(Courtesy to The Closeteur)
(Courtesy to The Closeteur)
Being in the flow, accepting whatever comes and find the meaning before it passes on. Going with the flow, allowing whatever comes to move on freely without holding on. Orchestrate with the strings of constant changes. Evolve into different identities with memories and experience. Stay open, stay with the flow. The only continuity, in life and in love, are growth and freedom. Love 大愛
Hong Kong is always promoted as dining and shopping hot spot, and the city has to transform itself with sophistication because it holds the third place in art market for trading and buying art in the world. The annual art month where Art Basel, Art Central and Asia Contemporary Art Show take place encompassing fine art and contemporary art, one may not also notice Hong Kong Art Festival also celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. The leading position is further solidified by multibillion-dollar redevelopment project of Western Kowloon Cultural District featuring M+ museum with significant contemporary Chinese art pieces mainly donated by Uli Sigg, it also offers theatres, art galleries, exhibition spaces and park. Despite of the key events and important auctions hold twice a year, there is a lot more varieties to offer by the visionary art collectors and gallery owners who want to build conversations with art connoisseur, bringing art as an experience to public space. Hong Kong Art Gallery Association is set to engage and open our eyes by Hong Kong Art Week with different art programs to raise the awareness on the art scene to enrich our life experience and to promote art at local level.
Gallery Hopping at Noho
A walk from Central to Hollywood Road, you can surf from traditional white wall galleries with high ceilings inside Pedder Building to interesting space by walking up along Old Baily Street closer to Caine Road. Heading towards Sheung Wan, interesting galleries featuring international artists juxtapose with antiques shops will definitely keep your eyes busy and dizzy!
Hanart TZ Gallery
Currently exhibiting Fang Lijun: This All Too World, a solo exhibition of recently paints and prints by the most celebrated Beijing-based artist Fang Lijun. He turns his honest gaze to the anxiety and pain felt by those living in the midst of a transforming society, shaped by rapid and critical change when China is still undergoing social transformation. Fang Lijun is characterized by two principle sets of imagery. The first shows a ‘grand’ landscape among which masses of people are gathered. Their vision is always broad and passionate with the intention to describe the mind set of a collective society. His key figures including heroes, every walks of life, beasts or birds are being washed away by the tide of history and become generic masses with the same collective face. The other main type of imagery is represented by hallucinatory images of multitudes. People float in a fluid space with their face spinning in a vortex in which the image has no sense of perspective. These people are more violent, greedy and desperate for power. New-born baby, the future, is threatened and stared by predators. Within these images, we see the collective social mode wipe of history and culture that twist human nature and produce pack of wolves lacking in personal morals. On the contrary, the cruelty of extreme individualism and commercialisation is also devouring the ‘future’. Fang questions the future and show he truly cares about the world. This humble teacher deserves every respect!
Contemporary by Angela Li
The gallery is presenting ‘Human Nature’ by one of the most talented London-based Chinese pop artist Jacky Tsai. This exhibition showcases his latest works by using different mediums including Chinese lacquer woodcarving, traditional Suzhou embroidery, porcelain, acrylic on canvases and screen prints. His works feature traditional Chinese motifs, characters from old Chinese folk tales or super heroes from Western comics to present his concern on current social issues or subject matters. The artist is able to mix different mediums together, demonstrating his talent and enthusiasm in traditional Chinese craftsmanship, which are both eclectic and visually pleasing. He said to me that ‘When looking at my works, I want people to reconsider one’s self-identity. I am lucky as I am not institutionalised, my talent can be fully expressed.’ Jacky’s work does not confine to certain specific style as he will take further step to change his style as he evolves.
