30 May 2012
Sassy’s Maura Thompson has her finger on the pulse! She is one of the driving forces behind my favourite HK blog, Sassy– my goto site for planning my weekend and where to shop. Thus, she is a fitting subject for the latest edition of My HK. A big part of blogging is going to all the openings and events around town. I am unable to go to as many as I should, but Maura seems to know exactly what is going on.
One of the best things about these posts is finding out the hidden spots. I pretty much thought I had shopping covered but I haven’t visited either Polkadot or The9thMuse but am going to check them out and report back. If Maura says they’re good, they must be!
Oh if you want to know what’s on in HK, then bookmark Sassy- you can find the link here.
29 May 2012
Resort collections sometimes seem to be a filler in between the more customary seasons of SS and FW and full of casual beach wear, however, Erdem has really hit the spot with these. Though there is still the inclusion of swimwear, I am totally loving the geometric floral prints and the wild pink neon. I can totally see K-Middy rocking these designs.
28 May 2012
One of my most vivid interior memories when I was a teenager was staying with a Dutch friend of mine whose mother lived in an all white house. Great expanses of smooth white ceramic tile, white leather sofas and chairs- my teenage self found it very intimidating and overwhelming. You can’t put your feet up on the sofa, you have to take your shoes off and god help if you spill red wine/tomato sauce/ chocolate on anything. Needless to say I spent my holiday being very careful indeed.
We cite practicality and lack of liveliness as being stumbling blocks in embracing all white. In fact, an all white interior can seem inviting, if there is an emphasis on the warmth of the light. For me, I think white looks best when mixed with texture and more forgiving shapes, rather than cold, hard planes.
In Hong Kong, if you rent, most of us are faced with a white box of an apartment or house which we feel compelled to fill with colour. A brave solution would be to embrace all that white- I’d love to see someone here that did just that, in a living room-not just a kitchen or a bathroom. If you have an all white interior- let me know, otherwise, here’s some inspiration.
25 May 2012
Spring auction season is here and this year the highlight of the Spring auction calendar is the spectacular array of masterpieces in cloisonné enamel from the Mandel Collection. The sales is to be held on 30 May 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Comprising 30 lots with a total estimate of over HK$40 million/US$5 million, the collection consists of beautiful cloisonné enamel works from the Qing dynasty (17th/18th century), and mostly from the Qianlong period (1736-1795). Followers of Chinese art will know that this period produced some of the most sophisticated and beautiful works of art the world has ever seen.
Cloisonné is an ancient form of metalwork that involves inserting enamel paste made from tinted ground glass into a network of bent copper wire cells soldered onto a bronze or copper surface. When fired at low temperature, the enamel fuses to the body of the object, which is then applied with gold for added brilliance.
A peek at the Mandel collection reveals beautifully delicate works of art made by some of the most talented craftsmen that existed in China in the 18th century.
This selection was curated by American collectors Dr Samuel and Annette Mandel, and features a wide range of Imperial decorative and ceremonial items. Some of the works were made for the Imperial court and are not only beautiful but have great cultural significance.
One of the great things about an auction is that it is open to the public and we are lucky in Hong Kong to have access to amazing collections that, if you are game, you can ask to see and hold. This is encouraged…how else are you to learn about these things? Some pieces in the Mandel collection are museum quality. If you have never been to an auction viewing, I strongly encourage you to take a look.
Standouts in the sale are elaborately decorated cloisonné enamel archaistic vessel and cover, estimated at between USD 500 000 to 700 000. Also stunning are the enamel peacock censers, estimated at around USD 400 000 to 600 000.
Even if you don’t think you like cloisonné, after seeing this, you will.
24 May 2012
Yumiko Sekine couldn’t find simple and beautiful linens that could be used around her home so she decided to develop her own. Working with linen manufacturers in Lithuania, she designed a range of simple, elegant and affordable linens in muted colours that look great in your home.
The linen is thick and soft and comes in subtle stripes, bolder ginghams and of course plains.
A standout in the collection are the resin coated linen trays. These are great to serve your tea and sandwiches on in a casual summer setting. Mix with linen napkins and you have your entertaining all sewn up. Monocle magazine likes these so much they have them in their own store. Now we have them in ours.
The new FOGLINENWORK range will be online soon, but don’t forget our store is open Wednesday to Friday 12 to 5pm. Other times by appointment, email or call 5699 6882.
23 May 2012
I knew I would like this series. I have talked to quite a few of the coolest people around and found out about some great places to go in HK. Who knew you could buy socks for chair legs in Jusco? I am getting a set or 2 for my upstairs neighbours who love to move furniture around in the middle of the night.
