Blue Lotus Gallery is proud to present City of Darkness, an exhibition exploring the old and long gone Walled City of Kowloon as photographed by Greg Girard and Ian Lambot. This influential body of work, which to date sold over 25,000 book copies, will be on view in a gallery setting for the first time since first published.
For nearly 50 years, the extraordinary community of Kowloon Walled City cut a dark presence in the heart of Hong Kong. Yet without legislation and with little regard for basic services, planning and regulations or building standards, the city not only survived, it positively thrived.
But how could such a place exist in a modern metropolis without administrative oversight, ‘triply neglected’ by the British, Chinese and Hong Kong governments? Who would choose to live there? And why?
Ian Lambot and Greg Girard set about photographing the Walled City shortly before its demolition due to a deep fascination and because “for all its horrible shortcomings, its builders and residents succeeded in creating what modern architects, with all their resources of money and expertise, have failed to: the city as ‘organic megastructure’, not set rigidly for a lifetime but continually responsive to the changing requirements of its users, fulfilling every need from water supply to religion, yet providing also the warmth and intimacy of a single huge household…”