hong kong willie

Getting lost out of Tampa on the way to Gibsonton, we saw this structure just off the exit ramp. We turned around to investigate and met Kim and Joe of Hong Kong Willie, an artist’s collective that makes art out of buoys and burlap bags and other discards on Key West. Kim and Joe were a sweet couple and Bunny thought they wanted to adopt me. Joe explained that the name Hong Kong Willie comes from 1956, when the world changed and plastic turned this into a nation of nonbiodegradable disposables. I hesitate to call what they do outsider art because it can be a patronizing label; their work comes not from the inward obsession of much outsider art, but from a social conscience and a genuine desire to reach out and make the world a better place.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “hong kong willie

  1. I live in Tampa and work across the street from this junk pile. It is not art, it is just thier way of “sticking it to the man!” Nobody around here likes it and now they have littered cars all over the place to advertise this mess. The whole place looks like a washed up bait shop.

  2. Sam

    These preservation artists have not only mowed the right of way on Morris Bridge for over 25 years, but have also been an integral part of keeping the area tidy and well kept through construction projects, excessive trash buildup due to interstate traffic, overall, being considerate citizens in their beloved community. I do wish for those concerned to research my comments, and validate my claims.

  3. Go Go…Go Willie Go! We have lived here forever and never thought to stop and see just what the reason was for these objects we see daily, till we saw “Google Hong Kong Willie” Thanks. Kept up all the good work you do!

  4. go past 5 days a week, i think it’s great, better than the “Bob Evans, Baskin Robbins, Starbucks” see them everywhere stores. Fuck’um if they can’t take a joke !

  5. I just moved to this area from South Tampa where we were worried about the encroachment of big business. If it were not for the unique eclectics this would be a boring cookie cutter world. If you have to point a finger just remember there are three more pointing back at you. I believe it is their property and in the U.S. of America for the most part they have the right to do what they want there, be it business or artistic expression. If it was not for some free thinkers we would not be free, this is usually forgotten until it is your rights that are violated or legislated out of existence. In the days ahead we should be glad that someone has the foresight to use their rights before we loose them. By the way J.C. take a chill pill and watch some more Boondocks, I know where you sit.

  6. while visiting my mother at the cancer center in tampa, i had the distinct pleasure of meeting joe and kim. as a key west resident, i was shocked and incredibly pleased that the bulldozers of progress, read corporate greed and environmental destructionists, have been unable to replace “Hong Kong Willie’s” with another business traveller, cookie cutter hotel on their property. get over it tampa, live and let live and stop mowing down all the trees. enough is enough.

  7. Here We Are…More To Come…Please Enjoy 🙂
    Thank You, HONG KONG WILLIE

    http://hongkongwillie.blogspot.com/

  8. Hong Kong Willie

    I know that this preservation art group is gaining in popularity as the true story unfolds. What a small world it is when you are already have others using your name for their own agenda. That’s life in the internet world, I guess? Check this link out:

    http://www.bigdomain.info/hong-kong-willie.com

  9. Hong Kong Willie is Awesome!! My husband and I had the pleasure of vacationing in Tampa and stayed at a hotel near the artistic contribution. We spent three days having such a good time betting back and forth on exactly what the objects were…as soon as we got home we had to google Hong Kong Willie to see who was right. Just remember, one person’s “eye sore” is another person’s most memorable part of a vacation. Keep on “sticking it to the man” Willie, WE LOVED IT!!!

  10. the car, the truck, and the son have been at my school. the art is just that art, expression of the heart and soul. i have been touched by its genius.

  11. GOOGLE HONG KONG WILLIEHONG KONG WILLIE THE NAME OF THE ARTIST. IN 1958 HIS MOTHER TOOK HONG KONG WILLIE TO AN ART CLASS. THE NAME STARTED THEN. AN ART TEACHER WHEN DOING CRAFTS OUT OF GERBER BABY BOTTLES, MADE A STATEMENT, IN HONG KONG REUSE WAS COMMON. AT THAT TIME HE THOUGHT THIS WAS VERY INTERESTING. HIS FATHER HAD LOW LAND, AT THAT TIME LANDFILLS WERE COMMON ALSO. THE COUNTY HAD TOLD HONG KONG WILLIE’S FATHER, IT WAS SAFE, BUT AS WE KNOW NOW THIS WAS NOT SO. SOMETHING CAN COME FROM BAD TO BE GOOD. HONG KONG WILLIE THE NAME CAME FROM THAT ART TEACHER IMPRESSING ON THAT YOUNG MIND THAT OBJECTS MADE FOR ONE USE COULD BE FOR MANY OTHER USES. HONG KONG FOR THE NEAT CONCEPT. WILLIE FOR AN AMERICAN NAME. SO FOR MANY YEARS HONG KONG WILLIE HAD A LIFE OF REUSE. HONG KONG WILLIE SAW FORMS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT. HIS LIFE NOW WAS MEANINGFUL, KNOWING THIS WAS AND WOULD BE HIS LIFE. ART MADE FROM FOUND OBJECTS, MAKING LESS OF A FOOT PRINT ON THIS WORLD. ART AND ART TEACHERS, HOW IMPORTANT. FOR THE ONES THAT HAVE, AND THE ONES THAT HAVE NOT. MEDIA CAN BE FOUND. NOW 49 YEARS LATER, WE KNOW BEING GREEN IS IMPORTANT. WE NEED TO LOOK AT THIS VERY CAREFULLY. OUR CHILDREN AND OUR WORLD NEED A DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING. OBJECTS CAN BE USED IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. HONG KONG WILLIE THE TONS OF OBJECTS IN HIS LIFE THAT HAVE BEEN USED, WITH OUT MUCH CHANGE. SO FOR THAT ART TEACHER WHAT SHE DID FOR MY LIFE THANK YOU, FOR HONG KONG THANK YOU, FOR AMERICA, THANK YOU, FOR THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE HELPED, THANK YOU FOR THE 76,266 VIEWS OF OUR BLOGS SINCE SEPTEMBER OF 2006. I STILL HAVE THE GERBER BABY BOTTLE TILL THIS DAY. HONG KONG WILLIE< HREF="http://www.hongkongwillie.com" REL="nofollow">http://www.hongkongwillie.com<>

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