Markets made modular: constructing the modern ‘wet’ market in Hong Kong's public housing estates, 1969–1975
This article traces how the ‘wet’ market was integrated into the infrastructure of public housing estates in Hong Kong through modularization from 1969 to 1975. This includes how spatial modularization concepts extended into administration and management, incorporating responsibilities and categories of goods that ultimately reflected colonial ideas of health, food hygiene and social and spatial order. In doing so, this article theorizes how the modular market embodied the ways colonial government departments, architects and managers navigated notions of the materiality of ‘wetness’ in the market through its design in response to management and customer needs, but nevertheless how consumers found ways to re-narrate such spaces through maintaining ‘wet’ cultural exchanges and practices. Using government documents and photographs, this article combines a design historical approach to materiality with empirical evidence to expand on histories and practices of the ‘wet market’, bringing the everyday discourses of modernity in Hong Kong to the fore.
1 Jan 2022 – 30 Nov 2022
Journal title, volume/issue number, page range
Urban History, 1-19
Urban / Rural
Art and Culture