Following his popular model of a Temple Street building, Australian artist Joshua Smith has once again drawn inspiration from Hong Kong and created a model of a Mahjong shop.

The shop, Biu Kee Mah-jong, which creates handcrafted Mahjong tiles, is on Jordan Road in Yau Ma Tei.

Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.
Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

Smith told HKFP that these particular premises were chosen for their style and history after a client in the UK approached him last year looking to commission a model of a small shop. His creation is 20cm high, 13cm wide and 30cm deep.

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Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

“After some research and finding out about the history of the shop and that it was one of the last shops that handcarved mahjong tiles, it was decided that it would be the basis of the miniature,” said Smith.

Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

The miniature took Smith three months to complete, and the most difficult part was recreating the shelves in the shop.

Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

“The shelves are so full of items so it took a while to replicate all of the different items,” he said.

Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

Smith was able to complete the model even during the Covid-19 pandemic, because he mostly relied on photos and did not have to travel to the actual shop.

Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

“In most cases I get my followers to take reference photos for me but in this case it was based entirely off reference images sourced from the internet.”

Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

Smith has an upcoming project also based on a Hong Kong building: Lai Kwong, an electrical supply store in Sham Shui Po.

Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

And his favourite part of the miniature? The lighting.

Biu Kee Mahjong
Photo: Andrew Beveridge.

“Replicating the fluorescent lights just right was so satisfying and it is so great to have the lights working inside the miniature.”

joshua smith
Joshua Smith’s popular model of a Temple Street building. Photo: Andrew Beveridge/ASB Creative Instagram.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.