Wo Hop Shek columbarium: think about death in a peaceful environment
A columbarium is a place for storing cinerary urns, for people to visit their friends or relatives who passed away in order to pay their respects, for thinking life and death. It's not only functional, but also meaningful and symbolical.
I didn't study architecture during my university studies, but I did read some books and articles, knowing that an architecture is more than the kind of decoration which makes a place more beautiful, stunning; while it is a kind of to fulfil some individual and social meaning, and even pursue some values. An apartment, for example, consists of flats for individuals, couples and families so that they can be protected from privacy and outside danger; the inside space facilities harmonious relationship with other members and natural environment (say lighting) while the outside public area allows more exchange with neighbours. The architecture results in a strong community carrying different kinds of meaning in one's life. Architecture is beyond a container, a physical shelter.
A few years ago, there was a new columbarium completed in Wo Hop Shek. It was set up to address the insufficient storage of cinerary urns in the city, and the social perception of the facility. A columbarium should not be a bad thing. It can be in the form of a park located outside the urban area, with water, grass, trees and natural lighting contributing to a peaceful environment even inviting all kinds of people to pay visit, to think about life and death.
Yes, I did go there just for visiting this lovely architecture, not because my friends or relatives are there. I wandered around in this quiet place which made me think easily. Death is what everyone will reach one day while we always forget, or deny by stating that 'it's still far away from me since I am still young'. It can happen when we get old. It can also be in a sudden so there are quotes like 'live each day as if it was your last'. If you are aware of death, you will never argue something unnecessary; you will not be worried too much about the loss of, money, for example; you will not procrastinate but focus on pursue your happiness.
Whatever locals or travelers from overseas, I do recommend going there even though you don't have your relatives and friends there, especially when you are uncertain about your future, don't know how to figure out some problems. Escape from them temporarily, and get there. Maybe you will find some of the answers, or realize something...
Columbarium and Garden of Remembrance
To get there, take bus routes 73, 74A, 74D from Tai Wo MTR Station. Get off at Kau Lung Hang bus stop and walk for about 5 minutes.