Border Ecologies


Arts and Culture

Border Ecologies: Hong Kong's Mainland Frontier

Evening Discussion
Drink Reception 6:30pm
Discussion 7:00pm
Close 8:00pm

Hong Kong’s border with Shenzhen is rapidly dissolving. By 2047, the border will no longer exist. Integration with the Mainland will remove distinctions created by the "One Country Two Systems" policy. The uncertainty surrounding this situation has created anxiety about preserving cultural differences and values, identity, freedom of speech and the right to vote. Caught in this debate is the Frontier Closed Area, a buffer zone created by the British in 1951 to strengthen Hong Kong’s separation from the Mainland. This closed land has retained a landscape of ecosystems including tidal estuaries, fish farms, primary forests, historic villages, and abandoned military posts.

Joshua Bolchover and Peter Hasdell will explore this unique border ecology that evolved as Hong Kong and the Mainland transformed. By unpeeling the layers of this unchartered territory, a complex set of relationships that operate between macro-policies and micro-conditions on the ground are revealed. A presentation of the book Border Ecologies: Hong Kong's Mainland Frontier will be followed by a panel discussion about the future of the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the cultural implications, and the rapid growth of Shenzhen, the poster-child of China’s economic reform era.

Border Ecologies will be available for purchase after the program.

Joshua Bolchover

Joshua Bolchover is currently an associate professor at The University of Hong Kong. His current research focuses on the complex urban-rural ecology of cities. He set up Rural Urban Framework with John Lin in 2005 with the remit to create a not-for-profit agency as a platform for design and research. RUF’s work has been awarded the RIBA International Emerging Architect Award 2016 for the Angdong Hospital, The Curry Stone Design Prize 2015 and The Ralph Erskine Prize 2014. Joshua’s recent publications include Border Ecologies: Hong Kong’s Mainland Frontier, Birkhauser, 2016, Designing the Rural: A Global Countryside in Flux, Architectural Design 2016, and Rural Urban Framework: Transforming the Chinese Countryside, Birkhauser 2013.

Peter Hasdell

Peter Hasdell is an associate professor in the School of Design at Hong Kong PolyU, the program leader of the Environment and Interior department and director of the Design Social research initiative. Architect, urbanist, public installation artist, interactive artist and academic, he graduated from the University of Sydney and at the Architectural Association in London. Peter has taught since 1994 in Architecture and Design schools including the Bartlett School, KTH Arkitektur Stockholm, Berlage Institute, Columbia University, University of Manitoba, The Rural Studio, and HKU. He has taught and collaborated with Sir Peter Cook, Raoul Bunschoten, Peter Salter, John Hejduk, and Mark West.

Mary Ann O’Donnell

Artist and ethnographer Mary Ann O’Donnell has sought alternative ways of inhabiting Shenzhen, the flagship of China’s post-Mao economic reforms. O'Donnell creates and contributes to projects that reconfigure and repurpose shared spaces, where our worlds mingle and collide, sometimes collapse, and often implode. Ongoing projects include her blog Shenzhen Noted and the Handshake 302 Art Space in Baishizhou. In January 2017, the University of Chicago Press published Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City, which she co-edited with Winnie Wong and Jonathan Bach. Her research has been published in positions: east Asian cultures critique, TDR: The Drama Review, and the Hong Kong Journal of Cultural Studies.

Juan Du

Juan Du is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture and Associate Dean (International and Mainland China Affairs) of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. Her research and writings have been published in China, Europe, and the United States, including China Voices, Urban Trans Formations, Domus International, Urban China, and Journal of Architectural Education. She is the founding director of Hong Kong-based office IDU_architecture with projects ranging from the extent of built forms to the social and ecological processes of the city. Her work has been exhibited internationally including La Biennale di Venezia 11th International Architecture Exhibition, Vienna Architekturzentrum Exhibition, and the Brazil International Exhibition of Architecture and Urbanism. (Moderator)


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Event Details

Wed 22 Nov 2017
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty

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Asia Society Members $200; Non-members $350
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