Writing on the Wall

Syan a.k.a. MC Yan

MC Yan uses a laser pointer to tag Hong Kong's Cultural Centre across Victoria Harbour

The west wall of Hong Kong's City Hall is the kind of canvas graffiti artists long for. Unsullied and several stories high, its white surface can be seen from some of the city's busiest roads. It has never been "tagged" — to use graffiti parlance — but that doesn't deter local artist MC Yan, who is famous for having left his work on, of all places, the Great Wall.

On a breezy November night, Yan etches Chinese characters across most of the side of City Hall. They read "Save Queen's Pier" (an ironic...

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