To Our Readers
The year 2016 has been making depressing headlines. Many are calling it the worst year ever. And that’s true for music fans with the passing of such legendary artists as David Bowie and Prince. More recently, the death of lauded singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen added credence to the dubious honour. Furthermore, according to global climate studies, this year will be the hottest on record. It’s certainly been a strange time for weather here in Hong Kong with the late typhoon last month. And as I write this on an unseasonably humid mid-november morning, the mercury is set to shoot past our monthly average.
But what will most characterise this year is the seismic shift of the political landscape. All over the world we have seen a galvanised, jaded populace seek change—for better or worse. From Brexit to Duterte to Trump, the tough talk of hardliners and fervent nationalists is resonating with the disenfranchised. Here at home, the furore over the localists’ behaviour in Legco and their subsequent disqualification continues to brew while tensions rise. Will we see another Occupy scenario?
There hasn’t been a better time to promote cooperation over competition, creativity over carnage. With that in mind, we present Uncharted Territories, a project we embarked upon with Louis Vuitton with the goal of exciting the city’s artistic community. A hugely ambitious undertaking, Uncharted Territories began life some eight months ago as a result of a conversation with LV’S vice-president of communications, Michelle Kwok, and art curator William Zhao.
Together, we selected eight of Hong Kong’s most influential artists and creatives, paired them up, and tasked each team with producing an artwork based on the theme of travel, a nod to the luxury brand’s heritage and to Hong Kong’s own identity as a global hub and transport gateway. I am delighted that the teams of artists, who grace this month’s cover and tell of the progress of their work inside, have all risen to the challenge brilliantly. Read the full story in our special 16-page section leading into Features (p.145).
Their final artworks will be unveiled at an exhibition and charity auction in January, and you can track their creative journey via weekly videos on our website (hk.asiatatler.com/lvhkt) throughout this month. We hope the collaborative spirit of Uncharted Territories sets 2017 off on a positive, thought-provoking note.