What do the Walls Say?

As a student of Urban Design, a part of my study course required me to travel to Hong Kong and Athens, where my project was to be set in. I was fortunate enough to travel to these two cities in a span of a month as the memories of one city were so vivid in my mind as I could compare it to the other. The two cities, with such differing histories and cultures, could not provide an obvious common platform for comparison. However, when you look at the texture of the two cities, it becomes clear. While one city is progressing at a phenomenal rate, the other is plummeting to its doom. The walls of the two cities provide a canvas to showcase what the people are expecting from the cities. The walls carry stories from the past and a hope for the future. Here is a photo essay showcasing the differences between Hong Kong and Athens.

Street Art

As Greece started approaching the economic meltdown, the distress of the people was made very clear with the rise of street art. Street art is very popular in Athens now where every wall is used as a canvas to convey a message of distress, political agitation, and social satire. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is a city of ‘neon art’ where the neon advertisements is somewhat related to aid the growth of their economy.

 Arty Contradictions


I found the doors in Athens and Hong Kong telling a very sad story. In Athens, the doors gave the impression that once upon a time they used to be magnificent and the people living there were rich and had fabulous lives. However it has been lost in time and now sits on the delapitating walls telling the stories of what it once used to be. Hong Kong has a different sad story to tell. It tells the story of a hard life where there is no scope for ornamentation. Life is hard and everyday is a struggle.

Doors that lead to...


Linking this post to Ting’s Monday Escapes #17

My Travel Monkey

7 Replies to “What do the Walls Say?”

  1. Thank you so much 🙂

  2. Love this!! The Photographs are incredible !!

  3. Wonderful post! I love how it’s so easy to find art in all areas of life and how telling it is of a culture’s personality!

    1. That’s so true. I loved working on this post… There is so much you can infer from the little clues along the way

  4. I think that the street art vs commerce art is also a matter of political power, not just economic conditions – I am not sure that in Hong Kong the street art will be allowed. I guess even if it appears over night, it is painted over before dawn…
    Doors and windows are my personal fascination, have millions of pics from everywhere I go. 🙂 Nice to see yours – I’ve never been to any of these two cities

  5. […] can also check out What do the Walls Say? for a comparative study between HK and […]

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