Monthly Archives: May 2012

MUSIC – 9 Maps Album Launch 5

Last year’s Time Out Band of the Year and 1st place Tom Lee Soundbase 2012 winners, 9 Maps officially launched their long-awaited album ‘High Incline’ yesterday at the Central Wine Club. With the backing of Untitled Entertainment Asia, the trio are spearheading a new wave of local, independent music…

From the stirring strums of the title track opener; through live favourites including White & Gold and No Pulse For Uncle John; right to the final chimes of I Hope You Knew, 9 Maps, & Norman Chan of Theon Studios, have produced a carefully constructed body of work that is both sincere and accomplished.

With a sound termed “Harbour Folk”, they’ve naturally been likened to the Western indie-folk generation including Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and Feist. In their short career span to date, they’ve already been invited to share stages with the likes of Elbow, Lenka and Emmy The Great, and are featured in the recent ‘Best of SE Asian Indie’ compilation currently earning plaudits across the region and beyond. 2012 first-placed Gold winners at the Tom Lee Soundbase songwriters awards, and with an invitation to the upcoming Music Matters conference, 9 Maps’ star is very much on the rise. – Hip Hong Kong

Scroll down for an unofficial video of the second track on their début album, 4 Walls, as well as a free, downloadable track from the new release.

ART – Chai Wan Mei: Local Art Studios on an Old Industrial Estate 4

Chai Wan Mei is an ‘Open Studio’ event and an introduction to the hidden creative community based in the old industrial buildings of Chai Wan. It took place yesterday but Art East Island, a nearby sister event, continues today.

ART – ART HK 2012 Moving Installations 5

Completing coverage of the ART HK fair in Wanchai, below is a video of the best moving installations from each of the exhibition halls. The show remains open until 7pm today  and closes at 5pm tomorrow. Meanwhile, Spoon Art Fair is in full swing nearby, closing at 8pm today and tomorrow.

ART – More ART HK 2012 Highlights: Hall 3 3

The second and final instalment of photos from this year’s ART HK fair in Wanchai. These are all from Hall 3 – There are 266 galleries showcasing pieces from 38 countries.

The exhibition is open from noon till 7pm (closing at 5pm on Sunday).

ART – ART HK 2012 Highlights: Hall 1 5

The global art world has descended upon the city for the biggest annual show in Asia. ART HK 2012 is open to the public from today through till Sunday – noon till 7pm (closes at 5pm on Sunday). There are 266 galleries showcasing pieces from 38 countries. The photos below are from Hall 1 only – it took 5 hours to see it this section alone.

Leave a message in the comments if you are interested in the name/artist/origin of any particular piece.

EVENT – Definitive Guide to 4 Essential Art Events this Week 11

ART HK is open to the public from Thursday through till Sunday – noon till 7pm (except Sunday, closing at 5pm). HK has no dedicated modern art museum, so – for lack of a Tate Modern or MoMA – this annual exhibition is an important fixture for local art fans. Appropriately for the city, it is a pretty-much even split between Asian and Western galleries.

Coverage will begin tomorrow on Hong Wrong (which has been granted preview/backstage access and has undergone a design fix to allow for higher resolution photos!)

Tickets are available on the door at $250 or through HK Ticketing. A visit of several hours is required to take in everything though it’s best to enjoy the show in two separate outings (1 floor for each visit) – Time Out Magazine has an excellent floor map here (full resolution versions here)…

POLITICS – The Heart-Warming Kindness of Hong Kong’s Heroes 9

Kind-hearted Hong Kongers are recognising that charity begins at home… Yesterday, the SCMP reported on the story of Benson Tsang who made a simple, personal protest against government inaction. He used his HK$6000 handout to buy food from local momma-and-poppa stores and distributed it amongst the needy. After posting about his efforts on Facebook, many others followed his example with ‘People’s Handouts’…

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His actions came months after a Food and Environmental Hygiene Department ‘clean-up operation’, which saw homeless people’s bedding, identity documents, phones and clothing confiscated and thrown away. Meanwhile, China Daily reported that deaths are so common amongst street sleepers that there is now an official procedure in place for disposing of ‘unclaimed’ bodies. In 2009, an unarmed Nepali homeless man was shot by police in Ho Man Tin.

These incidents prove that district councils are failing to treat the root causes of the problem. The Social Welfare Department stated in January that there are now 504 registered homeless people in HK.

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POLITICS – A Meta-Protest in Hong Kong & the ‘818 Incident’

Yesterday, 300 people demonstrated against declining freedom of speech and civil liberties in a ‘protest about protests’ which called upon HK Police Commissioner Andy Tsang to resign. Tsang has faced calls to quit ever since the disastrous ‘818 Incident‘ last summer in which officers cracked down heavily upon student protesters and journalists during a visit by mainland vice-premier Li Keqiang.

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The entire city was on lockdown during his 3-day tour last August which saw demonstrators at HKU thrown to the ground and falsely imprisoned in stairwells. The Journalists Association accused the authorities of hampering media coverage whilst Asia Times Online claimed the university’s reputation had been severely damaged.

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Demonstrators nostalgic for colonial times

The Independent Police Complaints Council upheld 9 complaints concerning Li’s visit and two officers may be sacked after preventing NOW TV from filming the event. Li claims the officers obscured a camera with their hands as an instinctive ‘reaction to a shadow’.

ACTIVISM – HK LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rally: Photos 3

Yesterday, Hong Kongers marked the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in preparation for a soon-to-be-released ‘climate report’ into the cultural state of affairs for the LGBT community in HK. Over 100 people gathered in Chater Garden, Central dressed in black to give a ‘final burial’ to homophobic and transphobic bullying.

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The emotional rally came days after Obama voiced his support for gay marriage and almost a month after local Cantopop star Anthony Wong came out at a live concert

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The city often plays ‘catch-up’ with the rest of the democratic world in that homosexuality was only legalised in the 90’s and the age of consent was only equalised for gay couples in 2006 (despite opposition from Donald Tsang). In 2008, a judge upheld a ruling against RTHK for broadcasting a programme about homosexuality which failed to give air-time to homophobic counter viewpoints. And until as recently as 2009 , co-habiting gay couples were not recognised in the Domestic Violence Ordinance.

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BLOG – Preview of HK Kowloon XRL Station 1

Here are some artistic mock-ups of what the controversial Express Rail Link Kowloon station is set to look like. The architect is Andrew Bromberg of the firm Aedas.

“The Express Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus will connect Hong Kong to Beijing and is slated to become the largest underground high-speed rail station in the world when it is completed in 2015. The 4,628,481 sq ft facility is equipped with 15 tracks and is located centrally in Hong Kong, acting as a gateway to the city. Trains will reach maximum speeds of 124 mph and travel time between Hong Kong and Guangzhou will be shortened from about 100 minutes to 48 minutes.

Above ground, the terminal’s exterior architecture is quite exquisite. The outside ground plane bends down to the hall and the roof structure above gestures toward the harbor. The result is a 148 ft high volume which focuses all attention to the south façade with views of the Hong Kong Central skyline, Victoria Peak and beyond. Much of the station’s roof is actually green so pedestrian can cross over the top, making it seem more like a park than a train station.”

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