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People often ask about my inspirations and how I developed @the14thfactory. This is my story...


Story of The 14th Factory - Part 1
I have to break the next part into a few sections as it's quite complex so bear with me dear reader!
Over a few years, I had taken some of the ideas from Hope and Glory ("HG"), civilization rising and falling to the brink of collapse and somehow evading catastrophe, we are so different but the same, creating a blueprint for The 14th Factory. A more thorough and solid concept was developed by learning from the mistakes of HG in terms of quality and planning and more conceptually driven content. 
I found an abandoned warehouse in Kowloon and planned a one-day guerilla pop-up. Jump the fence, install, invite and vanish. A few weeks before starting the install, the building got demolished. But the content and concept were solid so I kept moving.
The original 14th Factory in Hong Kong, sadly destroyed before Simon could put up a single work
The project’s concept was ignited by the history of how, in the mid 19th century, many foreign countries were restricted to trade with China but allowed one small port in Canton, 13 Factories (十三行), each one owned by Americans, Dutch, Portuguese, British, etc. The rest of China was closed off by the Qing dynasty as they tried to keep The empire together and feared foreign influence.
SB - P23I2
A landscape painting of the 13 factories in Canton
The factories facilitated the opium trade and caused awful social issues in China, addiction was rife. The Qing emperor Daoguang sent the army to Canton and threw all the opium in the river. The British traders took exception to this and convinced the Navy to fight the Chinese with far superior technology and beat them in the first of 3 opium wars, resulting in an unfair treaty, opening up trade around China and allowing the British to use Hong Kong as their territory.
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A floor plan of the 13 Factories dated back in 1856
Drugs and money.
But the greater story, tension between borders and the borderless, trade, control, violent intervention, seems very relevant to the current world. That treaty ended in 1997 which is when I arrived in HK. So arriving as the British left, thinking about that violent, corrupted history and that ignition point at the 13 corrupted factories......what if there was a lost factory? A 14th? That was good and kind and nourishing. What if I built that? What if my factory trade was not profit and corruption but creativity, ideas, collaboration, art and love?
SB - P23I4
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