During my 2016 visit to Hong Kong I dropped into a few local bookshops on the hunt for something a big unusual, and I hit gold – the book ‘Hong Kong Pop-Up’ by illustrator, designer, and paper engineer Kit Lau.
The book cost HK$428 and was sealed up in shrink wrapped plastic, so the purchase was a bit of a gamble, but thankfully the text inside was both in English and Chinese, and the pop up buildings mind blowing.
Six different styles of Hong Kong houses are depicted inside ‘Hong Kong Pop Up‘ – each occupying a double page pop-up spread.
- Cantonese Tenement (Tong Lau)
- Shanty Town
- Resettlement Estate
- Kowloon Walled City
- Public Housing Estate
- Private Condominium Complex
And when I visited Hong Kong in 2019 I stumbled upon a second of his books – 《陸上公共交通》 (‘Hong Kong Ground Public Transportation‘).
Again wrapped in plastic I didn’t get a chance to take a look inside before buying it, but this time my luck ran out – all of the text was in Chinese!
Thankfully the artwork was still worth it – double page spreads on the evolution of the Hong Kong Tramways, KMB buses, local taxis, public light buses, the Kowloon Canton Railway, the MTR, and the Peak Tram.
Kit Lau describes his creative process here.
Kit Lau’s website can be found at skronex.com, along with his full bibliography.
It’s a real work of art.