#theWanderlist: The Best Sunday Brunch Yet

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A wet and rain-soaked weekend is coming up, so I thought I’d share with you photos from two of my favorite Sunday brunch joints in Hong Kong… you know just in case those junk boating plans fall through. Whenever Sunday rolls around, everyone always asks the same question… What is the best brunch in Hong Kong??? And if you’re like me, you think it’s a Google search away, when in reality, the information you’d get online as feedback could even be more painful to get through. Let me help.

The “Best brunch” depends on a lot of factors for different people. Some are all about “views” and some are about “ambiance”. For me, that criteria is important, however in addition, I find the most important elements of a great Sunday brunch is that A. It has to be Western (unless it’s outright dimsum which is fine), B. It’s gotta serve amazing juice, coffee, and bloody maries, C. Eggs. It’s gotta serve eggs or eggy dishes well, and lastly D. The special Added extra something that only a unique restaurant can provide… and its not necessarily champagne. (Though that’s an easy tack on that’s very welcome.)

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+ “Old World Becomes New Classic” // The Principal

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The Principal, is one of Hong Kong’s classic hidden gems, located on a little tucked-in corner on Star Street. The restaurant, owned by the Press Room Group, IS a destination that doubles as a sleepy neighborhood locale. The interiors are fresh, clean, and crisp… and earthy. Reflected ceiling is in timber, the back wall is clad in light clay brick tiling, and the seating in a light beige and brown madras with a slight blue-grey tint. Tables all have a bit of plant life in a clay pot, everything seems very… mediterranean. The design for the fit out, by Australian studio, Hecker Guthrie, serves as a nice and subtle backdrop for the restaurant’s offerings, delicacies reminiscent of old world flavors, but adapted for a modern, urban palate which expects innovation.

Executive Chef, Jonay Armas, honed his craft in Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain, including La Terraza del Casino and El Chaflan in Madrid, and El Raco de Can Fabes in Barcelona. Regularly, meals at The Principal come in three “travel” inspired set menus, but for the Sunday Brunch, it’s the world’s buffet… direct to your table.

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The menu begins with a “Picnic”, when the waiter brings to your table a wicker basket filled with items and things in glass jars, tin cans, and cheese wrapped in paper. Items in the basket, which are then carefully laid out on the table include; a Strawberry and rhubarb yoghurt mousse, cold cuts and cheese, liver pate, Moroccan-inspired hummus, Anchovies in Vinegar-garlic-olive oil, and freshly baked bread.

For some people in Europe, that’s it for Brunch… but if you’re a guest at the Principal, like me and my sister were… it’s the first course of a six course meal. 

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For the rest of the meal (you know, it’s 6 courses like I said), we were served a delicious ceviche, tempura made of seasonal vegetables, eggs cooked sunny side up in front of us and served with free range bacon, and lastly for savory, the Sunday Roast… a Spanish suckling pig served “Korean Style”, wrapped in lettuce.

And of course, there’s no full meal without… Desserts!

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These beautiful creations include cakes that taste like Snickers Bars, frozen raspberries with pop rocks, Pina Colada Profiteroles, chocolate meringue lollipops, and of course… Churros. Delicious.

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Service at The Principal is extremely on point, and attentive. And for a price of 740HKD, the six course Sunday Brunch also comes with bottomless Champagne (a Brut Le Mesnil-sur-Oger), a selection of Wine /Beer, Juices, fancy water, and Graffeo Coffee or Harney and Sons Teas. NOT BAD. Great even!

+ “Dockside and Farm Fresh Simplicty” // Fish & Meat

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Fish & Meat is definitely one of my most favorite new restaurants in Hong Kong. Not only is it designed by one HK-based designer I admire (and whom I had the pleasure of interviewing before), Ben McCarthy of Charlie & Rose, but the Fish AND the Steak are both equally divine… at least for dinner! I was recently invited to taste the new brunch menu which has just launched last month… and it’s just not any other brunch menu… it’s brunch… with the addition of a BUTTERMILK. PANCAKE. STATION. I kid you not.

For mains on offer here (besides the Buttermilk Pancake Station itself with homemade toppings like Vanilla Cream and Caramel Sauce)… is an Organic poached egg Brioche with Truffle, Pan Fried Sea Bream with fennel and green pea puree, Organic Sunny Side Eggs, and a Cedar River Prime Sirloin… to name a few of what our table consumed. 

