Scenes from an exhibition: The House on Horse Mountain x Congteakafe


Photo of lemons in a cup on a glass table with multiple printed pages from the comic laid underneath the glass

June 29 – September 16, 2018
Congteakafe 茶咖里
David Lane 4, Hong Kong
Opening 6-9pm June 29

The House on Horse Mountain x Congteakafe is a collaboration between comic artist Jason Li and local 茶餐廳* Congteakafe. The exhibition brings together an artist whose graphic novel pays homage to a forgotten era of Hong Kong with a cafe chain that openly celebrates Hong Kong culture.

Set in Congteakafe’s vintage Hong Kong themed location in the up-and-coming Sai Ying Pun neighborhood, this exhibition features select scenes from Li’s graphic novel The House on Horse Mountain. Scenes, characters and settings were handpicked and re-mastered to match the cafe’s interior and exterior facilities in such a way so that each corner of the cafe tells its own little story.

The House on Horse Mountain is about growing up in the bygone Hong Kong of the 1960s. Part memoir, part social history, it re-examines the modern idea of childhood by putting us into the shoes of a young girl who’s always trying to do the right thing in a world with little to no adult supervision.

Ann, the main character, welcomes restaurant-goers in the outdoor seating area.

Outdoor seating showig two green stools, a foldable table, and above it, three lasercut wooden signs that say welcome in Chinese and feature a smiling person's head

Enter the cafe! Notice that much of the artwork has been placed beneath the glass surface on the tables. (These kinds of glass tables are a regular feature of 茶餐廳 cafes, though usually they’re used to place menus under.)

Inside view of the cafe with signature red half-circle hanging lanterns with printed panels from the comic on the walls and on the glass tables

The high tables with tall chairs, decorated like a mountain with lush greenery. Features Ann and her siblings trekking up and down Horse Mountain.

Various panels of the comic printed and placed under the top glass layer of the table, with a cashier's machine in the background

The booth tables, enclosed like the inside of a house, featuring scenes of home: cooking, washing, eating, packing and studying. Plus a rooster on top for good measure.

Booth tables decorated with illustrations in the glass table and a rooster print prominently placed on the wall next to the menu of the day

And last but not least, an extra, subtly-placed rooster sign to steer people to the bathrooms.

Rooster wood cutout on white wall

The exhibition runs until August 26 at Congteakafe 茶咖里.

* 茶餐廳 (pronounced caa4 caan1 teng1) literally translates as “tea restaurant.” Generally used in Chinese to refer to a casual, diner-like restaurant that serves a mixture of Chinese and Western food.

About the author

Jason Li is an independent designer, artist and researcher. He is a co-author of the forthcoming Hanmoji Handbook, an editor at Paradise System, and a member of Zine Coop.

Visit his personal website or email him.

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