Seen&Scene: Monocle Magazine Says Hello Hong Kong!

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The Monocle Shop in Hong Kong recently entertained friends and family of Monocle Magazine via a block party, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brule, Advertising Director, Anders Braso, and Hong Kong’s newest bureau chief, Aisha Speirs. Brule and the editorial team were recently in town for a stopover in their grand APAC tour of the region.

We were fortunate to catch the nice event with my friend, Natasha. It gave a chance for Nat and I to bond as well since she and I usually have very busy schedules.

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The well attended event featured the best and brightest from Hong Kong’s creative community, as well as attendees within the hospitality and news media sectors as well. 

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Guests were able to mingle, shop, eat, drink, and check out the bureau office of Monocle Magazine, defined by minimalist and clean interiors, and plenty of past publications, gift goodies, and paper fans with logos that keep everything “on brand”.

Below is the special Chinese New Year gift set.

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Monocle Hong Kong’s Julie, kept the guest engaged and entertained.

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Amazing chinese pork baos were provided by Chef Mai Chow and her new business venture, Little Bao. I mentioned Little Bao before on the blog when I discovered it first via Island East Markets late last year.

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A couple of gents enjoying Little Baos.

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We also bumped into artist, Rocky, videographer, Karim, and architect and lecturer, Riyad.

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Meeting for the first time were representatives from The Upper House, Marcel and a self-proclaimed Wanderlister+ reader and fan, Kristina.

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Also in attendance, Moustache/Salon No.10’s Alex, Delstore’s Derrick Leung, with new bureau chief, Aisha.

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Long time no see, Khanh-Linh!

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The Chaiwanese also said hi, Jehan and Zon!

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Plus check out Jehan’s amazing bag designed and hand-made by Zon herself. Zon remember, I am your first order!

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This was a surprise. Harold was back from Taiwan for a short visit. Also I havent seen Creative City’s Louise for a long time. Great to see both of these friends here.

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Also in tow, my pals, amazing designer RonWan and fashion critic, Daniel.

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It was great to bump into my cousin, Carina and her colleague Noriko, who both work Hyatt in Asia.

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I was tempted to get on this mic and start my own Monocle24 radio show.

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Overall it was great fun. Natasha and I were able to finish off the afternoon with some private beer and gossip next door at Ted’s Lookout. I really love the Star Street neighborhood. It’s so chic.

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Thanks so much Monocle Magazine for a great afternoon of shopping, chat, and nibbles.

Check out the last time we partied at Monocle here, when they named Hong Kong the 13th Most Livable City in 2012.

READ Monocle Magazine / SHOP Monocle Shop,  Shop 1 UG, Bo Fung Mansion, 1-4 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai, Hong Kong / LISTEN Monocle24 Radio

JJ.

Dee Poon Explores The Perfect Men’s Shirt With PYE

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When it comes to getting dressed, it used to be that men could care less about fashion or style. Additionally, most men probably used to think that anything sold at G2000 or Banana Republic would have been acceptable uniform from Monday to Friday. Thankfully these days, it’s clear, Men’s fashion and shopping habits have been on the rise globally, and has even contributed to a large percentage, 55% to be precise in China, and 40% globally, of the overall luxury market. Not that price has anything to do with style and taste, to the contrary, style and taste should reflect personality while still being best dressed for any occasion whether it be the board room or the bar… at any price point.

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Enter the new label PYE, brought on by Hong Kong’s savvy entrepreneur and socialite Dee Poon, her one-stop-shop solution to menswear woes. Before PYE launched last November, we were able to visit Dee at her R&D studio in Wanchai to have a chat about the label which took two years to build, as well as her and her team’s general process to creating the perfect shirt.

The front end of the studio where PYE is based is actually an elegant and subdued reception area, which at the time doubled as the brand’s main show room. (This was before the HK opening in Pacific Place.) At the meet up, I was able to meet Dee, her team, Dee’s PR Fed Tan, as well as menswear guru, Alan See, of The Armoury.

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PYE offers styles both ready to wear as well as a made-to-order system for that basic everyday work shirt. For RTW white shirts, PYE had about 11 styles, with the range of detail from the collar’s height and spread to the reveal of the main placket, as well as sleeve and cuff styles.

