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Mall City: Hong Kong’s Dreamworlds of Consumption

  • Asia Society Hong Kong Hong Kong (map)

Hong Kong is the 21st century paradigmatic capital of consumerism. Of all places, it has the densest and tallest concentration of malls, reaching tens of stories. Hong Kong’s malls are also the most visited, sandwiched between subways and skyscrapers. These mall complexes have become cities in and of themselves, accommodating tens of thousands of people who live, work and play within a single structure. “Mall City” features Hong Kong as a unique rendering of an advanced consumer society. Retail space has come a long way since the 19th century covered passages of Paris, which once awed the bourgeoisie with glass roofs and gaslights. It has morphed from the arcade to the department store, and from the mall into the “mall city”- where “expresscalators” crisscross mesmerizing atriums. “Mall City” editor Stefan Al and contributors Cecilia Chu and Stan Lai will explore the effects of this development in Hong Kong as well as architecture, city planning, culture and urban life.