Market is perhaps one of the most ancient social inventions. The Central Market is as old as Hong Kong as a port city, selling food of the best quality and providing necessities for generations and generations of families. The market is a witness of how the city has evolved.
Over the past 170 years, Central Market has been demolished three times and rebuilt twice. The existing modernist architecture was completed in 1939. The market was then given a Grade 3 historic building status in 1990. Since the market’s closure in 2003, there had been debates over its preservation or demolition. Conservation plans were once formulated and scrapped. In the summer of 2017, the revitalisation project finally kicked off. Four years later, which is the summer of 2021, Central Market reopened as a playground for all.
Conservation and revitalization are not only about architecture and engineering. In fact, people’s stories are as important. Any sensible conversation about revitalisation has to factor in people’s lived experiences.
Central Market Rendezvous is a collection of interviews with six individuals who used to work or shop at Central Market. They tell us what they remember about the old Market, as well as their expectations for the Market as it reopens. Apart from personal interviews, this short film also includes animations and aerial shots that allow us to view Central Market from different angles.
This is the first documentary produced by Nose in the Books in the summer of 2021, in light of the completion of Central Market’s revitalization. We also published a bilingual book under the same name, which compiles 17 interviews with vendors, customers, a scholar, architect, and members from a concern group.
The project is supported by Chinachem Group.
Central Market Rendezvous
Duration: 30 minutes
Language: Cantonese and English (with Chinese and English subtitles)
Producer: Dr. Chloe Lai
Director: Chan Ho-lun Fredie