Unlike The Principal, Fish & Meat is really visible to its neighborhood location on the corner of Glenealy and Wyndham Street, with the right amount of glazing on both sides to let plenty of sunshine in, and vantages to the city out. Ambiance? Design? Check. Views? Check. 

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Fish and Meat’s general philosophy, a sensitivity towards “farm to table” methods of sourcing, preparation, and serving are all on point even for Sunday Brunch and is evident. It really feels like you’re being served farm fresh food in a farm fresh environment. Compared to The Principal, you can get more relaxed here and be a little bit louder… but then again, it depends on what kind of mood you want for Sunday Brunch.

I also had my fill of the “Cold Buffet”, a selection of fresh oysters and mussels, and a few salads made of beetroot gravlax, crab, watercress, squash, asparagus, and even the basic Ceasar is also available. There’s a delicious farfalle pasta in red pesto and burrata also on offer for those carb-inclined.

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Service at Fish & Meat is also quite good and personable, and generally matches the menu’s casual attitude. The mains are delicious, but you know… if you can do it… have the the Steak or the eggs. You won’t regret it!

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So that’s my brunch wrap up, a picture summary of my two favorite brunch places. It’s not too sceney nor is it overwhelming. They’re both buffets on an intimate scale, and with each having their own unique offerings. If you check out any one of these brunch places this weekend, be sure to tag me on Instagram @theWanderlister, so I can inspect and comment on all your delicious #SundayBrunch #FoodPorn.

EAT The Principal . 9 Star Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong . T: +852-25633444 / EAT Fish & Meat, 32 Wyndham Mansions, Central, Hong Kong . T: +852-25656788

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#JJStyle: Good Girl Gone Bad, JOURDEN AW14

Hong Kong’s hottest womenswear line, JOURDEN, is going global and will be the upcoming line soon at Opening Ceremony stores in New York City and Los Angeles. Their Autumn-Winter 2014 collection is an evolution of a JOURDEN girl growing up.

Via JOURDEN:

The collection presents a number of distinctive silhouettes, including shell & polo tops, sheer ribbed jumpers, pleated, trapeze and marquee skirts, dresses, high-waisted shorts, perfecto bikers and hunter jackets. AW ‘14 showcases the label’s signature skirts manifested in new shapes of trapeze and marquee. While the flimsy confetti fabric is transformed into thicker, stormy black and navy versions, the quilt motif also reappears in white and blue interpretations. Continuing a strong yet subtle love of uniform aesthetics, the looks are completed with polo tops trimmed with prominent zippers, a unique adornment displayed throughout the collection, or crude shell tops embellished with sharp yellow, green, red and navy stripes.

JOURDEN shies away from an overt sex appeal, focusing instead on reinstating elements of strength from the original perfecto biker jacket. It is offered in variations of cashmere wool, quilted confetti and duvet motif, as well as mohair fun fur paired up with shimmer fabrics.

via Creative Director, Anais Mak:

“The JOURDEN girl is crusty, candid and determined, but also introvert at times. Every season, I try to make the girl speak up a little bit more. The contrasts between the disciplined, time-honored blocks, and the bold fabrics in each piece exhibits unexpected juxtapositions of the girl. In our times, to be proper means very rebellious.”

The rest of the collection will be available at Liger Hong Kong, along with select premium retailers in Tokyo, Shanghai & Taipei.

WEAR Jourden

JJ.

DESIGN NOTES: Past, Present, and Pancakes at Stack

You think pancakes are delicious… now think of a place in Hong Kong which serves pancakes and crepes all day… then think about those pancakes and crepes be specially prepared and paired with a different kind of alcoholic beverage for each pancake… and then now think about eating those pancakes and crepes in a really cool corner shop with a super fresh “retro-chic” look by the Award Winning architectural design team at WALL Studio…. now think about the Twins Kitchen / Common Ground team making your pancakes…then you’ve pretty much got the hottest new all-day breakfast destination in town at STACK in Sai Ying Pun, of course (where else?)

