Chris Kyme (pictured above) continues his ‘Postcard from Hong Kong’ series. So here we go with another year, and after all the celebrations have subsided and the champagne corks been binned, we kick off 2022 in Hong Kong almost immediately with 10 steps backwards in the form of another semi-lockdown period. Yep, seems some bright spark thought it okay to break a quarantine and go for lunch and..oh look..I just happen to be Covid positive and…um..maybe that’s why I’m not feeling so good. Brilliant. I’ll pass it to my mum..and she’ll pass it to…
So here we go..bit of work from home…no dining after 6pm etc, and what the hell the bars are closed so why not let that tie in with a dry January. No problem. Alas, let’s start the year with a positive (excuse the pun) vibe so I’ve been sniffing around the industry a bit to see what’s been happening with a view to cheering people up a bit amidst all this madness.
Last month I did a coverage of the Kam Fan awards which also was a good chance to see what work has been done (since that’s the only way we do get to see half of it these days anyway). So what’s new? I caught up with a fine fella recently in the handsome form of Michele Salati, he who is Creative Director and head of Art at Ogilvy here. I did ask Michele his thoughts as to whether Fiorentina would give up Dusan Vlahovic and sell him to Arsenal, but he didn’t have an answer unfortunately. Instead Michele told me about an interesting little side project he’s done as a collaboration with photographer Pierfrancesco Celada called INSTAGRAMPIER, a digital exhibition designed as a final tribute to the Instagram Pier, the no-longer-accessible place in Hong Kong, and Celada’ a synonymous photography project.
Michele and Pierfrancesco met on the ‘Instagram Pier’, a popular spot with Instagrammers in Hong Kong for taking selfies due to its beautiful sunset opportunities and harbour view, and the two became friends. The pier itself is now a no-go area for the selfie-takers due to safety reasons. So the pair collaborated with graphic designers Nam Huynh and Mark Bohle, web-designer David Diaz and sound artist Yiannis Loukos to recreate a digital experience of the pier as a surreal yet real public space, in a multimedia Digital Exhibition.
As Michele explained to me. “The digital pier becomes a place of transition, between reality and the virtual world of self-representation; between our real-selves and the way we wish our lives were perceived and represented; a “shared” portraiture of contemporary living. So, since the real Instagram Pier closed to the public in March 2021, our Digital Exhibition has become the ultimate online celebration of this unique public space. Instagrammers can visit the virtual INSTAGRAMPIER to e-experience the good times on the physical one, and even take a selfie like the old times.
You can experience the digital INSTAGRAMPIER for yourself right here.
A Turn For The Better
Another cheerful snippet that caught my eye over the holiday season came from local independent agency TURN Founder & Creative Director Tony Hon, who last year launched a new creative platform called Project B (I didn’t ask about Project A…but I gathered that had been and gone). And under this new bright and breezy umbrella theme, the launch event they undertook was a collaboration with Japanese illustrator Hiroki Nishiyama 西山寬紀 whereby they introduced his beautiful paintings to Hong Kong. Called ‘Holiday Routine’, this mini exhibition was open over the holidays at a gallery called Parallel Space in Sham Sui Po and ran until January 3.
According to Tony, this was all part of a bigger plan to cheer the world up, and he listed out his Christmas wishes as follows: 1. Work with good and talented people. 2. Collaborate with my favourite artist and brands. 3. Make Hong Kong a more beautiful place 4. Share happy moments with good friends. 5. Inspire people and be inspired.. 6. Drink a lot. I’m with you on the last one Tony..and can I chip in with a 7th? How about “Avoid going to restaurants where idiots with Covid who should be staying in quarantine have decided it would be fun to visit.”
Gone But Not Forgotten
And so after the tributes and official ceremonies to bid farewell to our dear friend and industry legend Jimmy Lam, known across Asia to all, and truly irreplaceable as an industry figure and as a fun, caring and charismatic man, we got a gathering together of some of Hong Kong’s finest seniors (I use that word cautiously) as we drank to his memory and his honour and it was a brilliant event held over a stunning view of the harbour (K Bar @ K11 Musea). And we all agreed, we should all do this more often, though not for such a solemn reason as this. Industry folks across Asia take note in your home towns. Life is short. Stick together, spend time with each other. Treasure the friendships (not just the awards). Happy New Year to you all.
Attending here (left to right) Back: Tony Hon, Sylvester Song, Nick Lim, TK, One Chu, Lo Sheung Yan. Front: Chris & Mrs Chris, Kasey Lin, Carol Lam, Stanley Wong