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Entrance lobby of Tang King Po School, Ma Tau Wei, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 29 December 2021.

A few days after hearing of the closure of another of Hong Kong’s remaining pro-democracy news outlets, Stand News, and its web archive, I decided I needed a good walk to shake off the gloom. Before meeting Michele Chu, an artist friend exhibiting at 1a space in Tai Kok Tsui, I wandered around nearby Ma Tau Wai. I entered the beautiful 1950s modernist campus of Tang King Po School, which has an open chapel for worshippers. I admired the inner cloistered courtyards, visited the chapel and chatted to the friendly caretaker. The ambience was utterly solid, stable – otherworldly, almost. It was a perfect retreat for an hour – and a reminder to just get on with it.

Later, I mentioned to Michele that I had visited the school and she recalled that when she learnt to drive a car, the instructor told her to remember “Tang King Po” School as she was preparing to drive, a homonym in Cantonese for “seat, mirrors, gears” – a simple reminder to adjust all three before driving.

A moral there: this reminder is known by past learners and will be passed to generations of future learner drivers. You can’t entirely destroy history.




Photo: John Batten

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