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Category: diary

3 Trendy Places to Visit in Upper Sheung Wan

Today, I’m going to bring you around upper Sheung Wan, or PoHo, or Sai Ying Pun, or the western district of Hong Kong. Whatever its name is.

Truth be told, I don’t even know why I’m writing this very SEO-unfriendly blog post. It goes against everything I learnt about managing web writing content at HK Magazine. But since restarting my blog, I gotta admit that catering to SEO while producing content is tiring at times. Sure, it’s fun when your readability and SEO hits the green light on Yoast (ignore me if you have no idea what I’m talking about), but at times it takes the joy out of writing freely.

What the hell, back to topic.
 

Outfit of the Day

OOTD Outfit of the Day - H&M, Keds, Bunkaya Zakkaten 文化屋雑貨店

My outfit of the day wasn’t anything special but it was weather-appropriate in Hong Kong’s humid heat. And it was certainly upper Sheung Wan friendly for hiking up the way up to Tai Ping Shan Street, where I ended up. I wore my basic white t-shirt from H&M, a pair of grey exercise shorts again from H&M but from the kids’ section, my white Keds and the faux leather backpack I’ve been neglecting all my other bags for from Bunkaya Zakkaten 文化屋雑貨店.
 

Green Monday Summer Carnival

Green Monday Summer Carnival 2016 at PMQ, Hong Kong

Green Monday Summer Carnival 2016 at PMQ, Hong Kong

Green Monday Summer Carnival 2016 at PMQ, Hong Kong

My first stop and the whole reason I even decided on spending my Sunday in upper Sheung Wan was to visit the Green Monday Summer Carnival in PMQ. I dragged Jason along, who wasn’t enthusiastic at all because he has a thing against PMQ (he think the events held there are usually shitty – well, they aren’t amazing or anything because the central courtyard of the place is small… but what can you expect with Hong Kong’s lack of space?), but he shushed when I got him a free banana smoothie that I powered myself on the bike in the photos above.

I actually forgot how to cycle in the first few seconds on the bike. There were crowds of people watching me while lining up for their turn and it was so cringeworthy. I genuinely thought I wasn’t strong enough to get the wheels on the bike going and freaked out. The girl in charge was like, “relax!” I am an embarrassment to human race.
 

Common Ground

Common Ground in upper Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Next in the upper Sheung Wan exploration, Jason and I trekked upwards to Shing Wong Street’s Common Ground, a little coffee shop opened by Caleb and Joshua Ng of Twins Kitchen who also founded the pancake eatery Stacks (next destination for me?). Common Ground has both indoor and outdoor seating, and we opted for the latter after seeing how full the shop was. But man, even the Hong Kong heat proved too much for me in the end, so we moved back inside after about five minutes.
 

Teakha

Teakha at upper Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Teakha at upper Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Last on our agenda for our upper Sheung Wan exploration was a continued walk upwards to Teakha, which I’d been to on a few previous occasions. Actually, it wasn’t on our agenda, but we decided to check out the trendy Tai Ping Shan Street anyway since we had a bit of time to kill before dinner time. Don’t ask me why I ended up taking pictures at Teakha. I suppose I’d always loved their exterior seating area and it was a rare photo opportunity because no one was sitting outside thanks to the unbearable heat. The camwhore in me strikes again (the Instagram Husband‘s worst nightmare).

This is an abrupt ending to this post because I’m not sure how else to end it. Have a nice day! 🙂

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Cultural Journalism Campus 2016

I’ve been super busy recently because I joined the student journalism program Cultural Journalism Campus and was selected as one of the nine fellows in 2016. Basically, the program gave me access to the art scene during Hong Kong’s art week in March 2016, where I had the privilege to attend Art Basel, Art Central, Asia Contemporary Art Show and many other gallery openings, cocktail parties and auctions. It was a dream come true for me and it reconnected me with fine art – which has always been my passion before I started specialising in architecture.

The works and exhibitions in the photos below:

  • A Path To Life solo exhibition of artist Li Yonggeng at Galerie du Monde
  • Mill6 Foundation’s Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex
  • Statement 3: New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

Read more: art review of A Path To Life, an opinion about Social Fabric and art report publication of Social Fabric.
 