STACK is a new destination dining concept by twins, Josh and Caleb Ng from Common Ground, focused on creating a pancake joint serving American style carb loaded goodies just the way you want them. But the all day pancake experience is also available with a little protein… we’re talking short ribs, seafood, and pulled pork… amongst other items on the menu.

According to the founders and the designers, the interior concept for STACK is about celebrating the fusion between past and present, extrapolating from the history and the current transformation of the Sai Ying Pun district. Walking in, you’d notice a combination of patterned tiles and iron gates reminiscent of architecture and sidewalks of Hong Kong of ‘yore. The interior and exterior neon signage reflects Hong Kong’s disco heyday in the 70’s… exactly the last time “Wanchai” was cool.

Stack opens on July 12th and will be serving drinks and dinner from 6pm to 11:30pm everyday… but closed on Mondays. See you there! (Get a jog in before hand! You’ll need it!)

EAT STACK . GF 1, 3rd Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong . T: +852 25499787 / DESIGN Wall . 2C, 3-5 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong . T: +852 98634306

JJ.

DESIGN NOTES: Jamie’s Italian HK by Martin Brudnizki and Barnaby Purdy

Hong Kong has really made it to the Culinary tourist’s Destination map when the likes of celebrity chefs begin establishing outposts here from abroad. I mean you’ve got the big guys (no pun intended) like Mario Batali’s Lupa or even more set back and subdued experiences like Restaurant Akrame by Chef Akrame Benallal. Those are the direct imports. Then there are the celebrity Chefs from abroad who, in a way, have used Hong Kong as a path of their journey to the top, by collaborating with local entrepreneurs, like Chef Jason Atherton.

Big news is the arrival of Jamie Oliver’s first restaurant, Jamie’s Italian HK, in Hong Kong, an Italian (safe I know) destination restaurant, about to open in Causeway Bays’ now uber-chic, Soundwill Plaza 2 Midtown (the one that looks and smells like a W Hotel, it’s even got an inverted W font, now an “M” to make that point). I want to show these preview renderings of the interiors, by UK based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS), focused on a “fully transparent dining experience”, which apparently revolves around the ingredients. Jamie Oliver’s long time friend, urban artist, Barnaby Purdy, will do a one-of-a-kind mural incorporating elements of the Chinese zodiac (ie. locality factor, of course.) Local artists will also be invited to submit designs to Jamie, who will then vet them to add additional art on the restaurant’s walls.

Via Jamie’s Italian:

Drawing in elements of the restaurants’ local surroundings, MBDS alludes to Causeway Bay’s historical days as a fishing village, by introducing a quirky shipping container in the kitchen area and a sliding ships ladder at the antipasti bar. By contrast, five two-tiered chandeliers will light up the restaurant with a touch of glamour and draw attention to the signature Jamie’s Italian’s teal banquettes, featured throughout. Finally as a nod to its traditional British heritage, Kingfisher coloured tiles will adorn the restaurants’ columns, reminiscent of London’s bustling subway.

The 12,100 sq. ft. of open space will use differing colours and textures to denote different sections - red banquettes around the antipasti bar, sleek black tiles for the spacious open kitchen, beautiful timber flooring for the seating areas, and large cooling slate tiles throughout the entrances and corridors. Using a complementary yet contrasting pallet of colours and materials throughout, MBDS creates a dynamic and visually compelling atmosphere so that the restaurant can achieve its two key focuses of food and people - through his exploration of the concept of the ‘theatre of food’, which seeks to excite the senses of all guests.

To access Jamie’s Italian, diners can take the escalator up to the restaurant from the ground floor. At first view, the lively theatrics of fresh pastas made daily on-site and an enticing view of freshly made breads on display and cured meats, such as Levoni hams hanging in tempting rows, will set stomachs rumbling. Off to the side a long seated-bar will feature bottles of fine Italian wines, providing a perfect backdrop to the welcoming reception area.

EAT Jamie’s Italian Hong Kong . 2F, Soundwill Plaza II Midtown, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong / DESIGN Martin Brudnizki Design Studio / ART Barnaby Purdy

JJ.

#JJStyle: Form, Shape, Colour, and Matter Matters

Look what i’m very much into at this moment. By the looks of the photographs of the latest products to come out of Hong Kong above… you can probably tell why. Modern Form? Check. Color Blocking? Check. Simplicity? Check. References to to Art and Architectural History like Art Deco, Post Modernism, the Bauhaus, Hopper, Warhol, Hockney, and Max Huber? Check.

