While most of us would easily discard any broken umbrella today, Mr. Yau Yiu Wai (Uncle Wai) sits by his tiny stall in Sham Shui Po, patiently mending every single umbrella that passes through his hands. Open every single day, it has been decades since the business first set up in 1842, while Uncle Wai is already the 5th generation.
Uncle Wai claimed himself not a man doing umbrella craftsmanship, but an artist using umbrellas to create his arts. He said himself the 1st generation of Green DIY artist. There in his stall you can find a lot of interesting creative handicrafts made of left behind materials, such as mosquitoes which were made of racks of broken umbrellas, lantern that was made of tissue paper rolls and promotion leaflets, even goldfishes, all made by him. Once there was a tourist wanted to buy his “mosquito” with US$200, yet he was not moved. To him, every single piece of works is unique, he will never sell them no matter what.
Uncle Wai has his own life philosophy. He believes no matter what, life goes on, so why don’t we live happily? Be yourself, don’t overweight the importance of oneself, you can have an easier life. Regardless the umbrella repair service is a dying trade in Hong Kong, Uncle Wai’s umbrella stall still opens every day. He doesn’t really care if there’s any businesses, but he treasures the time that interact with the community.
B1, 314 Lai Chee Kok Road, Shum Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Open Monday – Sunday, 8:30 a.m.- 8 p.m.