Chris Kyme’s Postcard from Hong Kong: Another mountain of impressive art
Chris Kyme (pictured above) continues his ‘Postcard from Hong Kong’ series. The local awards show (Kam Fans) was on last week but as I could not make it I can’t give an update on the state of local creativity (at least from an awards perspective, don’t get me started on what I see every day) and so more on that later I promise. Speaking of awards, I was invited to be a judge on The Caples Awards recently by someone who I regard as well up on the list of UK advertising leaders we all looked up to back in the day, Patrick Collister. Patrick is Custodian of The Caples Awards, which is a (utter gasp of disbelief) “free to enter” global award show, and has been gaining in recognition and respect in the industry year by year. If you’re currently figuring out your budget (hear me out Hong Kong agencies) for entering what into what, the deadline for free entries for Caples closes on March 31st so check it out. https://caples.org/. (Don’t let the fact I’m a judge put you off.)
Meanwhile, virtual cries of “Hong Kong is back” have been echoing across social media here the past few months since we were all allowed to get out and about maskless again finally and a collective sigh of relief could be heard across the city from Southside to the New Territories. And so it’s all been happening with events. The Clockenflap music festival was completely sold out, the Rugby Sevens is about to happen, not to mention we’ve had a new “Hello Hong Kong” tourism campaign but, ahem, the less said about that the better frankly I’d rather be saying goodbye to it than hello.
So this week as I write it’s Art Basel again. What’s that got to do with an advertising magazine article I hear you ask. Well on one hand a lot if like me you believe we should all get our heads away from our Macs for while and stop browsing the awards websites and enjoy some modern pop and art culture to inspire some ideas. But in the case of Art Basel, one of the featured artists is our own ex advertising creative (JWT, BBH, TBWA etc) and commercials director Stanley Wong aka the artist Anothermountainman, who has a new ‘Red White & Blue’ exhibition at Art Basel based on the series he gave birth to (not literally of course I mean that would be extremely painful) many years ago now and has become ingrained in the consciousness of Hong Kong society due to its evolution over the years.
If you’ve not encountered it before, just some background. Stanley, or should I call him ‘Anothermount’ for short, had the brilliant idea of taking an icon of Hong Kong daily life, the red, white and blue striped and very inexpensive plastic luggage bags and converting them into a series of art pieces that have taken on all different shapes, forms and applications over the years. His very first series of cultural posters in the series called ‘Infinity’ earned a Yellow pencil at D&AD no less.
As he describes it himself, “Over two decades now , my red-white -blue projects have engaged the city to create a positive spirit. Now I take it on a path to some new work which I describe as ‘seeing words in hong kong / redwhiteblue // words talking / self talking’, putting together 40 years of photos of words we see across the city, such as on signs and graffiti… they might be connected or non related, but they represent the mixed and complex emotions of my surroundings. Another way of looking at my latest exhibition is it can be viewed as, my version of “Hello hong kong 你好香港” in a humanistic local way.
Naturally we’re all proud of Stanley as a Hong Kong advertising son whose work has gained recognition at art shows around the world, including Venice Bicentenniale to name just one. Check out his latest work if you’re going to Art Basel.