The new Hong Kong based accessories label, Matter Matters, puts its fresh designer, Flora Leung, on the forefront of what and why “Design” really “matters” in Hong Kong, NOW. Since launching the brand at a pop-up shop at K11 end of 2013, Leung’s amazingly sharp and classic collection has been covered by the likes of Blouin Artinfo, Refinery29, Vogue Italia, and NOWFASHION. It’s really great that this is coming out of Hong Kong, and too an amazing testament to Leung, who’s had enough of a vision to get her act together to provide a niche product for the local market, which also happens to speak to a global fashion and design audience.

Years of working at a vintage shop selling Chanel’s and Hermes Kelly bags, allowed Leung to observe and see what it is that people are really into. And time and time again, they would always purchase classic bags over seasonal trendy styles. This got her thinking about her own label, Matter Matters, which she actually debuted and developed for her graduate show at the London College of Fashion in 2012. 

"Why do designers have to rack their brains and constantly come up with new designs," asks Leung in an interview, “You can pay a bit more effort and design something timeless that will run for years, even decades.”

The monogram and logo-free label now consists of fun bags… some an homage to the triangle shape, others an homage to dumplings, plus wallets, totes, and watches for both men and women fans of the label. Check out my own Matter Matters “Bay” Wristwatch via my Instagram account, below

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So talented…. and this is only the first collection!

SHOP Matter Matters Online . Matter Matters Gallery at K11 Select, Shop 101, No.18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, HK .T: +852 98894198 . For Stockists in Paris and Shanghai, Click Here

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#JJStyle: Climbing High, the Kapok Bracelet Collection

Those who follow me on Instagram and on this blog, know that for this year i’ve completely re-feng-shui’d my life. And Because of this… i’ve got a few additional style items in the home and on me that I have to incorporate and get used to. For example, like I need to make sure that I have a continuously running water feature on the South corner of my flat, and having to constantly wear blue (or white or black), avoiding red at all costs on my persons, and (this one I like) getting used to wearing gold, silver, or metallic jewellery… and lots of it. 

Before this I never used to wear jewellery because I thought it was silly and lacked purpose (I used to be more of a no-bracelet-flair-one-watch-guy). Boy have I changed.

If you’ve seen my Instagram the last two months alone, you’d notice some newfound arm candy that i’ve been hooked on to since discovering certain brands, like Miansai, which are considered jewellery, and have real gold and silver elements which matched my whole dapper look. The best thing about Miansai is, it doesn’t look like traditional jewellery, but it counts towards my feng shui prescription, and looks great in a suit or on the beach. I purchased my first Miansai at Hong Kong’s curated shop, Kapok, just a couple of months ago… a golden cuff.

Now, months later, Kapok (also a fashion and accessories label) is releasing their own line of bracelets which basically gives Miansai a run for its money. Dubbed the Kapok Bracelets Collection, the collection, produced in limited quantities, is really tailored for guys and gals who love the rougher things in life like sports and being outdoors. The collection was launched by Kapok’s co-founder, Carlos Granon, who himself is an avid rock climbing enthusiast… hence the bracelet’s rock climbing inspired details like the incorporation of rope knots methodology, pulley systems, and harness clasps. Two styles, the Kalymnos and the Yosemite, are named after two renowned climbing spots in the Aegean Sea in Greece and in California, respectively.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a few. Bye Bye Miansai! (maybe?) 

Enjoy the photos of the bracelets on actual rock climbers, set against the Hong Kong skyline’s gorgeous backdrop.

WEAR Kapok Bracelet Collection . Kapok Online / Kapok on 5 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai, Hong Kong . T: +852-25499254

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#JJStyle: Urban Tropico. Tangram for Goods of Desire x Glenn Eugen Ellingsen, Photographer

A second collection unveiled two weeks ago for Hong Kong based, niche fashion label, Tangram in collaboration with the iconic G.O.D. Goods of Desire boutique. Tangram’s Colombian designer, Paola Sinisterra, is again on form here for the Tangram for Goods of Desire collection, using her signature hand picked materials, and some with unique prints. The line is quintessentially light and comfortable, and defined by modern shapes and cuts derived from traditional Chinese pattern making. 