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While introducing us to the range of shirts, she stressed how important it was for her brand to guarantee everything from the cotton’s quality blend, engineering, and easy care stylings as well as knowing the source of the cotton itself. She can vouch for the source of her cotton, because her main company, the Esquel Group, a leading global apparel and textile manufacturer, owns the the cotton farms that produce the material for all her shirts.

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The one thing that Harvard-Educated Dee is proud of, is her Chinese roots. A board member of several pro-Chinese cultural foundations, like the China Arts Foundation, Teach for China, and the Harvard University Asia Center, Dee is quick to defend Chinese craftsmanship, know-how, creativity, and resourcefulness, and how all these elements embody the spirit of PYE.

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Para/Site Moves Up With 2012 Art Auction

It’s Fall at the end of the year, and you know what that means… Art Auctions. Yes, we attended the Annual Para/Site Art Auction this year located at Lane Crawford’s very cool One Island South company digs and was hosted by Board of Directors, William Lim of CL3, Yana Peel, Executive Director/Curator, Cosmin Costinas, with live auctioneer, Jehan Chu of Chaiwanese. 

Cosmin and Jehan below. 

It was really interesting to attend this particular auction, especially because i’ve been going to Para/Site auctions ran by Jehan for so many years now. I still remember when the auctions were small and held at the KEE Club back in the day. And now it’s a full dinner affair with friends and supporters. Very neat to see how far Para/Site Art Space and its programs have evolved over the years.

Ignacio checks out works on display for Silent Auction.

Some of my favorite pieces include this abstracted architectural topography by Joao Vasco Paiva, titled High Tide (2012) which sold at live auction for 42K HKD. The work was graciously donated by the artist and Saamlung Gallery.

This metallic skateboard by Olafur Eliasson, Your Mercury Ocean (2009), was donated by Vitamin Creative Space, and sold for 100K HKD.

I really liked Lot 62, a selection of prints by Sunjung Kim, Anton Vidokle, and Nikolaus Hirsch.

This one I liked, a DVD by Ming Wong, called Honeymoon In The Third Space (1999).

A good seller, Heman Chong’s, muted geometric composition from Never Let Me Go (2011), caught my eye. This painting on canvas sold well at 50K, and is a donation from Vitamin Creative Space.

Are you cool on your island? I absolutely loved this work by MAP Office, titled Honeymoon Island (2011), which I hope found a great home via silent auction.

This print, Cheng Ran’s Still of an Unknown Film (2008), sold at 60+K HKD, and a donation by the artist.

And there was no way I can do a post about Hong Kong art, without a work by my favorite artist, Nadim Abbas. This piece, Chernobyl_Core.gif (2012), is a print donated by Abbas and Saamlung Gallery.

The work of emerging artist, Trevor Yeung drew plenty of fans. Here G.O.D.’s Benjamin Lau and Alan Lau admire Yeung’s work, Sleepy bed (Sao Paulo Hostel 1) (2012). Yeung photographs subjects, usually male, all around the world, and turns them into multi-layered compositions which involve the photographic image as well as an overlay of illustration.

Next to the work, Lot 30, is a piece by Antony Gormley. Body XI (2011), was the biggest seller of the night and sold at 160K HKD by an absentee bidder. The work was donated by the artist, and Vitamin Creative Space.

In attendance was artist, Adrian Wong, and Xue Tan. Adrian was actually working on the composition for his Fall 2012 Saamlung show with his rabbit. Dont Ask.

We also spotted Alex Seno and Lane Crawford’s Eliot Sandiford. Thanks Alex for the invite!

Great to finally meet Claudia Albertini of Platform China.

The room was full of super couples as well. There’s no art shindig without the following… Tangram’s Igancio and Paola who will soon be unveilinga new collection in December. Here they are channeling the work of Chow Chun Fai, aptly titled Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (2011), which sold at live auction for 75K HKD. Perfect.

Supercouple #2, FIOL Prosecco addict Pietro and Whitney of the Gagosian Hong Kong. 

Supercouple #3, Tim and Marc, here standing next to Yuk King Tan’s The Mandate of Heaven (2011). Love.

Supercouple #4, cool peeps Michelle and her husband, Varun. Great to see them here.

Twitter Supercouple Bonus, my gal, artist Yuk King in Tangram. Hello Yuk!

The tables at the canteen.

Whitney’s favorite works.

Pals on my table, Benjamin and Alan. Nice to meet you both!

