Seen on the Streets – Tsang Tsou Choi, AKA the "King of Kowloon" in Hong Kong
Recently we spotted two examples of the late Tsang Tsou Choi‘s famous calligraphy in the streets of Choi Hung. Tsang, also known as the “King of Kowloon,” moved from China to Hong Kong at the age of 16 and began writing in the streets in his 30’s (1950’s). Tsang claimed that Kowloon previously belonged to his grandfather and that he was the rightful heir, or the “King of Kowloon.” Tsang spent much of his life painting the streets of Hong Kong with with his family tree, rants about the government, and at times even demanding the Hong Kong government pay him land tax. It’s rumored that when he died in 2007 Tsang had created more than 50,000 pieces of work in the streets.
Since Tsang’s death, Hong Kong has gone from being covered by Tsang’s work, to nearly void of it. So much so that the Hong Kong government has began trying to preserve the work with plastic covers; this can be seen around the first piece we spotted. The second piece however, on an electrical box just 100m from the first, remains unprotected and has more recently been joined by tags from other writers including Utah and Ether. Tsang’s work is becoming increasing more rare, the SCMP, Hong Kong’s most prominent English newspaper, claims there are only 4 pieces remaining in the streets today.
Images courtesy of hkstreetart.com