong’s folklore in a modern style, making it relevant for today's audiences. Creating beautiful minimalistic pieces of popular items including mooncakes, vases, and mahjong tiles, his work is a something both traditionalists and modernists can enjoy. “I decided on the items because I believe they exhibit Hong Kong's tradition and culture at its most simplest and purest. For instance the VLT Lemon Tea is based on a centuries old drink which has become heavily manufactured and franchised to provide the masses of Hong Kong,” Woolf explained. Woolf's sophisticated style is also somewhat reminiscent of the palette and design used by Shanghai Tang. “Some of these objects I have depicted in a minimalist format, with a sharp colour contrast effective in an attempt to attract the viewer's attention and imagination,” Woolf told Localiiz. The young artist is extremely motivated and hopes to continue developing the series. “My designs only scratch the surface of Hong Kong's modern day living, entwined with deep historical and cultural influences, so if the public embraces my work I will be enthused to continue the series.” Check out the full Hong Kong Folklore series here, and more of Woolf’s work on his Behance page.

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Born in Singapore and raised in Hong Kong, Stasia Fong is a freelance writer with dreams of breaking into the television industry and executive produce her own television show.