20 June 2019
22 August 2014
CUHK to hold ‘Magic Carpet: Tin Shui Wai’ Moonlight Cinema at Tin Sau Bazaar to Re-envision Community Space

The ‘Magic Carpet: Sai Ying Pun’ event held on the Mid-Autumn Festival last year was critically acclaimed.  It was an outdoor screening of videos about the history and characteristics of the community.  On the Mid-Autumn Festival this year (8 September), the School of Architecture and the School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) will hold the ‘Magic Carpet’ at the Tin Sau Bazaar in Tin Shui Wai, which will be turned into an outdoor cinema for one night to provide a new experience in using public space.  While watching videos about the neighbourhood under the ‘full moon’, local residents and the general public are also being provided an opportunity to gather and interact on the Mid-Autumn Festival, and to envision how an open space can be used for community building.  The event is co-organised by Pui Shing Catholic Secondary School and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) Tin Sau Bazaar, and supported by the Knowledge Transfer Fund of CUHK.

Produced by 20 students from Pui Shing Catholic Secondary School in Tin Shui Wai, more than 30 video shorts about the community will be screened at ‘Magic Carpet: Tin Shui Wai’.  Since this April, the students have been interviewing people from all walks of life in the community, capturing their life stories, views on the district’s development, and their ideas as to how the neighbourhood could change for the better.  Before the shootings took place, the participating students had attended a series of workshops organised by the School of Architecture and the School of Journalism and Communication at CUHK, where they learned about Tin Shui Wai’s urban planning and development, as well as skills in producing videos and conducting interviews with community members.

‘Magic Carpet: Tin Shui Wai’ will take place at the TWGHs Tin Sau Bazaar.  Tin Shui Wai has been infamously associated with poverty and domestic violence, and has been labelled as the ‘City of Sorrow’.  Last year, a research team led by Prof. Hendrik TIEBEN, Initiator of the Magic Carpet project and Associate Professor of the CUHK School of Architecture studied the urban layout of Tin Shui Wai and identified a major shortcoming – that active street spaces are not enough for communal encounters and micro-economic activities.  Through staging Magic Carpet in Tin Shui Wai, the CUHK project team hopes to re-envision, activate, and transform the public space of the district, and thereby make the community livelier.  This echoes TWGHs Tin Sau Bazaar’s interest in improving the public spaces and empowering the local community of Tin Shui Wai.  While the HKSAR Government is building the ‘Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area’ next to Tin Shui Wai to accommodate 160,000 new residents, it is crucial to revisit the planning of Tin Shui Wai from the perspective of its community members to learn from earlier mistakes.

‘Magic Carpet: Tin Shui Wai’ features an exhibition and a range of participatory activities organised by urban design students from the School of Architecture at CUHK.  There, they will display their interpretations of the district and discuss with residents the future development of Tin Shui Wai.  Besides, Tin Sau Bazaar is organising a festive night party with lantern display, moon gazing, lantern riddle games and booth games for the residents to enjoy.  Some stalls will also extend their opening hours on the Mid-Autumn Festival to enhance the festive atmosphere of ‘Magic Carpet: Tin Shui Wai’.  In fact, the adjacent Tin Sau Park and local eateries at Grandeur Terrace have always been popular places for people in the neighbourhood to celebrate the Festival.  Magic Carpet’s participants can take this opportunity to explore Tin Shui Wai and experience its community life, too.

Members of the public are welcome.  Admission is free.  No registration required.  Details are as follows:

Date: Monday, 8 September 2014

Tin Sau Bazaar, Tin Sau Road, Tin Shui Wai
(Please check out location and transport at www.facebook.com/MagicCarpetHK)


4:00-10:00pm – ‘Re-envisioning Tin Shui Wai’ Workshop
6:30-10:00pm – Moonlight Cinema

Magic Carpet, initiated by the School of Architecture and the School of Journalism and Communication at CUHK, is an outreach project combining documentation of daily life, community engagement and urban design.  It was launched in 2013 in Sai Ying Pun, one of Hong Kong’s oldest districts, to a tremendous public response (documentary highlights: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt-ozZTikAs).  The mobile set-up of Magic Carpet, which comprises a grass carpet and colourful beanbags, was designed in order to allow easy adaptation to different places in Hong Kong and beyond.  Last winter, the CUHK project team collaborated with Taiwan University to move Magic Carpet to Wanhua district in Taipei, leading to a cultural exchange between old neighbourhoods of Hong Kong and Taiwan.  Now, the Magic Carpet is ‘flying’ back to town for an open screening in Tin Shui Wai, a new town in northwest New Territories, setting out to understand how the old and new parts of the city differ in urban planning and everyday culture, while also exploring how the ‘new town’ concept could be sustained in Hong Kong today.

Project Team:
Prof. Hendrik TIEBEN, Project Initiator, Associate Professor, School of Architecture
Prof. Anthony FUNG, Project Initiator, Director, School of Journalism and Communication
YIP Kai-chun, Manager, School of Architecture
Janice Leung, Content Editor, School of Architecture
Students of BSSc in Urban Studies & M.Sc. in Urban Design, School of Architecture

Project Website:


www.facebook.com/MagicCarpetHK  & www.facebook.com/events/283892588461497/



Reference videos: 

(1)  Music in Tin Shui Wai Park

(2)  Volunteer of a Tin Shui Wai NGO, Tin Sau Bazaar

(3)  Boutique at Tin Yiu Plaza


'Magic Carpet: Tin Shui Wai' turns the Tin Sau Bazaar into an outdoor cinema for one night at the Mid-Autumn Festival. (Image: Jimmy Ho Tsz-wai)

Magic Carpet: Sai Ying Pun at Mid-Autumn Festival, 2013

Project initiator Prof. Hendrik TIEBEN introduces the urban design of Tin Shui Wai to students of Pui Shing Catholic Secondary School.

Two students interview a grocery shopkeeper at Tin Yiu Market.