Learning from Wah Fu Estate: Exploratory Efforts in Public Engagement


/Gary Pui-fung Wong (University of Hong Kong) /Vincci W.S. Mak (University of Hong Kong)
/Natalia Echeverri (University of Hong Kong, Docomomo HK) /Denise Tse-shang Tang (Lingnan University)
/Michelle Chan Wan Chee (Visual Artist)  


Date: 3 August 2021
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm (via ZOOM)


Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 947 6849 5191


How can spaces for care like photobooks and museums be reimagined through public engagement? This session returns to questions posed in Capturing for Care with a focus on projects at a specific Hong Kong public housing estate. Conceived by architect Donald Liao as “a small town rather than a housing estate,” Wah Fu housed lower-to-middle income citizens on a promontory between Pokfulam and Aberdeen for over half a century. Its demolition is now in preparation; the relocation of residents will begin in 2026. In anticipation, researchers from the University of Hong Kong started studying daily life at the estate and have developed a series of public engagement exhibitions (2018 and 2019) and a pilot project for a Community Museum (ComMuse) (2018).

The Wah Fu research team will present their work at the estate in discussion with artist Michelle Chan Wan Chee, a recent collaborator who works with photography as social practice. As part of her project, Kaufu (2019 and ongoing), Chan uses the model bus collection of her uncle, who passed away in 2019, to explore the city through retired bus routes like China Motor Bus’s former 41, which began in Wah Fu and stopped operating in 1997.


About the Speakers

Michelle Chan Wan Chee is a visual storyteller. Her background in Computer Science and Behavioural Psychology shaped her unique approach to artistic practice as research and community engagement with a focus on photography. She founded Photobook Club HK to facilitate discussions, editing sessions and workshops.

Natalia Echeverri is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Landscape Architecture at the University of Hong Kong and the Director of the Master and Postgraduate Diploma programs. Her teaching and research is focused on how historic and contemporary practices of urban design and landscape planning have engaged with issues of density, settlement, and climate dynamics in Hong Kong.

Vincci Mak is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Landscape Architecture at the University of Hong Kong, where she is the Program Director of the Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Studies (BA(LS)) Program. She is a Senior Fellow in Advance HE (Higher Education). She is specialised in experiential learning. Her research interests include land art, cultural landscape, and village revitalisation.

Denise Tang is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University where she is Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) and Programme Director of the Master of Cultural Studies (MCS) Programme. She is an interdisciplinary ethnographer specializing in gender, lesbian sexualities and social spaces, transmen and transmasculinities in Chinese societies.

Gary Wong is a Lecturer in Department of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong. His research interests include the cultural history of Hong Kong, public housing, radio drama and social mobility. He is the author of several books and a newspaper column contributor on cityscape and cultural issues.





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