I’m dreaming of the most lustworthy item on the spring/summer catwalks. The nylon backpack by Burberry has elevated the schoolgirl staple to something a lot more luxe, with gold hardwear and best of all personalised initial monogramming orking on this special Art Issue of Hong Kong Tatler, my first edition as editor-in-chief, has been an exciting affirmation that Hong Kong’s affinity for collaborative initiatives, along with its interest, investment and love for art, shows no sign of abating. Of course, art is by definition the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, yet can really only be gauged in the public domain; it needs to be visible and palpable to us all if we are to believe in its existence.
To that end, Hong Kong’s leading developers must be commended for their commitment in supporting the staging of some world-class public art. From last year’s Event Horizon to the unveiling this month of the artist-decorated hoardings of Henderson Land’s HQ building, these powerful collaborations have had a transformative effect on people and places.
And, as it happens, many of the most interesting public art pieces in Hong Kong are the result of collaborations.
For our cover story, we asked photographer Jermaine Francis to capture friends David Tang and Tracey Emin at the China Exchange in London, and asked David to interview Tracey, whose confessional and confrontational art defines her as one of Britain’s most significant contemporary artists (p.224). In 2014, Emin’s installation My Heart is with You Always was the first piece of art to be projected onto the tower of The Peninsula Hong Kong and gave the public the opportunity to view a groundbreaking work. This year’s collaboration, the second in a threepart series with the Royal Academy of Arts, sees an installation by Conrad Shawcross take up residence in the hotel’s iconic lobby (p.282).
It’s also particularly compelling to see institutional partnerships flourish within a collaborative and creative setting. Features editor Madeleine Ross looks at what it takes and, more importantly, who it takes to make Hong Kong’s public art exhibitions a reality (p.232), while Anny Shaw speaks to the founder of the K11 Art Foundation, Adrian Cheng, and Serpentine Gallery director Hans Ulrich Obrist to discover how they are developing the careers of emerging artists (p.242). The answer, Shaw discovers, is simple: positive narrative and a local approach. Meanwhile, the writer Paul Kay has put together Hong Kong Tatler’s definitive guide to Art Basel in Hong Kong, which this year is a stand-alone edition, the result of collaboration with creative director Patt Sham.
Lastly, every fashion spread in this magazine is also the result of ongoing collaborations between fashion editor Justine Lee, photographers, stylists, models, make-up artists and hairstylists. The teams shot in both Florence and Paris to create two stories that preview some of the best of the spring collections. A true example of collaboration at its best…
Lying down on the job Photographer William Furniss hits the deck in order to capture the people responsible for bringing Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon to Hong Kong