Hi, I'm Christina
Born and raised in Hong Kong, I spent my student years mostly in the UK, and now work for a bank back in HK.
In my spare time I visit old Hong Kong family-run shops and stores, talking to the owners to understand their history, often spanning several generations, listening to their stories, taking pictures and observing their craftsmanship.
I want to create greater awareness of these gems on our doorstep, help preserve their trades, and inspire people to go seek them out, find possibilities of learning their crafts and carrying them forward. More than that, I want to find ways where we can revitalise and sustain this part of our society and encourage greater collaboration between the old and the new.
Small Shops, Big Hearts
248 mm (H) x 188 mm (W)
Bilingual (English & Chinese)
A 3 minute video about my journey, kindly produced by HSBC.
The purpose behind christinayung.com is to create a platform to help promote family-run shops and their special crafts and services. My passion stems from childhood memories of these old stores and their owners, and the uniquely personal touch they bring to local communities.
Meanwhile I'd really love to hear your thoughts on all things old or handmade. How best to sustain these traditional crafts and encourage more people to take them up and carry them forward for many generations to come. Do let me have your ideas. I'd love for you to be involved in the debate.
Rediscover and Inspire
Many of the old stores that still remain are now facing an increasingly uncertain future, caused by unaffordable hikes in rent and consumers preferring homogenous global brands and ubiquitous shopping malls over one-off local Hong Kong stores.
I believe, however, that there's room for global and local to co-exist. I write about this from time to time in my blog and try to stimulate some debate!
I managed to write a book about my experiences of 33 of these old shops and have it published. Small Shops, Big Hearts is now available in bookstores across Hong Kong and can also be purchased online.
All the proceeds I receive from sales of the book are donated to elderly charity causes in Hong Kong.
I believe the key to making a city unique stems from the preservation of its roots - its history and heritage. Economic progress and globalisation are inevitable, and welcomed, but that is not to say that modern development and automation can't collaborate with the heritage and the hand-made crafts of these old shops. We need a more sensitive and considered approach to the evolution of this amazing city, whose infrastructure and social fabric has been shaped to a large extent over the years by family-run shops and businesses, and by some amazing characters who've run them.
Check out the list of old shops I've visited, where to find them, what they have to offer, and the stories behind them. I add more stories every month!
I love to think that our wonderful old shop owners can help inspire and educate our young people in the ways of the world. At the same time, today's youth have so many 21st century skills that would benefit many of the older generation and their businesses.
My book is as much about the owners of these stores, the deep family bonds they have and the stories they tell, as it is about the goods and services they provide.