Saturday, August 4, 2007

Funky (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

Boy, those Photo Hunt themes sure do seem to be getting more and more challenging! And in the case of this week's, I have to admit that it had me: first getting all panicky (another word for which, I've since learnt, can be funky!) and feeling compelled to consult the Merriam-Webster online dictionary to figure out what the word actually means; and then having to scratch my head for a bit before coming up with two photographs that do fit this week's theme quite well.

More specifically, the first picture is of an architectural structure that I think it safe to say can be fittingly described both as "odd or quaint in appearance or feeling" (one of the definitions of 'funky' that I've seen) as well as "unconventionally stylish" (another definition of 'funky' according to the same dictionary); while the second image is of another building in the same part of Hong Kong that has been castigated by more than one critic as being "lacking style or taste" (yet one more definition of 'funky' given by Merriam-Webster).

I have to rush off in a few minutes to catch a Kenji Mizoguchi double-feature at the Hong Kong Film Archive. So I don't have time to put in any links until later*, probably sometime tomorrow. However, I trust that the following descriptions which I've got from Jason Wordie's informative Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island (Hong Kong University Press, 2002) will prove sufficiently helpful and interesting:-

Re St. Mary's Church (i.e., the building in the first photograph): This Anglican church was built in the early 1930s and designed by the Franco-Belgian consortium Credit Foncierre d'Extreme Orient. This firm was responsible for a number of other religious buildings constructed elsewhere in Hong Kong at this time as part of an expansion programme by the Roman Catholic Bishop Valtorta... Designed to look as Chinese as possible, so lessening the cultural gap between the Christian religion and the everyday Chinese, St. Mary's Church is one of Hong Kong's most eclectically styled buildings -- religious or secular -- tucked away on an obscure backstreet in Causeway Bay, the ornate facade is lovingly maintained.

As for the building in the second photograph (i.e., the Hong Kong Central Library): Something of a misnomer for a book repository located in Causeway Bay, the new [in 2002] Central Library has magnificent holdings, state-of-the-art facilities and helpful staff, all housed in what must surely be one of Hong Kong's most hideous modern buildings... Hong Kong Central Library's somewhat eclectic design was approved by a committee of the now defunct Urban Council. One can only assume that the 'style' chosen somehow reflects the decorative tastes and preferences of its members themselves, and at least one prominent architect has remarked that if this building represented the very best that the councillors could achieve with the resources at their disposal, then on those grounds alone it was high time that the body was disbanded!

* Postscript: As should be obvious from the number of links now in place: "Later" has come... ;)


Andree said...

I had a hard time with the theme, too. But I like your choices; they are unique and interesting buildings.

JC said...

Great choices for the theme... those are beautiful buildings!

lissa 07 said...

An interesting read. I couldn't decide what to pick for photo hunt either. Still I figure funky to mean just about anything. So anything goes.

Unknown said...

Wow, what an unusual building. It is gorgeous though!

Joyce said...

wow great the photos

YTSL said...

Hi Meeyauw --

Am glad you like my choices for this week's photo hunt. :)

Hi jc --

Thanks. And it's funny re your comment of both of them being beautiful buildings: More than one person I know has been quite impressed by the Central Library -- unlike Jason Wordie. ;)

Hi Lissa --

This week's theme *was* a difficult one. Don't know about you but definitely think that next week's is easier and already have more than one option lined up for it!

Hi fleur de lisa --

Ummm...actually, there are two buildings and photos in my entry for this week's photo hunt. ;S

Hi Joyce --

Am glad you like the choices and photos. :)

Anonymous said...


Have you ventured into the church itself? If so does it match the funky exterior.

Phew, I thought I was the only one who found the library building less than pleasing it its design.

How was the double feature? I think the HK Film Archive is funky too.

A. said...

I didn't realise the first picture was od a church until you pointed it out, and yes with a further look, I can see it. A lovely building. The second, well to tell you the truth, I think it has its attraction too. I find it quite pleasant and I've seen a lot worse!

Thanks for visiting earlier, and I hope you've enjoyed your double feature!

jmb said...

Stretching it this week aren't we, but that's all right because you always have something interesting for us.

Willow said...

Yes, looks like the architects were trying too hard.

Janet said...

You did well! Great shots :-)

Teena in Toronto said...

Very cool!

Mine's up too :)

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

The doors were closed and it was mid-afternoon when I paused by, so didn't venture into the church. Would like to sometime though and will report back to you re its exterior when I do so. :)

As for the double-feature (which comprised Parts I and II of THE LOYAL 47 RONIN): It's amazing how films made in 1941 and 1942 have stood the test of time. (It helps a lot, I think, that they were historical dramas.)

Hi A. --

"I didn't realise the first picture was od a church until you pointed it out, and yes with a further look, I can see it."

Yeah, even with that cross, the overall design seems un-church-like, doesn't it? ;)

Hi jmb --

Naw, not so much stretching as having been made to rack my brains! ;b

Hi Willow --

Were your comments about the Central Library...or both buildings? ;)

Hi Janet and Teena --

Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Great take on this week. Very funky buildings. Have a good weekend.

YTSL said...

Hi "kissedalotatoads" --

Thanks and hope you have/had a good weekend too. :)