Photographer, Glenn Eugen Ellingsen for Parasol Studios took the collection’s aesthetic cues and narrative to formulate a fictional character; a female half urbanite and half jungle dweller, taken in a forested area only steps away from Hong Kong’s busy industrial district. 

Via Paola Sinisterra

"We took cues from the lively urban landscape of Hong Kong and its close entwinement with nature. The flavor of this collection is summery and jungle-like, urban and green, wild and fun, hot and humid and full of unexpected adventures - an exploration of Hong Kong’s more tropical side."

WEAR Tangram for Goods of Desire . G.O.D. Hollywood Road, 48 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong T: +852-28051876 . G.O.D. PMQ, Corner of Aberdeen Street and Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong / DESIGNER Tangram / PHOTOGRAPHER Glenn Eugen Ellingsen

#ArtBaselHK14: Photobook

The second official Art Basel in Hong Kong ended well, with some higher profile galleries selling off their entire fairs inventory even before the highly anticipated Vernissage event. Gallery Edouard Malingue had to fend off disappointed buyers, while White Cube had no problem earning several millions from sales. In addition, some smaller scale Asian galleries, like the Tina Keng Gallery, sold over 50 percent of works displayed in their booths on the first day. Concurrently, Simon Lee Gallery hosted an off-Basel show on Pedder Street with solo works of oil on aluminium by Toby Ziegler, which also sold out 100% that week. 

With over 65,000 visitors this year in attendance, the obvious success of the fair over last year’s showing is evident in the sharpness of what’s on exhibit in each booth. This time each gallery has come into Hong Kong with a more focused exhibit approach that’s strongly curatorial, unlike the hodge podge of Pop-contemporary leftovers which filled gallery floors last year. 

From Top to bottom some of my more favorite works from this year’s fair includes; Tobias Rehberger’s “Change of Mind 9 (Yes/No) 2014” via Pilar Corrias, Discoveries Sector winner, Nadia Kaabi-Linke's award winning “Modular 2014”, which I heard was snatched up by M+, Wang Nindge’s Visible Light Filter Series, the strong and forceful paint work of Jhu Zinshi via Pearl Lam, a black and white panda by Rob Pruitt, the intense photomontage work of artificial landscapes by Yang Yongliang, Anastasia Klose’s “One Stop Knock-Off Shop” shirts, Yu Cheng Ta’s hilarious “The Letters”, Heman Chong’s 2D works, and lastly the subversive work of Lee Wen.

I wanted to highlight a special work by Sun Xun in the Encounters Sector, the only work in the sector which really took advantage of its public positioning by imagining a country on the back of a whale, which art fans are allowed to purchase a visa application for 100 USD or a Citizenship for about 13,000 USD.

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I really enjoyed this painting by Toby Ziegler, an homage to English Pastoral Art via Simon Lee.

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Last year I went to the fair 1.5 times because I was pretty much bored, this year I was floored, literally I kept going up and down two floors for about 3 days. While the works that I appreciated from the fair is pretty much all over the place in medium and subject matter, I need to point out that this year the trend was on 2D works (easy to sell) of paintings and photography, but done in a very new and innovative way which everyone appreciated.

Off basel there were several spots of interest… the unveiling of English duo, Frederikson Stallard’s “Prologue” at the PMQ, in collaboration with Swarovski…

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Marc and Chantal’s room of mirrors for the Swire Lounge…

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The Super cool light show (I don’t know by whom) at the Audemars Piguet event…

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The prolific works by Peter Yuill at the Converse Open Studio

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Photographs of Havana by Quentin Shih, hosted by Christian Louboutin…

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The amazing light show by Carsten Nicolai on the ICC…

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And The Frog King appearance at Chai Wan Mei…

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Overall the parties didn’t really “kill” it this year, but they were fun. Loved the atmosphere at the Nadim Abbas’ Absolut Art Bar that Vernissage night, and the lovely set up in the Fringe Club for the Quentin Shih opening with Louboutin.

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And we had so much fun at Dee Poon’s party at FlyHK for artist, Ran Huang, with Domus Collection.

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… Where we also met the cool architect, David Adjaye (an idol of mine), who just happened to be hanging out with my friend, Mina.