Para/Site IS Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art space, the oldest, and most active. They exhibit, they publicize, they create discourse, and you wouldn’t think that based on their tiny space in Sheung Wan, that they are paving the way for many emerging artists. The point is, they’re moving spaces and adding curators, and they’re thinking big. Check out the works that were at auction here.

That said if you missed out on the Para/Site auction, but would still love to purchase work as well as contribute to a good cause, the Asia Art Archive Annual Fundraiser site is now up, and you can actually bid on your favorite work online. Yes. Contemporary Art at your fingertips. Many of whom had works that sold well at the Para/Site Auction. Good luck!

ART Para/Site

JJ.

It’s Actually Easy Being Green

Skipping leaving Hong Kong, and opting to stay in the city to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival weekend was a consideration mine to finally just chill out for a staycation and just enjoy the festivities surrounding the Chinese version of an annual “Thanksgiving” or “Full Moon Harvest”, celebrated by different cultures and countries around the world in one way or another. 

The other consideration was financial. I needed to save money and leaving Hong Kong around this time of year just cost too much… ie. a roundtrip flight to Bangkok from HK was going up to about 6000HKD a ticket. 

Hellz no.

Good news is, I get to finally see the Tai Hang Fire Dragon for the first time, as well as the Victoria Park Bamboo Lanterns (more on these in later posts), and on top of that, Janice Leung of the E_Ting Food Blog, and Vince Poon of Dry Soda, have both unraveled Island East Markets this past weekend! Hong Kong’s first organic green, fresh food, and arts and crafts Weekend Market for everyone in. 

Happy Happy Joy Joy!  

This is me pushing my baby’s cart clad in GREEN GREEN GREEN in honor of the occasion. Ok this is not my baby, this is someone else’s baby I was borrowing for the photo. My nickname in Brew&Post is Poppa J.

I’m wearing an iPhone necklace by 15squarestreet, Tyvek shoes by Civic Duty, and bag by Homegrown Foods, who also participated in the market.

With me were my Melbournite gal pals, Jade and Katrina.

Both girls went shopping a bit at Paola’s Tangram booth for her signature Bonbon necklaces.

Everyone was there, including Ignacio of Tangram, who was helping Paola at the stand and we also spotted Lindsay from Yardbird as well.

These Bonbons are really cool. :)

There was no way I was going to walk around without my morning cup of joe. Thank goodness Jehan’s Chaiwanese was front and center.

Three coffees took about 10-15 minutes to make.

It was a slow roast process, sifted, and then steeped in hot water, then dripped carefully into our cups to keep that fresh aroma and flavour from organic beans. It was worth the wait.

In the meanwhile, we were treated to samples of Chaiwanese Homemade organic shitake mushroom soup. It was a dream.

Also making a debut, Chef Mai’s Little Bao, which was by far the most popular destination of the day for their Spicy Chicken, Veggie, and Pork Baos which pretty much sold out very fast.

Grace under pressure.

The Tai Tai Pies Team was there in full force to sell everything from Full on homemade pies, to bite size versions, to cookies, cakes and more. Anything Carb, they were ready!

We spotted the “shady” Brew&Post team of Denise, Jason, and Auntie Susan.

Vogue China’s, Grace Lam and photographer, Jason C, showing us what Market-chic is supposed to be.

The darling Wordsworth Sisters, Samantha and my muse, Emily.

Artist, Peter Yuill, supporting the team at Nappahead. The Vintage clothing shop that does good by giving proceeds of sales to charities in the city.

We stopped by to say hi to mommy blogger, Rita, and foodie blogger, Jason, proprietor of My Fashion Birdcage, a vintage fashion boutique!

Also spotted, Wilson of WOMGUIDE and Gary of Joie de Vivre.

Island East Market’s Vince and Lane Crawford’s, Eames Wan.

Time to Celebrate!

Island East Markets is sponsored by Swire Properties, Miele, Le Creuset, Entendre Studies, and the WOM Guide. The market will be operating on September 30th, October 7th, October 14th, and October 21st. Your support will make or break future ventures and initiatives such as these.

SHOP Island East Markets, Taikoo Place, Island East, Quarry Bay MTR Exit A

JJ.

Art for the Public, FOTANIAN 2012 and the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre

Hong Kong has been freezing and wet as of late, but that hasn’t kept the public away from supporting and taking part with Public Art Initiatives, in fact in the week that lead up to the Chinese New Year, above exhibitions by private galleries, the city played host to two very special large scale events that made it obvious just how starved for culture everybody is in this city… Hello!? Can M+ arrive any sooner???

