Travel

WKND - - Contents - By Ju­lianna barnaby

Hong Kong has al­ways been the home of ur­ban cool, but gets an arty di­men­sion now

ong Kong needs no in­tro­duc­tion. It’s one of the world’s most eclec­tic hubs, a truly in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tion with seem­ingly end­less op­tions for vis­i­tors new to the city. Over the last few years, Hong Kong has been qui­etly build­ing another rep­u­ta­tion for it­self: as one of Asia’s lead­ing design hubs. Dis­cover these design hotspots and ex­plore a new side of Hong Kong.

Any design afi­cionado should head to PMQ ( 35 Aberdeen Street, Cen­tral). This large and im­pos­ing con­crete mono­lith has pre­vi­ously been both a school and quar­ters for mar­ried po­lice­men but has re­cently been trans­formed into the home of over 100 small en­ter­prises. It bills it­self as Hong Kong’s home of cre­ative life­style ex­pe­ri­ences.

Vis­i­tors can choose from an ar­ray of bou­tiques, restau­rants and gal­leries.

The Good Design Store ( H401, PMQ) is man­aged by the Ja­panese In­sti­tute of Design and show­cases home­ware, gifts and gad­gets of Ja­panese ori­gin. From beau­ti­fully- shaped sake sets to mod­ern fur­ni­ture, shop­pers will love their cu­rated col­lec­tion of award­win­ning items. Another no­table home­ware store is Home. Works ( S506, PMQ), which seeks to en­cour­age mind­ful liv­ing with its sim­ple must- have pieces.

Fash­ion- wise, there are few des­ti­na­tions as ex­cit­ing as Hong Kong for the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover new de­sign­ers and collectible pieces to add to your wardrobe. Gumgumgum ( 22/ F, Wing Wah In­dus­trial Build­ing, 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay) aims to bring lo­cal tal­ents in the fash­ion and arts in­dus­tries to the fore­front.

With over 100 brands, Gumgumgum is a on­estop shop for mod­ern Asian fash­ion. Whether it’s an­drog­y­nous shirts from quirky brand Love LRE, or crisp white uni­sex dresses from Sketcharound, GGG’S col­lec­tion is both in­spired and func­tional. GGG also hosts pop- up fash­ion and art brands, en­sur­ing that no two vis­its are ever the same. CRE­ATIVE EX­PE­RI­ENCE: A man views the In­side

Heather­wick Stu­dio ex­hi­bi­tion at the PMQ Qube gallery in Hong Kong; ( fac­ing page) A night­time view of the Hong Kong city sky­line

Still look­ing for fur­ther fash­ion op­tions? HAK ( H202, PMQ) is the place to go to. Founder, up and com­ing fash­ion de­signer Wong Wai Ling, fo­cuses on sim­ple con­cep­tual cloth­ing for con­tem­po­rary liv­ing. The shop also fea­tures a few choice items for the home. Pick up a hand­made can­dle from Tanda: made with soy with bam­boo wicks, their gold- flecked cas­ings en­sure they look al­most as good as they smell.

Out­side of PMQ, those look­ing for fur­ther home­ware in­spi­ra­tion should head to Gough Street. Lo­cated in mi­dlevels, Gough Street is dot­ted with some of the city’s trendi­est stores. Of these, the big­gest, Home­less ( 29 Gough Street, Cen­tral), is packed with mod­ern picks large and small. From in­tri­cately de­signed table­ware to huge in­dus­trial style cab­i­nets, it’s an eclec­tic em­po­rium bring­ing a new mean­ing to the term life­style store.

While on Gough Street, take a trip to WOAW ( World of Amaz­ing Won­ders: 11 Gough St, Cen­tral) — a con­cept and life­style store re­tail­ing gad­gets, sta­tionery, fash­ion ac­ces­sories — es­sen­tially a cor­nu­copia of trea­sures you never knew that you needed but will def­i­nitely want.

WOAW also boasts one of Hong Kong’s best cof­fee shops ( Ele­phant Grounds) tucked away in the back of the store. The white choco­late and matcha cook­ies are the per­fect foil to one of their spe­cial­ity drip cof­fees.