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Some tips for future Art Basel visitors…

Tip 1) Wear comfortable shoes that keep you up, especially if you ever feel like you’ve just #hadit. So I thank Jimmy Choo Men’s for outfitting my Art Basel week with this amazing pair of pastel and electric blue high tops…

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Tip 2) Consolidate and Carry all your invites, just so you don’t forget what’s happening at what day. Sometimes emails get lost and forgotten on weeks like these…

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Tip 3) Make sure to bring along some beautiful art loving friends to help walk with you through the fair. Of course it helps if they color coordinate…

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Tip 4) Always take advantage of talks, workshops, and shopping opportunities on and off fair. Although not specifically “art”, I loved the design based events at Chai Wan Mei this year!

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…where I discovered Hk Brand, Tangram’s, Menswear collection for the first time.

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Overall, this year’s fair left me with a great impression and a good hope for other fairs to come in the consecutive years. Too bad about a few of these other pieces that leave a lot to be desired…

The work where we had to step on it to help an artist make a statement…

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And this… I cant even…

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Anyway great to bump into Alex Seno and Louise around town.

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And a very happy gallerist from Edouard Malingue, Jennifer Ellis at Dee Poon’s party.

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Good to see Mark Goss and Peter Yuill again at the Converse Open Studio.

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And Simon Birch at the PMQ, who was really happy with his showing at the fair. Read his interview with us here.

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I can’t wait to post up pages from my Art Basel #SeenandScene for Conde Nast’s BAKU Magazine, later in the summer… so watch out for that. Also on Instagram, we collaborated with @artbasel by hashtagging #myArtBasel on my IG Photos. Check out all the hashtagged photographs here!

The next Art Basel in Hong Kong will be less than a year away since it’s been bumped up to March.

Fini.

VISIT Art Basel in Hong Kong

JJ.

Bite Me Butt

Last month, Hong Kong based Bite Me magazine launched at Kapok on Sun Street (where else), one the city’s long time cultural anchors, to great fanfare. In attendance of course is the founders, editorial team, Katrina Tran, the Chief Editor, and Jason Schlabach, the Art Director, to host friends, guests, and fans at a pre-Art Basel soiree.

Bite Me magazine, is an “independently published art magazine”, with a “not-so-serious, cheeky perspective of Cultural Phenomena”, according to their website. The Bi-Annual magazine, filled with content from various accomplished contributors from different creatives fields such as graphic design, photography, art, illustration, and literature; have already made its big jump beyond the city into the global arena with stockists located in New York City’s MoMA PS1 Store and Printed Matter, LA’s Creatures of Comfort, London’s Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, and White Cube, Paris’ Colette, and Sydney’s Incu… just to name a few. 

The opening, which quickly turned into a block party, drew a huge crowd of over 300 guests, including fashion editor, Grace Lam, graphic designer, Danielle Huthart and RONWAN, branding expert, Marc Brulhart, photographer, Jason Capobianco, accessories designer, Michelle Lai, illustrator / jeweller, Kate Barnett, and Kapok’s founder, Arnault Castel, of course. 

We chat briefly with the Bite Me team about the concept for Bite Me and what they plan to do with this ultimately successful project from here on out.

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theWanderlister+: Tell me where did the idea for Bite Me Magazine come from?

BITE ME: After years of coming up with magazine ideas, the reason that this one finally made it to the printer and into a finished product is that it was the perfect combination of a cheeky idea and a serious dedication to quality. What started as an offhand joke about removing the identity and ego from modelling in fashion magazines by only showing butts, turned into a months long creative journey to make a cultural magazine with the very best of high- and low-brow contributions. While the first issue is all about butts (every page of it), we wanted to create an attitude that can be applied to other themes as we work on the second issue.

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theW+: Speaking of Cheeky. The first issue, as you said, is definitely all about “butts”. What’s the best butt in the history of visual culture, and whose butt is trending now?

BM: Well, it has definitely opened our eyes to all the butts that paved the way for a Kim Kardashian or Jen Selter rear selfie to get hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’. One of the first big impacts in mainstream culture was Sarah Baartman in early 19th century London, covered in an essay on objectification and embracing real butts written by Christian McQueen for the magazine. Best butt has to go to Michelangelo’s David, inspiring butt envy for 500 years!