10 Chancery Lane
In celebration of the legendary Frog King, Kwok Mang Ho, 70th birthday, this gallery presents Frog King’s first solo exhibition showcasing his art works in his ever-changing phases of life by experimenting different mediums, breaking the traditional boundaries of ink and calligraphy. He was formally trained by seminal New Ink Painting master Lui Shou Kwan, constantly steering contemporary art in Hong Kong through engaging a great diversity of media covering calligraphy, installation, graffiti, performance art, photography and sculpture. In this exhibition, you can see this free-spirit artist is using his intuitive with spontaneous imagination and improvisation on his works and performance art to interact with audience. Engaging with him is quite an experience; he would pass his spectacle and giant painting brush to me to be part of his art work!
This art space is presenting gallery collection by showcasing artworks by KAWS, Jeff Koons and Yoshimoto Nara. Celebrating our childhood imagination develops from our first encounter with children books, this exhibition aims to provoke audiences to re-experience seemingly familiar visual in a different way. Can you recall these vivid images in your memory?
Wong Chuk Hang, the former industrial area with lofty space and lower rents, offers more flexibility for galleries and local artists experiment their creative practise. Just a few minutes’ walk from Wong Chuk Hang MTR station, you can immerse yourself with absolute different galleries with vast displaying area to present big art pieces and projects. People can also come in studios to stay as long as they like to engage with the exhibition or build conversation about it.
Rossi & Rossi
(Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Art Gallery Association)
Having passed through the dusty lobby and took a ride by cargo elevator, this gallery has vast exhibition space with specialty in displaying both classical and contemporary art. During the visit, they are presenting When Head and Body United by acclaimed Cambodian art Leang Seckon. His art works compose of a variety of media-textiles, photographs, posters, found objects, reveals his memories growing up during a devastating and turbulent period in Cambodian’s history, Khmer Rouge and its subsequent attempts to heal.
De Sarthe Gallery
Situated within a modern office tower in the Southside, it offers 10,000-squre-foot space which is exhibiting The Must See Art Show Where You Can Find 10,000 Artists by Wang Xin. She challenges the archaic structure of the art world, as she often takes its institutions, systems and dogma as her material. The exhibition comprised of multiple interactive, site-specific installations in which Wang Xin challenges the status of the artist as well as the art world’s current ecosystem. Wang also encourages the participation of each audience as soon as they walk into the gallery. As the exhibition suggests, 10,000 unknown artists’ contact information are stored inside the pink balls. The audience is entitled to pick up the pink ball, open it, and unravel an unknown artist’s information.
Objects Factory (Kacey Wong’s Studio)
A home-grown artist’s private studio houses his installations and art works designed and hand-crafted by him, fusing with authentic Hong Kong Culture and elements. I met him in his studio in Ap Lei Chau. Once stepping into his studio, you would be stunned by its cosiness with an open air terrace overlooking the seaside. He explains each of his art work drawn from what he experiences, observes or exposes the reality. His works combine social and political statement; his mobile work Eggette Bar, he mocks the cost of making the mobile car is only HK$50,000 comparing to the cost of street food truck that could cost over HK$1million. Being a teacher, he also encourages each people ‘should focus on their own interest, let your talent excels, and you are not meant to do that…’, while pointing the most expansive land in Hong Kong.
(Photo courtesy of Empty Gallery)
A complete black-cube space which is exhibiting Toshio Matsumoto: Everything Visible Is Empty, a retrospective exhibition of the late experimental filmmaker and visual theorist, examining arguably his most fertile creative period: the years from 1960 to 1979. The 2-floor exhibition area is divided into 10 rooms screen playing his works including ‘The World Goes Pop’ at Tate Modern and ‘Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde’ at MoMa.
