Yearly Archives: 2014


BLOG – Global Times vs. SCMP Editorials: Spot the Difference Quiz!

Pop quiz! Can you tell the difference between quotes from Global Times (“voice” of the Communist Party) and South China Morning Post editorials? All extracts relate to the Occupy movement. Click on the date-stamp for the answer!

Editors Hu Xijin vs Wang Xiangwei

Editors Hu Xijin vs Wang Xiangwei

Appropriate accompanying quiz music

“As the Occupy Central impasse drags on, those behind the civil disobedience movement find themselves under growing pressure to review their strategy. The ideas being considered are anything but constructive”

Global Times or SCMP editorial? Published on 6/11/14 – click for answer. 

“Hong Kong’s rule of law has been severely challenged by street politics, which continues to haunt Hong Kong society.”

Global Times or SCMP editorial? Published on 2/12/14 – click for answer. 

“There has been no precedent that the rule of law can stay unaffected when political chaos is taking place, and Hong Kong is no exception. Both Occupy Central and the incident yesterday show similar disregard for Hong Kong’s rule of law.”

Global Times or SCMP editorial? Published on 20/11/14 – click for answer. 

“However lofty the goal, Occupy has not brought Hong Kong closer to democracy. Instead of being civilised and peaceful, the protests were marred by scuffles and clashes. “

Global Times or SCMP editorial? Published on 4/12/14 – click for answer. 


MUSIC – Clockenflap 2014: The Full Weekend in Review

Festival review by guest writer Carla Thomas.

“Picture yourself in a boat on a river/With tangerine trees and marmalade skies…” And with that bizarrely sedative tune, the Flaming Lips’ cover of Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds was the psychedelic swan song that brought Clockenflap 2014 to a surreal close.

The three-day arts and music festival, arguably Hong Kong’s premier annual music event, expected to see record numbers of festival-goers this year. The turnout was undoubtedly boosted by high-profile acts like Kool & The Gang and Tenacious D.

Friday night was all about letting Glasgow flourish, as both synthpop darlings Chrvches and post-rock heavyweights Mogwai performed impressive sets at the Harbourflap main stage (though the cringe factor was strong as Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry’s made the baffling decision to address the Hong Kongese crowd in Mandarin). It was The Vaccines’ infectiously high-energy indie rock blowout at Replay stage that earned the prize of best atmosphere of the night, or at the very least, sweatiest.


HISTORY – A Brief Visual History of Hong Kong’s Old Airport, Kai Tak

Heralded as the sixth most dangerous in the world, Kai Tak served as Hong Kong’s airport from 1925 till 1998.

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Courtesy Daryl Chapman, flickr.com/photos/darylchapman

Landings over densely populated Kowloon were spectacular and involved a complicated last-minute manoeuvre known in the piloting community as a ‘Hong Kong turn’ or ‘checkerboard turn’, after the checkerboard reference point above Kowloon Tsai Park (still visible now – click for some eerie close-up shots).

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In 1925, Kai Tai was a simple grass-strip airfield which served the British RAF and enthusiasts from the Hong Kong Aviation Club (which still exists today).


HISTORY – A Brief Visual History of The Peak Tram

It has been 126 years since the Peak Tram opened in Hong Kong though, technically, it is not even a tram but a ‘cable-hauled funicular railway’. Below is a brief, visual history of one of the city’s most iconic treasures…

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Click to enlarge, via richardwonghk6 on Flickr

The son of Queen Victoria, Alfred, became, the first royal visitor to make a ritual trip to The Peak in 1869. It was noted how His Highness expressed “surprise that the wealthy merchant princes of the colony had not yet availed themselves of the opportunity of the presence in the vicinity of their city of a position offering so bracing a climate, in the hottest time of the year.” Quite.

The ‘Rush to The Peak’ had commenced with Hong Kong’s population rising to 173,475 by 1883. Several dozen of the city’s elite families were now living on The Peak and it was also home to The Peak Hotel. The area remained accessible only by horse or sedan chair. (One local eccentric, E R Belilios, preferred to travel the winding paths by camel, though none of these options were comfortable, especially in HK’s heat).

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Thus, Peak Hotel owner and Scotsman Alexander Findlay Smith, planned to open up the area with a new tram system to connect Victoria Gap to Murray Barracks…


EVENT – Freespace Festival 2014 Continues Tomorrow at West Kowloon

Freespace Festival 2014 continues on Sunday at West Kowloon Cultural District. More information here, entrance is free.

Open 11am – 10pm, last entry at 9pm. There is music, dance, art installations, games, craft stalls and food – an ideal warm-up for Clockenflap next weekend.


BLOG – Create Your Own Xi Jinping Yellow Umbrella Photoshop Masterpiece

President Xi Jinping has become an unlikely mascot of the umbrella movement – especially in Mong Kok, where at least seven cardboard cut-outs adorn the occupy camp’s barricades. More than a humorous aside, the mere presence of the life-size Xi’s is said to “deter” pro-China antagonists – or so it is hoped.

Now you can create your own Xi Jinping yellow umbrella art works like this…


PHOTOGRAPHY – Kevin Cheng’s Lego Man Visits Occupy

Freelance art photographer Kevin Cheng has been roaming the Umbrella Movement sites with his Lego Man accomplice.

Cheng’s “Lost In Lego Cityexhibition won acclaim last year. He told the SCMP that the Lego Man represents young graduates who feel like they are ‘thrown around’ like toys within the confines of modern Hong Kong society.