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theW+: I totally agree with you guys on David, it made your cover after all! You guys have only been on newsstands several weeks and already you’ve received quite a positive reception! Why do you think this is? And what have you heard in terms of feedback? Is it something the world needs right now?

BM: The reception has been really encouraging, first with the contributors who were so generous with their talents and then with the readers. I think a big reason has to do with the theme of the first issue. People are responding to the obvious fun we had making the magazine and a much-needed sense of humour in our cultural observations.

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theW+: Tell us about your the two-person team that makes up the editorial staff of the magazine… What’s the process like? And how many of these can we expect a year?

BM: The big creative decisions are all joint, from the contributors list to the flow of the content. But when it comes to producing the magazine, our roles don’t overlap much which is one of the key to us working well together. We review the work constantly, but when it comes to sitting down and making it happen, we do so separately and that keeps our two perspectives from merging too much. We want to maintain our distinct points of view as we work together. We’re aiming to publish BITE ME bi-annually.

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theW: Lastly, what are the magazines from Hong Kong that you guys absolutely love, and what are your thoughts on the publishing offerings here in the city? And how could you see contributing to the bigger picture within the city or the world?

BM: We’re proud to have made this in Hong Kong. Our contributors, such as Kate Barnett, Ron Wan, Ada Hung, Hakan Celebi and others, and printing partner, Asia One, have made it a great experience. There is a lot of creativity emerging in the city and the cultural potential is enormous.

We love independent publishing, such as Ha Wan Pao. That being said, we strive for a global perspective and don’t consider BITE ME to be a Hong Kong focused magazine. We didn’t see anything with this blend of content and attitude in Hong Kong and that further inspired us to make the magazine. If our contribution to the scene would simply be to make people think more broadly about what is possible in this city, we’d be really proud of that.

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Congratulations guys! You’ve done well! I can’t wait to read the next issue! :)

READ Bite Me Magazine ONLINE / READ Bite Me Magazine

JJ.

Design Notes: Layers of Time Peeled and Revealed at Mott 32

New to open in Hong Kong, a fantastic dining experience designed by one of the city’s “IT” designers, Joyce Wang, for a new modern Cantonese restaurant in the city, Mott 32. Wang who has since made a name with her previous work, AMMO, at the Asia Society, is back at it with her signature detail-oriented and intricate design moves. Since its launch Mott 32 received generally positive reviews, however the interiors here really take centre stage, demanding attention from its clientele.

The site of the restaurant, located in the basement  of the Standard Chartered Bank Building on Des Voeux Road, receives no natural daylight or views… so to counter this, Wang initiated a centrally focused and inward directed design zoning plan with all various dining areas centered around a grand custom-built architectural skylight within the main dining zone, giving impression of actual daylight. The skylight itself is inspired by the Bank’s architectural characteristics, mirroring the octagonal columns found within the original building.

From the central dining space there are 5 private rooms and a bar area which radiate beyond the central core of the plan, each decorated according to theme. For example, one room has a “Sun Yat Sen-inspired mural”, another a collection of antique chandeliers, and another decorated with a chandelier that looks like an abacus. My two favorite rooms are the 10 Downing Street Room, a “surreal street scene”, clad with Shanghainese-style brick work in an undulating pattern, and the Tangerine Room, decorated with Chinese paintbrushes of various sizes mounted on two wall surfaces giving a grand symmetric tableau.

Via Joyce Wang:

The restaurant tells the story of the basement of an important bank building in Hong Kong and how it has evolved through time. We imagined its former life as a storage facility for family heirlooms forgotten by wealthy Chinese immigrants, and later as staff quarters for bank employees and guards. We imagined pieces of history left behind organically. The process of design was to unearth these clues layer by layer to expose an authentic narrative, so the final tableau tells a compelling  story  that’s  not  overly  styled.  The  objects  are  clues  to  the  larger political and social history of Hong Kong. 

Make sure to watch out for graffiti and propaganda scripts on columns, hinting a passage of time, and a large feature wall of flowers and butterflies made of metallic thread embroidery on a hand-painted silk backdrop. Other details, I’ll let you discover for yourself.

EAT Mott 32 . Standard Chartered Building, 4 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong . T: +852 28858688 / DESIGN Joyce Wang

JJ.