AT Asia: Hometown Souvenirs in the Home

AT Asia: Hometown Souvenirs in the Home

Gregory Han
Jul 11, 2008

Bringing kitsch souvenirs home from a trip is sometimes a gamble; you could end up with an interesting conversation piece, a someday-family heirloom or just a cheesy mistake that ends up in storage. What if you live in a city chock full of kitschy souvenirs? Can you bring them into your home and call them art?

We've been trawling the Cat Street Market (also known as Upper Lascar Road) off of Hollywood Road since moving to Hong Kong as a thrifting alternative. It offers a pleasant diversion on a busy day, watching tourists look at antique knock-offs and home décor items that we see everywhere. We've been returning to a vendor who seems to specialize in Chairman Mao sculptures, drawn to the colours and variety of poses in which he is modelled. So far, we've only actually purchased one, and he stands proudly waving at us in our living room, dressed in what seems to be his dressing gown.

Usually a souvenir gains interest once removed from the thousands of exact replicas with which it mwas originally displayed – we think Mao works best en mass, waving at us from as many angles as possible.

Photo and post by Liz

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