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The first time I visited Hong Kong it was the middle of summer, and it rained the whole week. It was torrential, and onmy last night I experienced my first typhoon and ended up stuck here.
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So, you could say I knew what I was getting when I moved here. But the sheer volume of water that falls out of the sky
between May and September still amazes me! It has certainly made this year’s school holidays interesting. I’ve had the boys occupied with a lot of indoor summer camps and activities but the rain seems to sweep in – in sheets – as we leave the house, or the activity, and I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been drenched en- route somewhere. As I finish this issue, in the middle of a particularly wet week, I’m pining for the days I could shout, “Go and play outside!” Sure, there are puddles to be jumped in, but we’ve resorted to the electronic babysitters to avoid arguments and extra laundry. I’m sure it will make us all appreciate the sun so much more when it finally does come out, but I am counting down the days till autumn, and fully focused on school going back. Rain or shine, my boys will be there bright and early on the first day, and every day after! I hope that wherever you are reading this, it’s dry. Until next time,
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR Editor BROOKE CHENOWETH Online Editors EMILY FINCH | MELISSA STEVENS Client Services & Production LEANDA RATHMELL | LIANA TALIB | NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Senior Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE | BEATRICE NG | JEANNE WONG Circulation ANNA TSERLINGAS Subscription & Administration GRACE BANTARAN | SITI SHAHIRAH KHIRUDEEN Sales & Marketing KATE WOODBURY | WENDY CHAN | DANIELLE HIGGINS Marketing & Business Development Executive VEENA GILL Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers ORLA BREEZE | KATE FARR | TARA JENKINS | LAURA THOMPSON Contributing Photographers STEWART SHAW (LOVESHAWPHOTOGRAPHY.COM) SUZANNE GOODWIN (SUZANNEGOODWINPHOTOGRAPHY.COM) Printed by MIRACLE PRINTING CO. LTD.
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Cover: Photography by Jack Lui (jackluiphoto.com)
UPFRONT 12 What’s New 14 Calendar of Upcoming Events 16 Follow Us Online! 18 Social Pages: Photos from recent parties and openings HOME & PROPERTY 24 News 29 * Showcase: Christine Smith-Mann’s revamped Pok Fu Lam apartment 34 On the Wall: What’s on in Hong Kong’s art scene 37 * Showcase: The Wilkins’ family home in Tai Long Wan 45 Buying Guide: Everything you need to fancy up your boudoir 52 On the Market: Properties for sale and lease
45 Décor ideas for the bedroom
LIFE & FAMILY 58 News 59 Rated PG: Our regular parenting column 60 Book Previews
Stylish, modern maternity fashion 106
Highlights of a Sri Lanka getaway
62 Education Focus:
All the back-to-school gear you need, insights from a preschool parent, and much more
68 Retail Therapy: Get ready for GlamFest! 71 Money Matters:
Financial advice on a range of topics 77 Helping Kids with Transition 78 Summer Lovin’: 12 of Hong Kong’s best beach destinations 82 Summer Fashion 84 Give Bullying the Boot! 86 Buying Guide: Baby essentials
Showcase Features: Each issue, our home showcase features provide a through-the-keyhole look into some of our readers’ lifestyles and their interior design decisions. If you’d like us to profile your own home – whether it’s beautiful, quirky, historic or modern – and you’re willing to be interviewed and photographed, drop us a line at email@example.com.
