Viral this month: Parody video of Hong Kong luxury property
Unlike its name, the "King’s Cube" featured in Hong Kong’s latest viral video is a residential unit that bears no resemblance to a royal mansion.
The video is a satirical take on promotional videos for luxury properties in Hong Kong and has garnered more than 200,000 viewers in less than three weeks.
The six-minute clip is student Joe Yiu’s final project for her Master of Fine Arts program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Although a satire, King’s Cube is based on an actual rentable unit.
The apartment featured is a 1.5-square-meter subdivided unit located within a dilapidated building in Sham Shui Po. Such residences are known as "cubicle units."
The going rate? HK$100 (US$12.80) per night for nothing more than an air conditioner, a single mattress and a window that looks out to scaffolding.
The rental rate translates to HK$65.60 per square meter per night, more expensive than Sorrento, one of Hong Kong’s most expensive residential complexes and pricier than a Harbor View Suite at the YMCA of Hong Kong, which comes with a private bathroom, minibar, daily housekeeping and buffet breakfast.
In the video, the be-suited young actor who plays the real estate agent opens the door to the cubicle unit to reveal that there is only room for a single mattress and little else.
The estate agent steps onto the mattress and spouts sugar-coated descriptions of the residential space: “elegant and durable flooring”, “environmental-friendly living” and “international-class marble."
The actor explains that the decorated room is only "for reference" and then shows the actual -- much shabbier -- unit next door.
The video parodies the flowery rhetoric used by property developers in an attempt to dazzle potential buyers.
Yiu told the SCMP: "I wanted to talk about the language and help the audience reflect on how estate agents and property developers dictate the style of an ideal living space.
“I'm concerned about the living environment in Hong Kong, particularly about what we consider to be an ideal home environment.”
The ludicrous idea of a man crawling into his cubicle home is reality to some of Hong Kong's poorest.
The heated property market and astronomical price tags on luxury homes in Hong Kong have caused major social grievances in the city.
According to data from Midland Realty, one of Hong Kong’s largest property agencies, a 160.3-square-meter unit in The Cullinan in West Kowloon recently sold for HK$42.8 million.
Record home prices so unreachable for the younger and lower-income buyers in Hong Kong exacerbate public discontent.
To reflect Hong Kongers’ frustration, a comment on the King's Cube video reads “[I felt] a sense of despondency after laughing [at the video].” Left by asjam, the Chinese comment has received 116 "thumbs up" from other viewers. The comment has since been taken down.