Art Basel 2016

Cultural Journalism Campus media tag for Art Basel 2016

Cultural Journalism Campus booth at Art Basel 2016

Cultural Journalism Campus meeting Mark Spiegler, the global director of Art Basel

My job for Cultural Journalism Campus throughout the week was to interview and report on the big names, gallerists, artists and anyone involved, which I was more than willing to do so. Art and writing – my favourites (stick food in and it’ll be even better).

We even got to meet and interview Mark Spiegler, the global director of Art Basel! I got to stand beside him in the photo we took above haha. *starstruck*

If there’s one thing I regret, it’s not being able to spend more time on the program. You guys know I study full time (and it’s the beginning of deadlines galore) and work part time, so I had to miss some lessons, take time off work and skip some events in order to do everything… mediocrely. I could’ve done better if I wasn’t so swamped, but what can you do? It was an opportunity I just could not miss!

A Path To Life

A Path To Life exhibition by Li Yonggeng at Galerie du Monde

Before Art Basel 2016, the Cultural Journalism Campus fellows visited A Path To Life solo exhibition of artist Li Yonggeng at Galerie du Monde. We were led by John Batten, a Hong Kong-based writer, art critic, curator and organiser. It was a delight to meet such a big influencer in Hong Kong’s art circle and learn from him as he talked through how the gallery owners worked behind the scenes in the city.

A Path To Life really resonated with me, especially the piece I’ve featured in the picture above. It’s called Straddling, an installation by Li Yonggeng. I even wrote an art review on it.
 

Social Fabric

Mill6 Foundation, Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex

Mill6 Foundation, Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex

Mill6 Foundation, Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex

Mill6 Foundation, Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex

Mill6 Foundation, Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex

Mill6 Foundation, Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex

Mill6 Foundation, Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex

Mill6 Foundation, Social Fabric pop-up exhibition of artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi at The Annex

Lastly, this year’s Cultural Journalism Campus program was kindly brought to life and highly supported by Mill6 Foundation. Social Fabric, their Spring 2016 pop-up exhibition featuring artists Mariana Hahn and Kwan Sheung-chi was held at The Annex. Throughout the week, although we, as students of the program, were free to roam around Art Basel 2016 as we pleased, we were also given one specific task we had to complete. Mine in particular was to go to the press opening of Social Fabric and to write a report on it.

Because of this, I spent much more time on this exhibition than any of my peers did, because we frequently revisited it, even at subsequent media conferences and more. I had multiple opportunities to interview the artists and the the public who were viewing the exhibition. I felt like I had a deeper understanding of the artist’s works and how the exhibition was curated as a whole.

Feel free to read my opinion piece on the exhibition and my art report publication for Cultural Journalism Campus.
 

Statement 3: New Sculpture From Germany

Statement 3 New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

Statement 3 New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

Statement 3 New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

Statement 3 New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

Statement 3 New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

Statement 3 New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

Statement 3 New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

Statement 3 New Sculpture from Germany exhibition at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong

One last highlight (of many!) I’ll be writing about was the Cultural Journalism Campus team visit to Goethe-Institut Hong Kong located in Wan Chai. We were there to visit the Statement 3: New Sculpture from Germany exhibition. The curator and staff took us on a tour where we got to ask many questions about how the exhibition was put together and why they specifically included what they included.
 

The Takeaway

Y’know, despite the rushed deadlines and crazy schedule, I’m really glad I took aboard this opportunity. The most eye-opening part for me was listening to the talks at Art Basel 2016, one of which had Vivienne Chow and John Batten on the stage talking about being an art writer in Hong Kong. I know that culture journalism overseas has a much bigger market than in this city, so it really smacked some sense into me about pursuing a career in this direction. Long story short, you’ll love what you do, but the salary will be measly – if you’re lucky enough to be employed. But hey, that’s why I quit Architecture and decided to do a masters in Journalism, right? I knew it was coming anyway and I have faith in myself!

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The Minimalist Art Exhibition That Is Drawing in the Crowds

A huge number of people were uploading Instagram pictures with the location tag at White Cube lately, and all of these pictures were of themselves in a plain, minimalist space. Obviously, judging by these photos and the type of people posting them, they were not there to admire Darren Almond‘s first exhibition in Hong Kong, Time and Being, but rather because they just want to take pretty pictures of themselves. I say that with no sarcasm, by the way. And I will be the first to admit that although I love art and architecture, having studied both, sometimes I just feel narcissistic. So I dressed to match the white gallery space (I love it!) and basically forced Jason to be my photographer.
 