吳哥寺(簡稱小吳哥) 是高棉建築藝術最登峰造極之作，亦被譽為世界上最大的宗教建築。城內總共分為三層構造，從外可見轟立著五個高塔，最高的中心塔離地面約65米，城外四面由護城河緊緊環繞。主建築群周圍有大空地，內裡有多個小房間，共藏有超過2000 個浮雕及銘文。最具歷史感的銘文和浮雕，可於此處尋。當爬到主塔的第三層， 可看到四個大佛，面向四個軸心。現在主體建築有些較新的佛殿，仍有不少僧侶在這裡修行。日落時，整個吳哥寺變成金色，十分耀眼。夕陽餘暉襯托之下，美得令人不捨離去。
The temple of Angkor Wat is the masterpiece of Khmer architecture, and it has been called the largest religious structure in the world. It has already become a symbol of Cambodia. The temple is made of three layers of gallery, and composed of five towers that symbolize five peaks of a mountain. The largest is the one in the center, which is 65 meters tall, and the quincunx of towers. The walls are surrounded by a moat that symbolizes an ocean surrounding mountain ranges. Walking along the corridor of the complex, one would be immediately impressed by the extensive bas-reliefs and devatas adorning the walls, as there were over 2000 of them inside Angkor Wat including some of the oldest art works. When I was walking up the steep stairway to the third floor of the central tower, I saw four Buddhas each facing the four axes. Many Buddhist monks can be seen in the temples, with their orange robes casting a bright contrast with the grey walls. Sunset in Angkor Wat is one of the most impressive and breathtaking views, with fading dusk light turning the stones into golden color. A sight that will forever linger in my mind.
寺內第一層的浮雕、銘文是最豐富。The first layout of the gallery showcase the most extensive reliefs and inscriptions.
長廊的浮雕十分震撼。The stunning reliefs at the gallery wall.
聽說塔頂曾有一顆鑽石。Legend said there was a huge diamond casting on top of the tower.
塔頂內高錦盛世的浮雕。The reliefs represent the height of Khmer art.
靜待日落。Watching sunset is a must at Angkor Wat.
於第三塔上的引人入勝的浮雕。The enchanting reliefs on the third floor.
浮雕是高棉藝術頂峰之作，輕紗放在肌膚上，十十分立體。仙女體態和比例均稱，非常優美。This is the height of Khmer artistic style, layers of draperies that cover the lush skin of the fairies can clearly be seen. The fairies are well proportioned with slandered bodies, all looking very natural.
安靜。My moment of solitude.
作了一個小小的捐獻，僧侶為我送上祝福。I made some donation for the temple and the monk was blessing me with his good words.
在這裡修行的僧侶。Monks are still practising here inside Angkor Wat nowadays.
日落時，有點深秋的感覺。Sunrise…sunset…Life is changing of seasons. Fall is here…
吳哥窟的建材主要紅土、砂岩、方磚、經過精密計算和佈局進行相崁，並以大木刻和仔細上色的木材蓋建。最早期在高棉神廟留下的木材，因為年日久遠早而腐爛，只剩下牆上一個個整齊的洞孔，便可知一二。吳哥的建築群包括祭祀的地方，迂迴的長廊及至後期錯綜複雜的廟宇，高聳層疊式金字塔式建築。而後彌山 (Mount Meru) 是高綿建築學的高峰，它是整個宇宙及精神層面的中心，採用了軸向校准，對準了夏至及冬至的方向，並以幾何和精確的比例，展示王朝的偉大及力量！當我爬上吳哥窟的高梯，再一層一層爬上去看寺內的大佛，不能不讚嘆建築群信仰的力量。
Illusion of Time, Dimension and History
The remains of the great Khmer empire spread out in the jungles and allow its visitors a glimpse of the majesty of this once proud civilization. Stories and legends of the era lie in the stone inscriptions adorning the buildings. These carvings tell episodes about gods and people’s everyday life so vividly that I am able to relive its colorful history. But revisiting the past also prompted me to think how ironic it was for such a powerful civilization to suddenly come to its end, its people gone, and its architecture abandoned in a jungle. I cannot help but ponder about the dark side of human nature, and how history keeps repeating itself under the influence of human greed, which brought upon wars that ultimately destroyed the very proud civilizations they themselves built.