The first of the two events I’m posting about is actually an annual initiative by the artists residing in the aging Fotan Industrial Areas to open their studios for Hong Kong’s general public. The other event, is a pleasantly cool public relations initiative by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority to give the public a taste of what kind of fun things we can expect from West Kowloon in the decade to come.

+ FOTANIAN Open Studios 2012

(via CNNGo)

Me and some designer friends decided to finally check out this year’s open house of studios at Fotan. Had I known it was this massive, I could have visited the Annual Event years ago! Alas, i’m late, but at the very least, I heard from the grapevine that this year’s showing/participation was the biggest it has ever been for the Open House which were located in two buildings within the sprawling Wah Luen Industrial Centre. Literally in the middle of nowhere/fringe.

If some of you feel that Ap Lei Chau and Cha Wan galleries are far… well those districts are basically close neighbors compared to the trek to FOTAN. That said, it’s the distance that keeps spaces here (fairly) artist-friendly and affordable. I have no clue what the Hong Kong Government actually thinks or feels about these studio/offices, but anything to boost Hong Kong’s creative cred must be cool with them (I assume).

Going to the open house, you really get to witness a whole array of works, like this “performance art” below of models dressed up for a make believe runway show. This one is called It is Not a Fashion Show Fashion Show, 2012 by the Alternatif Gallery.

Once inside, you really have to get your bearings. We started all the way up and wanted to work our way down each floor via the Fire Stairs. But since we didn’t know where we were going, we started out here… oops.

We bumped into our first studio, the Mountain Loft which was shared by six artists. As soon as we walked in, there was already a demonstration present. I love it. This is what events like these are for… to engage and education people outside art circles.

I believe that only through engagement can ones work be made valid.

The next studio we visited was laiyan projects to meet up with its owners, a partner team of Peter Benz and Cornelia Erdmann who showed a sample of her latest work which hangs proudly in Rocco Yim’s newest building for Legco in Admiralty.

Works by Cornelia Erdmann, a sample of her work The People, 2011, a site specific wall sculpture hanging now at Legco.

(via CORNELIAERDMANN)

I felt that their studio was the most gorgeous and spacious one of all the studios.

More works. Billy checking out the Lightstructure, also by Cornelia.

Annie Chau munching on the Schokoladen.

Very interesting food art by Cornelia!

The other shows I was most impressed about, was the gallery of a furniture designer, Danny Fang at Fang Studio LTD. It had a bit of a DWELL Magazine vibe, and a very live/work feel about it.

Danny’s furniture looks very light, but in fact besides the wicker seat, the base is all galvanized steel or very dense polycarbonate, so its very sturdy in the end with plenty of weight. (Heavy furniture is what you want especially after living years with IKEA Floppy pieces.)

Gradient Collection, 2008.

Gepetto (Top Shelf left), 2010 and Rockefeller (Top shelf right), 2009

The third most impressive work was the sound installation of water droplets within a cave from speakers hanging from the ceiling. It was technology mirroring the organic.

In the adjacent room, this beautiful metal piece.

Both works by Danny Lee Chin-fai whose works can be seen in the corridors of SWIRE’s Tai Koo Shing Complex.

Two other works I enjoyed; BLUEPRINT From Choi Yuen Village to Causeway Bay (LAYER 3), 2011 by Edward.

and works found at Galerie de charbon.

+ West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre

At the Osage show for Nadim Abbas, I was able to bump into M+ curator, Tobias Berger who invited me to check out their latest fun event to help publicize the West Kowloon Cultural District to the overall Hong Kong audience. If there was ever a question by the public as to “How does West Kowloon Affect Me?”, well for one, this construction of the classic Bamboo Theatre and the further incorporation of works by Contemporary Artists, Gaylord Chan and Michael Wolf throughout the site seeks to bridge the old with the new as a unique experience that can be explored and enjoyed by all.

The West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre marked the launch of the design and construction stage of the district. During its run, it provided a combination of traditional Cantonese opera and contemporary visual art installations at the future site of the Xiqu Centre.

Inside the Bamboo Theatre… impressive right?

And around the theatre, beautiful flags by Gaylord Chan.

As well as portraits of Cantonese Opera singers by Michael Wolf.

