I started my exchange student semester in Hong Kong on Tuesday night and there are many things about this city I’m looking to explore more of, particularly aspects of pop culture and visual culture, and how it intersects with identity development, as well as urban development. Within these intersections, I am also interested in the presence of brands and the relationships individuals build with them as they develop these identities.
I just found this video exploring the “underground” hip hop scene of HK, and in it, you’ll see street artists and crowds of people invested in the lifestyle presented to them by getting into hip hop. A narrator describes hip hop in HK as “premature, underdeveloped and undervalued,” and notes that a barrier to the growth of this underground culture is the tendency of youth to fall so much into trends that they don’t invest in something substantial.
In the video, you’ll also find several shots of the brand “WeSC.” This brand describes itself as a “street-fashion brand for intellectual slackers,” and though the video doesn’t seem to be a commercial for WeSC, it could very well be one in that it represents the ideal WeSC customer in their prime environment.
The sentiments expressed in the video are largely of people who have found something they are passionate about in a city where it’s “undervalued.” WeSC’s presence here is one that seems to own this space of identity. A visit to their Hong Kong page shows that WeSC is proud of it’s ability to represent hip hop in a place where it’s not popular.
In a way, this brand now creates a space of refuge for these dancers and others interested in the underground scene.
I stumbled across this video this morning while wondering about the dance culture in HK, and had these thoughts come up as I watched it. I’m hoping to find a lot more insights like this while I’m here!