The Aesthetics of Angkor Architecture
The Angkor Wat is known to the world for its architectural and artistic value. A large part of the Angkorian architecture was mainly constructed of red clay, sandstone and brick. The stones, laid without mortar, were fixed to places with very tight and nicely-fitted joints. The earliest temples used a lot of wooden materials that perished over time. The major scheme for the building construction of Angkorian temples was that of the Temple Mountain, an architectural representation of Mount Meru, which is the home of the gods in Hinduism. The temple itself was in the shape of a pyramid of several levels, and the home of the gods was represented by the elevated sanctuary at the center of the temple. When building the sacred space, it is believed that the designers took measurements of solar and lunar time cycles and incorporated this divine mandate to perfection. When I was climbing up to the stairs step by step, it was hard not to be mesmerized by the effort of the designer and the power of the religion.
A moment of solace.
Lost in space and time.
首次想到柬埔寨的吳哥窟，是看了王家衛的《花樣年華》。梁朝偉飾演男主角的周慕雲，於荒廢的寺廟內，面向一個小洞把心底秘密說出來 [注1]，背景音樂旋律拉奏著千百年來的哀傷。他心底那段未果的愛情，一如盛極一時的吳哥王朝一樣， 隨時間消失，只剩下斑駁遺跡下的滿目荒涼….. 心想有生之年必須造訪這個國度。 柬埔寨的歷史就像是一個複雜的萬花筒，放眼望去，交錯著硝煙烽火，刀光劍影。吳哥古蹟是世界上最大的廟宇群建築，供奉印度教的毗濕奴 (Vishnu) 及佛教(大乘佛教)，延伸到160公頃。提據銘文，當時曾動用三十萬名工匠及六千頭大象興建，工程浩瀚無比。每一個城市有它的城門、護城河，有些寺廟甚至鑲滿寶石或黃金，綺麗奢華，王朝盛極一時。
吳哥王城由 Jayavarman VII (柬王闍耶拔摩七世) 於12世紀間興建。吳哥通王城( Angkor Thom) 也稱大吳哥，是「大城市」的意思。吳哥的通王城始建於9世紀，現今所見的建築是由12世紀末、13世紀重建而成。而大吳哥以著名的巴戎廟(Bayon)為中心，也是著名的「高綿微笑」佛像所在之處。及至15世紀時，柬國王朝沒落，被逼棄城退守金邊。輝煌的建築竟漸漸被叢林蔓藤吞噬，完全湮沒在人類的紀憶之中。直到19世紀，一名法國生物學家按照古籍探險，終於在不見天日的叢林之內發現這座迷失的古城，令文明古蹟重見天日，哄動一時，被列為世界七大奇觀之一。
在50至60年代的柬埔寨曾經在國際舞台上光輝無限，成為多過知名人仕或政要到訪之地，座上客包括前美國總統甘乃迺的夫人(Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) 、瑪嘉烈公主、李光耀總統、及法國總統。直至1970，龍諾 (Lon Nol) 策動政變，推翻帝制。在1975年至1979 年間，赤柬 (又稱紅色高棉) 的波爾布特 (Pol Pot) 掌控政權，在接近四年的「零度歲月」自絕於國際社會，展開了人類歷史上最恐怖的大屠殺之一。極端獨裁的政府，黨同伐異，無所不用其極地逼害反對派人仕，對持異見的文人、藝術家、及政客進行殘酷清洗。大屠殺令當時人口由700萬大減至 350萬人，全國四分一人口死於處決、酷刑、過勞、饑荒等等，該國至今仍留下聞之色變的夢魘。英國電影「戰火屠城」正是以這段殘忍的歷史為背景。
Angkor Wat has always on my mind since watching In The Mood for Love by Hong Kong movie director Wong Kar-wai. In the film, Chow Mo-Wan (by Tony Leung) brought the memory of his forbidden love to the monastery relic in Angkor Wat, where he whispered into a hole in the ruined wall. He then covered the hole with soil to bury the brief romance that never blossomed in daylight. Along with his unspoken affection lies the faded grandeur of the Khmer Empire, which was once the most powerful Southeast Asian empire during the Middle Ages. But as time goes by, the great empire was forgotten, its holy temple abandoned, leaving behind the valuable relics of the legacy. It was then I decided I must visit this place and see it for myself. Cambodia has a long and colourful history. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is the largest temple complex and religious monument in the world, located on a site measuring around 160 hectares. Originally it was built as a Hindu temple for the Vishnu god in Khmer Empire, but slowly transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. According to old documents, over 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants were employed to build the extensive structure. Each palace in Angkor had its tower gate and city moat, and the temples were lavishly adorned with gold and jewelry.
