Top: The entrance of an industrial building in San Po Kong
Since I started this business, I was lucky to have met and made friends with many like-minded designers and entrepreneurs in Asia and London. After working with Hong Kong’s ten Design stationery for years, I became friends with their designer Paul Lam. Paul and I met up while I was in town, and he suggested a visit to Silver Stationery shop, a quirky vintage toy and stationery shop museum located inside an industrial building in San Po Kong. Paul is friends with the owner Joel and Ryan, a product designer who works there, so he was keen to show me this one-of-a-kind museum that is not featured in the standard guidebooks.
Paul made an appointment a few days before my departure back to London (all visitors have to make an appointment before visiting), unfortunately, Joel couldn’t be there and so I missed the opportunity meet him. However, I was given a tour by Ryan, a toy designer and founder of Makeitwork Studio who is one of the few designers working there.
Graphic designer and founder of this shop museum, Joel Chung has been preserving Hong Kong’s culture for the last decade or so. Aside from preserving the works of the King of Kowloon (Hong Kong’s famous calligraphic graffiti artist), he has also been preserving and collecting toys and stationery locally for the last 30 years. In 2015, he rented a studio space inside the industrial building and recreated a shop that mimics a vintage 1960s/70s toy and stationery shop that were ubiquitous in Hong Kong at the time. The decline of these local style stationery shops started the 1980s, and now they have become rare finds in the city. The aim of this shop museum is to preserve Hong Kong’s cultural heritage; most of the products featured were donated by local shop owners before the shops’ closures. The shop museum was recreated in a precise manner, every detail was considered to create an authentic shop ambience that would transport the visitors back in time. All the products at the shop museum are for display only and they are not available for sale.
As a stationery addict, I was immensely overwhelmed and joyous by what I saw. I picked up a pink pencil case (see above), and it reminded me of the ones I collected when I was a kid. It certainly brought back a lot of childhood memories.
Aside from the shop museum, the studio is also a collaborative space that features works by local designers, as well as selling an array of vintage stationery, toys and games. I was surprised to find that another brand that we work with, Open Quote, has moved from Soho to this new premise.
After Ryan’s interesting tour of the studio, the three of us spent some time chatting and comparing Hong Kong and London’s design industries, and the possibility of collaborating in the future.
It is very encouraging to see that Joel‘s passion and efforts in the preservation and promotion of Hong Kong culture have paid off since the opening of the shop museum. Nowadays, he is frequently interviewed by magazines and newspapers, including foreign ones. The museum shop is also attracting visitors from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, so it may not be a hidden secret soon. If you love toys, stationery and Hong kong culture, then a visit to this shop museum is unmissable!
Silver Stationary Shop (銀の文房具)
Address: Room 1B, 1/F, BLK B, Wing Chai Ind Bldg, 27 Ng Fong St., San Po Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Tel: +852 6311 8789 (best to call and make an appointment first)