But I digress: this is a bit of a teaser post for a much longer one about Eilidh’s designs for her label, The Book of Deer. Eilidh is a very talented fashion designer now based in Hong Kong and who trained at Central St Martins. Her delicate and whimsical designs are characterised by her hand-drawn illustrations and lovely, subtle colours. If I was a twenty-something I would be definitely floating around in her romantic designs.
She has just launched an online store and some of her designs can be seen at Daydream Nation. Watch out for a more detailed post coming soon….
20 May 2012
There is nothing I like better than afternoon tea. There are plenty of places in HK to go…I will talk about the best places one day. However, today the rain was bucketing down and we decided to stay home and enjoy our own scones with jam.
I am a bit of an ad hoc cook- I tend to throw everything in bowl, not worrying too much about measurements, I judge the mixture by proportion. So I will give you my recipe for scones- pretty foolproof and feel free to substitute ingredients- I always do.
- 3 cups (450g) plain flour, plus extra for dusting tray
- 6 teaspoons baking powder
- 75 g chilled butter, chopped
- 1 to 1½ cups (250ml-325ml) milk, approximately
extra milk, to glaze
- Preheat oven to approximately 200 oC, rub butter and salt into sifted flour and baking powder until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add milk gradually until combined with a knife and it turns into a soft dough. Knead a few times and then turn onto a floured board, rolling the dough approximately 2cm thick. Cut with scone cutter or small glass.
- Put the scones close together on a tray. This helps them rise. Brush tops with milk and then bake for around 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Enjoy with cream and jam and a pot of Earl Grey tea. Yum!
Substitute a small proportion of the flour with raisins, chopped apricots or even chopped apple. Experiment- it’s fun!
Our Emma Bridgewater pottery sets off the scones beautifully. Her simple designs are hand painted onto pottery made traditionally in Staffordshire. Even though we were in the midst of high rises here in HK, we were transported to the English countryside.
You can find Eclectic Cool’s range of Emma Bridgewater ceramics here.
19 May 2012
One and half hours from Hong Kong lies Guilin on the banks of the Li River. Surrounded by limestone peaks called karsts, the Li River traverses some of the most majestic scenery in China. This area is famous and is featured on the 20RMB note.
The limestone peaks surmount some of the most beautiful and largest caves I have ever seen. Make sure that you head to any tourist attraction early as you will soon be overtaken by hoards of mainland Chinese tourists.
We stayed at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat on the banks of the Li River. The Retreat is an ‘eco-resort’ (read simple but comfortable). There is plenty for all to do close by, from biking, hiking and caving to climbing. A cruise along the Li River is a must as not only will you enjoy a stunning view but you get a great view into rural life in China.
The people here make their living mainly from farming. We climbed up to the top of Moon Hill to admire the view of the surrounding farmland. The whole way we were followed by two charming ladies who tried to sell us some drinks at the bottom of the hill. They followed us up the 1000+ steps, fanning us all the way and then back again. This was a round trip of around 2 hrs. The day was unbelievably hot and humid so that the 20RMB I ended up spending on the drink at the end was worth it.
A walk through Fuli and Xingping village to see traditional life and fans being made is also a very interesting sight. As you walked by, images of Mao, Marx and other Communist heroes were proudly displayed in the front rooms of their homes. The interiors were simple but always had a very contemporary TV as its centrepiece.
Though Guilin was only a short trip from HK it seemed like a world away and well worth seeing.
17 May 2012
I love talking with creative people here in HK and getting the low down on their favourite places and things to do here. I’m going to kick off with myself- I was really easy to interview!
16 May 2012
Don’t forget the HK Art Fair opens tonight…I’ll be there checking out the Vernissage event ( if I ever find my ticket which I tucked away ‘safely’). Even though the exhibition will be dominated by Chinese art, the HK Art Fair, one of the leading art fairs in the world, is an opportunity to see what the world’s galleries have on offer.
Highlights include the Sir Peter Blake exhibition from the Cat Street Gallery and the sculptor, Alexander Seton exhibit by Sullivan+ Strumpf. Both these artists have a very original and contemporary take on traditional art.
Tomorrow, I will give you the rundown on must see exhibits.
Wednesday 16 May
|14:00 – 17:00
||Collectors’ Preview (By Invitation Only)
|17:00 – 21:00
||Vernissage (By Invitation or Pre-booked Tickets Only)
|Thursday 17 May
||12:00 – 19:00
|Friday 18 May
||12:00 – 19:00
|Saturday 19 May
||12:00 – 19:00
|Sunday 20 May
||12:00 – 17:00