Angkor Thom was built by Jayavarman VII in the 12th century, which literally means “Great City”. At the centre of the massive complex was the magnificent state temple, Bayon, the temple of the smiling gods. In the 15th century, the royal family of Khmer Empire suffered a downfall and fled from Angkor Wat. The awe-inspiring temple complex was then left to wither in decay, later forgotten, and in the end completely swallowed by the robust jungle. Until the 19th century, adventurers discovered the ancient temple according to historical records, stunning the world with its grandeur and aesthetic values. It is now listed as one of the seven wonders in the world, and preserved as an UNESCO World Heritage.
Cambodia was once glamorous on the global stage and hosted numerous international stars. Until 1970, Lon Nol launched a coup to abolish the monarchy, and declared himself the president. Following his ruling, communist party Khmer Rouge rose to seize power and its leader Pol Pot led the country into a dark era known as “The year of Zero” in history. During the vicious four-year regime, the country descended into complete chaos. The dictator sealed the country off from the outside world and launched a genocide within his own country to eradicate his opponents. The deadly cleansing was performed on writers, artists, politicians and so on, resulting in a shocking plummet in the population of the Cambodia from 7 million to just 3.5 million! A fourth of Cambodians died from torture, execution, starvation or exploitation. The bloody history has inspired award-winning British drama film The Killing Fields.
The country only achieved peace when the United Nations took over its governance after the Paris Peace Accords, and later restored the status of the royalty. However in 1997, Hun Sen launched another military coup and seized power, extending his legacy until today. This is the first time I visited . I saw a large piece of fertile soil on the plane, with trees and trees along the road. Only six main roads have traffic lights in place, and the economy relies on farming and tourism. Nevertheless, it is a city rich with history and culture. Visitors will find vintage and charming colonial buildings with pubs, shops, and a diverse local cuisine. Top resorts and hotels are also in town. It is a place really suitable for different travelers. Let’s take a glimpse of how I feel about Siem Reap!
A city of Habsburg Dynasty with 600 years of history, the world’s cultural heritage, the home of the world’s music, coffee culture, with the world’s fourth largest museum, art, delicacy…I am glad to enjoy one of the most beautiful and freest journey in my life wandering around in the city day and night. While Vienna may not be the first choice for Hong Kongers, you can feel that the Austrian people living here are enjoying high standard of living if you are able to stay here for a few more days.
The city offers you with multiculturalism, art, wine and food, modern transport infrastructure, safe and quiet streets, not limiting to bike trails surrounding. No wonder Vienna has been selected as one of the top 10 cities for living!
Spanish Riding School
舉世聞名的Spanish Riding School 是歐洲最歷史悠久的騎術學校，當日剛巧到步是星期日，一落機便趕至看難得一見的Lipizzaner 貴族馬dressage。請一定要提早一個月前於網上訂票，否則一定摸門釘。
The world’s famous Spanish Riding School is the oldest riding school in Europe. The day happened to be a Sunday that I visited. I rushed to see the rare dressage by Lipizzaner, the aristocratic horse upon arrival. Please be sure to book one month in advance online if you don’t want to miss the chance.
Paying tribute to the audience in the beginning.
The horses were ready to perform with the music.
I happened to sit on the first floor that day, next to a pair of British couples who were experienced equestrian enthusiasts. They explained to me each mirror action is very difficult for horses.
At this point the horse were also ready, difficult moves for each individual performance.