And tents which served an unlimited amount of Local Fare, like Hong Kong Peking Duck!!!

And yum two of my favorite Cantonese dishes!

Spotted, artist Gaylord Chan and Tobias Berger.

LAB-yrinth’s designer wearing her own pieces, Elaine Young.

Standard Vintage’s Andy wearing a vintage Burberry coat.

Chaiwanese’s, Jehan (right) with Zon So.

Jeff with Rowena of Liquid Interiors.

Louise wearing a modernized Vietnamese Hat.

I love the bamboo… everywhere.

Hong Kong is way on the right track.

Fang Studios by Danny Fang / Wah Luen Industrial Ctr. Block B, Floor 12, Unit 16 15 Wong Chuk Yeung St. Fo Tan, Hong Kong / www.fangstudio.com

Laiyan Projects LTD. with Cornelia Erdmann and Peter Benz / Wah Luen Industrial Ctr. Block B, Floor 16, 15 Wong Chuk Yung St. Fo Tan, Hong Kong / www.laiyanprojects.com

Elaine Young of LAB-yrinth / www.LAB-yrinth.net

CHAIWANESE / www.facebook.com/chaiwanese

LIQUID Interiors / www.liquid-interiors.com

Standard Vintage / www.standard-vintage.com

West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre / www.bambootheatre.wkcda.hk

JJ.

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White, Minimalist, and Hot; Saamlung Opens With Palimpseptic

Supporters of the arts were out to celebrate the launch of Robin Peckham’s newest commercial gallery space Saamlung in downtown Central Hong Kong on Friday. The press release did state that the exhibition opening for a much awaited solo by João Vasco Paiva, was supposed to be a softer launch, but in fairness to the turnout it ended up turning into the opposite of “soft”. Saamlung was big enough, and the ceiling heights incredible, but if people were spilling out into the hallway, no amount of aircon was available to turn down the heat emanating from the event. Nasty evening rain couldn’t keep the crowds away either.

The artist, João Vasco Paiva, with Leung Chi Wo.

The works, a series of paintings, a sculpture, and a video installation, all deal with symbols, signs, wayfinding, codes, and armatures, inspired by Hong Kong’s relationship with the MTR, the city’s subway system. Joao works with all media in an effort to expand on his subject matter from all possible angles. All subjects seem familiar, but at the same time devoid of their original context, because the figures depicted are stripped entirely of text and number, making the piece of work completely new and foreign to the viewer, despite its familiarity.

Video Installation.

The Turnstile.


The paintings complimented the sculpture and vice-versa, with the all white space completely perfect for the minimalist art.

Spotted: Tangram’s Ignacio Garcia (left), Robin Peckham (center), and Jehan Chu of Vermillion and Chaiwanese (right), with a friend.

I’m a big fan of art editor/author/blogger, Xue Tan (middle). She was really down to earth which I love, here chatting with MAP Office’s Valérie Portefaix.

If you don’t remember, Xue Tan was responsible for the amazing portraits of graphic designer, Lingzi Zhang for Tangram’s S/S 2012 Campaign.

Other funny spottings, Valerie’s son within a wall gap serving drinks to guests. It was a bit performance art. Valerie proudly snapping shots of her son below.

Osage’s social media guru and #HKFashionBlogger Sybil Kot with the multi-tasker/Asia Art Archive/Saamlung Gallery Manager (i’m sure i’m missing something), Natasha.

Osage’s Jade.

Other cool peeps at the show. I love her glasses.

Xue Tan’s friend.

And me and Xue.

This was some really great work by João. Also kudos to Robin for an amazing gallery space. It really reminds me of the kind of galleries you see in New York. Additionally you REALLY should check out Xue Tans website, The Creators Project, right now. Its the kind of content I’d love to do if I did blogging full time. She works on it in conjunction with Intel and Vice. Her latest article is about China as the World’s Architectural playground.

MVRDV’s China Comic and Animation Museum below.

Hope to collaborate with Xue Tan in the near future.

RELATED ARTICLE: Saamlung Pre Opening, Works João Vasco Paiva

João Vasco Paiva: Palimpseptic / Saamlung, 26/F Two Chinachem Plaza, 68 Connaught Rd. C., Central District, Hong Kong / http://www.saamlung.com

JJ.

All comments moderated. To get more info on comment moderation for this personal blog project, please visit http://www.wanderlister.com/DISCLAIMER