Art lovers should head to Para/ Site ( 22/ F, Wing Wah In­dus­trial Build­ing, 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay) — Hong Kong’s lead­ing con­tem­po­rary art cen­tre. This large venue hosts a range of ex­hi­bi­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties, both of its own

and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with other mu­se­ums and gal­leries world­wide.

Para/ Site’s cur­rent ex­hi­bi­tion The World Is Our Home: A Poem On Ab­strac­tion ex­plores the de­vel­op­ment of mod­ern Asian art from the post- war era. Fea­tur­ing pieces from artists such as Tomie Oh­take, Tang Chang, Robert Mother­well and Bruce Nau­man, it’s an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that should not be missed.

It’s no great sur­prise that in a city where food is plen­ti­ful and de­li­cious, there are a grow­ing num­ber of in­no­va­tive restau­rants pop­ping up. Classy, el­e­gant and re­fined ( not to men­tion with two Miche­lin stars to its name), Dud­dell’s ( Level 3, Shang­hai Tang Mansion, 1 Dud­dell Street, Cen­tral) is a cul­tural and so­cial des­ti­na­tion for those with an in­ter­est in the arts. This trans­lates to a pro­gramme fea­tur­ing screen­ings of award- win­ning films, dis­cus­sion pan­els and art ex­hi­bi­tions. The ex­hi­bi­tions are no­table, not only for their qual­ity, but for the fact that they are of­ten cu­rated from pri­vate art col­lec­tions and in­clude pieces rarely shown to the pub­lic else­where.

When you’ve ex­hausted the ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer, set­tle down in the Dud­dell’s restau­rant and sam­ple their range of in­spired dishes ( the duck broth with black truf­fle and braised fresh crab claw with birds nest and caviar be­ing par­tic­u­lar favourites).

Another restau­rant is My­house in Wan Chai ( 26/ F QRE Plaza, 202 Queens Road East, Wan Chai), which opened in Oc­to­ber last year. More than just a restau­rant, My­house also has live mu­sic venue and an art space housed in a vast area. The in­te­rior was de­signed by Mo­hamed Gham­louch of Mi­nus Col­lec­tive and in­cor­po­rates nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and tex­tures in a state­ment style.

The menu fo­cuses on fresh and flavour­ful or­ganic and free- range small dishes with a Euro­pean fo­cus. Vis­i­tors can browse through their var­ied vinyl se­lec­tion and lis­ten to their picks in one of the eight pri­vate lis­ten­ing sta­tions.

Another in­ter­est­ing find is Mercedes me ( Shop C- D, G/ F, En­ter­tain­ment Build­ing, 30 Queen’s Road Cen­tral). The first of its kind in the world, Mercedes me prom­ises to im­merse vis­i­tors in the Mercedes life­style. It’s a car show­room, as one would ex­pect from Mercedes- Benz, but it also func­tions as a re­tail space, lounge and restau­rant. Mercedes have part­nered up with Hong Kong restau­rant leg­ends Max­i­mal Con­cepts to cre­ate a menu that’s an ex­er­cise in lux­ury: steak tartare, Hamachi tira­dito ( Hamachi fish with a mango and lemon dress­ing) and baked an­gel hair pasta with sea­weed, roasted gar­lic aioli and prawns just to name but a few.

Un­less you’re will­ing to make a su­per­hu­man ef­fort, or are stay­ing for a longer pe­riod of time, it’s dif­fi­cult to ex­pe­ri­ence all Hong Kong has to of­fer in one trip. The per­fect ex­cuse then, to book your next flight. HK SPOT­TING: 1 2 and 3 A view of the trendy store Home­less, and wares on sale in­side 4 Hand­made can­dles made with soy and bam­book wicks on sale at the HAK con­cep­tual cloth­ing store 5 In­side the WOAW store, in the fash­ion ac­ces­sories sec­tion 6 Grafitti on the stairs 7 Out­side view of the HAK store at PMQ

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