Bowed Head Tribe 低头族

dī tóu zú or dai1tau4 zuk6

Compared to other big cities, Hong Kong seems over-run by a bowed head tribe or clan. So many people watch videos, surf the internet, update their social media, text their friends, order food, and play games while taking public transportation or walking to their next destination.

First Concept Sketch

Data plans are inexpensive here compared to the US. The streets are well maintained. I haven't heard of any recent accidents involving distracted pedestrians.

Early Iterations

The piece has gone through several iterations as I wrestled with my first impressions of Hong Kong, how to show people abstractly without turning them into a caricature. Eventually the same issue on another unrelated project helped me settle on silhouettes.

Tall buildings fill the horizon

Public Housing Complex

The giant public housing projects reminded me of Le Corbusier's proposal of a city of tall buildings on pilotis surrounded by highways and parks as vision of the future in Towards a New Architecture.

Hong Kong has the tall buildings without the space for parks between the buildings.

Facade of Text

Close Up of Single Apartment Module

The final work is meant to be about 3x3 ft . One perceives the human silhouettes against an urban background from a distance. Up close the facades are revealed as quotes from Towards a New Architecture.

If you are interested in acquiring a print please contact me.

-Tom Pushpathadam