Elements(圓方) the newest shopping mall in Hong Kong, located above the Kowloon Station, recently opened on 1st Oct 2007, the Chinese National Day. It is a upmarket mall with many shops, restaurants and recreational facilities like multiplex cinema and an ice rink.
I was there a few days after it opened. As a new and upmarket mall, of course I was keen to take photos. Although, in some countries, shopping malls do not allow photography inside. However, the norm in Hong Kong is that, practically all shopping malls allow photography. Well, that is until the arrival of Elements. After I have taken some photographs, a staff of the mall came up to me while I was taking photograph of a structure inside of the mall. He asked me what I was using the photographs for. I told him that I was a photo enthusiast and the photos I took were for my personal use. He told me that I was not allowed to take photographs inside the mall if the photos did not have any people in them. However, it would be OK to take photos inside the mall if i include people I know like friends or family. the reason for this rule was because they were afraid that their “competitor” may come to the mall to take photos and try to copy them!
Now, that is the most absurd and ridiculous reason I have heard of. If they were so afraid of competitors trying to photograph and copy their design, they should just completely ban photography altogether. Anyoen could simply ask someone to stand in front of the camera and still shoot everywhere inside the mall and copy any design they want.
Are they simply paranoid, naive or stupid? The mind boggles…… The last time I have shot and posted a blog article on a shopping mall in Hong Kong, the blog article achieved top hit status at the time amongst my blog articles. That particular mall received positive reactions from readers of my blog.
I have actually taken some photos of Elements before I was told to stop and some of them were quite good. However, I am not going to post them on my blog. I will neither endorse or help to promote Elements here. They maybe paranoid enough to think that by posting photographs of Elements here I maybe giving away trade secrets to their competitors.
Sorry Elements, you are really not that good and do not deserve to have your photos posted here. I won’t expose you to the 170,000+ visitors who have visited this blog which I started less than 4 months ago.