Diamond Hill Station (1)
Diamond Hill Station (2)
Diamond Hill Station (3)
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Stalacities / Stalagmites

In this continuation of our serial, we examine the social context of art in the MTR stations. Successful artists provoke shared memories and emotions, expose us to different perspectives and enrich our environment by providing appealing reminders of our cultures. 

What is the difference between stalactites and stalagmites? One needs to look up to see stone stalactites dripping from the roof of caves and look down to observe stalagmites rising from the ground. The title of Stephanie Sin’s Stalactites / Stalagmites is a clue about how to appreciate these paintings. Wanting to capture the changes that have occurred around the Diamond Hill area, Stephanie Sin focused on an abstract interpretation of the tree canopies that squatters in the Tai Hom Village formerly looked up into, but that tenants of the current tall apartment blocks now look down upon. 

Tai Hom squatter’s village was demolished in 2001, but Sin put a jarring reminder of the former ghetto by incorporating into each image the real fences that used to surround the village. Sin correctly points out that these tree canopies have been a source of contentment for generations.

These paintings provide a link between generations for those living in Diamond Hill. They are aesthetically pleasing and can easily be dismissed as ‘pretty pictures’ but they are also a reminder of a darker past, when cramped living conditions and a lack of personal space was the norm. Life has gotten better for those living in Diamond Hill, to the point that locals have the time and resources to appreciate fine art like Stalactites / Stalagmites

Text & photos Martin Wray