Time to Reflect
As the clock struck midnight on June 30, 1997, China reclaimed sovereignty over Hong Kong. It was a night of celebration and trepidation as we bade farewell to colonial rule and entered a new era as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under the rule of the People’s Republic of China.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the momentous handover and the introduction of the “one country, two systems” form of government, we sat down with five of the city’s key figures to discuss how Hong Kong has changed since 1997—for better and for worse. Ronald Arculli, vice-chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, remembers a time when a career in the arts would have been frowned upon. He credits institutions such as the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Para Site for nurturing the city’s cultural talents, playing a vital role in the development of our current generation of actors, musicians and artists.
The “father of Lan Kwai Fong,” Allan Zeman, reminisces about his party days at Disco Disco and Club 97, and looks ahead to a futuristic dining scene shaped by technology and staffed by robots, while Paul Zimmerman weighs in on the epidemics of plastic waste, traffic congestion and air pollution. Read the full story on page 110.
Gracing our cover this month is an inspiring young woman who found the inner strength to turn a harrowing experience into creative inspiration. Queenie Rosita Law opens up to associate editor Chloe Street about the ordeal of her 2015 kidnapping and explains how her artistic endeavours have helped her stay focused and positive. Read Queenie’s remarkable story on page 96.
Chloe also met up with New York nonagenarian Iris Apfel, the bespectacled queen of off-beat fashion, during her recent visit to Hong Kong— her first trip to Asia—and discovered a searing wit, insatiable appetite for life and an outrageous collection of accessories (p.104).
Also known for her signature style, Asia Tatler’s lady in red, Crazy Rouge, jetted off to Milan to recreate memorable scenes from some of the country’s most iconic romantic films. See her star in this fun and flirty shoot on page 122.
And if you’re planning a trip to Venice this year, check out Marianna Cerini’s guide to the must-see shows during the Biennale, including Damien Hirst’s much-anticipated shipwreckthemed exhibition, which features among its 190 pieces an 18-metre headless torso, a Hydra, and a bronze statue of Mickey Mouse covered with centuries of marine accretion. Oh boy!
TWO BECOME ONE July 1st marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from the UK to China