Man Wa Lane, The 100-year-old Chop Alley in Hong Kong

Over the last three thousand years, seals or chops were very important in China to prove the authenticity of documents and art. Nowadays in Hong Kong, even though handmade chops are fading out in everyday usage, and chop makers are getting less and less, the value of handmade chops remains because of its uniqueness.

Man Wa Lane in Sheung Wan or the ”Chop Alley” called by the locals has over 100 years of history. This is the only place left in Hong Kong with various chop stores together.

Our chop maker friend, Master Ng Kam Chun, who has been in the industry for more than 30 years. To be a chop maker is not an easy task because not only they need to master engraving skills but also study various types of fonts from different dynasties. This may take a decade or more to do that.

To get your own chop, basically there are two steps: pick the chop and think about the design. However it is more complicated than it sounds because each chop is made of different types of materials such as marbles or wood, and each sculpture on the chop has different meanings. At the same time you will need to think of the design of the stamp, whether to stick in or stick out, and the design of the stamp has to match the shape of the chop.

People usually choose their names or their company names to make a chop. If you don’t have a Chinese name, Master Ng will be able to help you.

We asked Master Ng to make a chop with the logo of HONGKONGUIDE.