Outfit of the Day

OOTD Outfit of the day - H&M, Nike Roshe Runs, ALAND

Lets do the order a little differently and start off with my outfit of the day. Not because I’m particularly favourable of my clothing choices or anything, ahem, haha. I decided on a monochrome colour scheme for reasons I’ve mentioned above (that I am a narcissist). My oversized grey jumper was bought from H&M many years ago. It’s been overstretched so much I’m surprised it hasn’t disintegrated into shreds yet. I paired it with black leggings, again, from H&M and wore my black Nike black Roshe Runs. But the star of the show? My new ALAND baseball cap. I had it on backwards too, like all the cool kids style their caps. Yeah, this is me, totally trying to look swag.

Oh, and by the way: you can totally look younger with a cap. I went to buy the Mark 6 in this outfit and the woman behind the counter asked if I was 18 yet. Yeah, I wish. Sadly I’m turning 23 in April – sad times.

PMQ in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

PMQ in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

PMQ in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

I got my outfit picture taken at PMQ. If you’re even the least bit familiar with Hong Kong, you’d know that the abbreviations stand for Police Married Headquarters, which the building formerly was. It’s an uphill walk from MTR Sheung Wan Station and is a revitalised creative hub for local designers and artists. It’s home to a range of designers selling their own brands of jewellery, fashion and more. And lastly, many events are also held on the central ground floor space.
 

Pressed Juices

Pressed Juices Hong Kong

Pressed Juices Hong Kong

Pressed Juices Hong Kong

Since I was a bit thirsty, we made a stop at the juicery Pressed Juices which was on the way back down to the city on Hollywood Road. It was definitely a bit pricey, as with all juicing stops in Hong Kong. I got the especially expensive Greens 1 juice which is a cold-pressed mixture of spinach, cucumber, celery, lettuce, kale and parsley. If I remember correctly, it was HKD$70 when the majority of the other juices were $60. But it was worth the money being a healthy refreshing drink to make my walk back down to the MTR Station slightly more pleasant.
 

Darren Almond: Time and Being

Darren Almond: Time and Being at White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong

Darren Almond: Time and Being at White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong

Darren Almond: Time and Being at White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong

Darren Almond: Time and Being at White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong

Darren Almond: Time and Being at White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong

Darren Almond: Time and Being at White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong

Time and Being is British artist Darren Almond‘s first exhibition in Hong Kong. The showcase at White Cube gallery in Central features two new series of paintings and sculptures. Almond has been interested in the theme of time and existence since his first live broadcast piece in the 90’s, and Time and Being is an address of his interpretation of temporality.

Spanning two floors of White Cube, the ground floor gallery displays three flip-clock sculptures and multi-panel mirror pieces, both expressing the notion of numbers to represent unification. From finance to science, numbers are used universally and are understood no matter the culture and language. The first floor gallery focuses on new paintings of nocturnal landscapes. Inspired by the night sky during a full-moon photographic shoot and having already looked at the position of stars in his previous pieces, Almond examines the colours of the void space instead through this series of works.
 

International Women’s Day

Lancôme's promotion of International Women's Day

It was also the weekend before International Women’s Day and when we got to Causeway Bay, Lancôme was doing a promotion where if you sampled their lipstick, then they’ll donate to charity. And… they’ll also give you pink balloons and roses. It was a nice gesture, and although I wiped the shocking pink lipstick off almost right after (I really don’t like make-up!), I was totally sold by the balloons and rose LOL.
 

Elephant Grounds

Elephant Grounds in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

We ended the night with dinner at Elephant Grounds – the last time I was there was back when the Causeway Bay branch was still in its soft opening phase. This time though, I was back at dinner time, so the menu was slightly different (not to mention the menu has naturally gone through a few changes now that it’s officially open). We ordered a Cobb Salad, a Vietnamese Pho with slow-cooked beef short ribs and bean sprouts, and Black Garlic Fries that came with a black garlic mayo sauce.

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