A Day of Art and Culture
全球最美的書店 – 好樣本事。
The World’s most beautiful bookstore – VVG Something
VVG Something is perfectly blended in the Huashan 1914 Creative Park where the old vinery factory is well preserved. When you entered the bookstore, as if you arrived at a tiny castle of elegance and grace. The high-ceiling building has two floors; there is a decent bar table on the lower floor where you can chill out with a cup of coffee. As you walked further down, you would imagine you were in an art museum with the different styles of painting along the way. A restaurant and a florist shop are down the ally. Cozy and comfortable. Up to the second floor, you can feel the good taste of the shop owner with the collection of books and lifestyle grocery – where you will never get bored with the shelves of aesthetics, design, art and dining.
Restaurant, café and florist shop on the ground floor. Love the tiles from original walls and floor with elegant tiles.
Shop with a variety of lifestyle grocery on the second floor, or just a flip of your favourite books at leisure.
Take your time as much as you want. Or have a coffee break downstairs.
Huashan 1914 is well preserved with the nature – giant trees grow by the old buildings and new branches grow over the old trees whose roots are well protected.
Sometimes, it is perfect to keep the imperfect wall – represents the beauty at the same time.
A snapshot of tourists in kimono passing by the old brick wall.
香色 Xiang Se – A laid back afternoon at Southern France!
Butterfly is representation of transformation and self-revelation. Each of them strives to shine through darkness, win through struggling, finding balance and fulfilment through self-creation. The ultimate redemption of life is to return to the purest form of being.
Beauties of Life: Primavera
Beauties of Life: Inverno
Everything has its own season…
A time to bloom
A time to fade
A time to change
A time to let go
A time to harvest
A time to sorrow
A time to joy
There is a time of purpose
Under the Sun
Studying etiquette in the U.K. has been one of the vital and rewarding life experiences throughout my life journey. The United Kingdom is an amazing country of history and heritage where one can easily live up with examples and resources like palaces and museums. I am pleased to understand their culture. By understanding more of their thoughts, I have managed to communicate more effectively with the locals. From what I learnt from my experience, somehow you can earn more respects from the English (or foreigners in general) if you understand, speak and act as if you were part of them (of course, in confidence).
老師安排我到白金漢宮 （Buckingham Palace）近距離接觸，於禁地拍了張照片。
My teacher arranged my visit to the Buckingham Palace where I could manage to take a few shots in the forbidden area.
學習衣著及個人形象、指定動作到 V&A 學 Fashion History
Learning the art of dressing, personal styling, designated posture. Learning Fashion history at the V&A
James Bowden 於 Manners for Men 曾把男仕服裝總括和分類為: 步行、騎馬、駕駛、探訪、划船、狩獵、射擊、高球、騎自行車、網球、板球、足球、用膳、抽煙、休閒、賽車、遊艇、西裝、摩托車裝，更說明了應配以各種飾品才算完整的打扮 , 也是說明了於社會上的身份。當然，今日的社會也簡化了很多。
The art of menswear is more sophisticated than women wear by tradition.
James Bowden wrote about the menswear in the <Manners for Men>. The dress code categories include: walking, horse-riding, driving, visit, rowing, hunting, shooting, golf, cycling, tennis, cricket, football, dining, smoking, causal, racing, yachting, formal attire, motorbike.
He also introduced the accessories according to the outfit, which represented the social class status. Of course, nowadays, the dress code is far more simplified.
The basics of table manner: to distinguish the tableware and their functions, to design a menu, to set the table with table cloth, setting, tableware and glassware in accordance to the menu. Furthermore, you can imagine you ‘d learn more like seating plan, entertainment, and the art of clothing, the art of design and deco, floral arrangements and the roles and responsibilities of a host.
老師即場考我法式與英式的7道菜setting ── 訓練過關！
I was tested by the 7-course setting in both French and English ways. Yeah, and I passed!
標準Afternoon Tea 示範：三層架及scone（英式鬆餅）
The demonstration of the classic Afternoon Tea: a three-tiered cake stand and scone
Scones are usually put on the side of a cake stand. Alternatively in the centre if there are not many cakes and bites for the day.
We are all born with what has been given. Yet we are the only person who chooses to become who we are. Beauty grows with time as we grow inside.