BODY & MIND 94 News 95 Training Tips: Trail runner Claire Price
Great-looking hotels in the region
97 Maternity Special
Having a baby in HK, mum-to- be fashions, and keeping fit and pampered while pregnant
WINE & DINE 112 News 113 Taste Test: New and notable restaurants reviewed 116 Healthy Home-delivery Meals 118 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites TRAVEL 122 News 127 Flight Extras: What’s new on Hong Kong Airlines
128 Summer Sojourns:
Five trips to take before the weather turns 130 Asia’s Cool Design Hotels 132 Thai Retreat: Spending time at Six Senses Yao Noi 134 Saigon Insider 136 Sri Lanka Spotlight: Seven reasons to visit REGULARS 138 Important Numbers 139 Our Advertisers 140 Parting Shot: On leaving Hong Kong
Pregnancy and fitness
Dinner delivered to your door
ACAS HITS TOWN The 11th edition of the Asia Contemporary Art Show is on from 22 to 24 September at the Conrad Hong Kong. With over 300 artworks to choose from – including original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and photography from some of the world’s most interesting and promising artists – it’s sure to be a visual feast! For those looking to nab a bargain before the show starts, check out the special two-for-one advance-purchase tickets at HK$240 for two people. Tickets at the door are $240 per person and children under 16 are free if accompanied by a paying adult. For a preview of what to expect, see page 34. Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty. 2811 9015 | asiacontemporaryart.com
Hat Trick After a year of delighting shoppers at various pop- ups and fairs around town, Bella Blu hats are now available online, with free shipping in HK! All the hats are hand-made in Ecuador by artisan craftsmen, with contemporary and original designs by Bella Blu. There
are seven styles, 12 different colours and a range of sizes. And for those who want to take their hats wherever they roam, the Bella Blu Hat Case fits three hats and is designed to fit into standard airline overhead lockers and under seats. bellabludesign.com
New School Mount Kelly School Hong Kong (MKSHK) is the first overseas sister school of Mount Kelly School in England. Offering a seamless transition as a “through school”, MKSHK offers playgroup, pre-nursery classes, preschool as well as prep school. Playgroup classes commenced at Austin Tower, TsimSha Tsui, inMarch, andpre- nursery unaccompanied classes are set to begin in August, while renovations are expected to be completed in time for Mount Kelly International Preschool and the Preparatory School to open in September. 2110 1978 | mountkelly.com.hk
For those who love mooncakes and want them without the calories, homemade “superfood” mooncakes are available over the holiday via The Cakery . With four flavours to choose from – black sesame, red date, fig and orange, and osmanthus and matcha – the delicacies are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined-sugar-free and have no preservatives or artificial colouring added. To add to the health factor, each mooncake flavour has a nutrient boost, with superfoods like coconut oil and flaxseed. Each box of four is priced at HK$298. For more info, call 6683 3833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAGE Don Quixote Ballet (25-27 AUGUST)
Don Quixote Ballet
Hong Kong Ballet’s production of Don Quixote promises to be visually stunning and technically breathtaking, with dancers tackling some of the most demanding choreography in classical ballet. The story is based on the iconic Spanish novel, which follows the adventures of eccentric Don Quixote, with his loyal friend Sancho Panza, in search of his perfect woman, Dulcinea. hkballet.com Endless Summer Hong Kong International Reggae Ska Asia’s biggest reggae and ska festival is back for another summer. Expect top acts from Asia and beyond in the line-up, with artists representing reggae, ska, rocksteady, dub and dancehall genres. This year the event has a new venue and vibe, moving to PMQ in Central Hong Kong. hkirsf.com Road to Ultra – Hong Kong (16 SEPTEMBER) This electronic music festival returns to the beautiful outdoor location of Nursery Park in the West Kowloon Cultural District, promising world-class international acts and unparalleled production, and bringing music fans a one-of-the-kind multisensory festival experience. hongkong. roadtoultra.com Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Musical (29 SEPTEMBER) Based on the Oscar-winning movie, this musical tells the tale of three friends who embark on a life-changing journey across outback Australia. It’s won wide acclaim and Olivier and Tony awards after Broadway and West End seasons and is now coming to Hong Kong. One for fans of dance-floor favourites. priscillahk.com Festival 2017 (26 AUGUST)
CHARITY Hong Kong Blue Tie Ball (2 SEPTEMBER)
Summerfest (12-27 AUGUST)
Hong Kong’s rugby community has come together to raise awareness about mental health issues with the Hong Kong Blue Tie Ball. The ball will be held at the Hong Kong Football Club in Happy Valley and tickets include a sumptuous dinner and live music, along with a silent auction. All proceeds go to youth support groups, Batyr and KELY. Dress code is black tie with a touch of blue. ticketflap.com/hkbluetieball
The Central Harbourfront Event Space will host a free programme of events through summer. August highlights include a group of around 2,000 people gathering to build large-scale furniture in a giant, outdoor maze, as well as sports and music therapy workshops, the Summer Ukelele Festival and the Style X Dance Kingdom Stars Show dance competition. summerfest- centralharbourfront.hk
SPORT Deep Water Bay Kayak and Run (2 SEPTEMBER)
SHOPPING Discovery Bay Sunday Market (13 AUGUST) Handmade Hong Kong’s Discovery Bay Sunday Market is a DIY indie arts, crafts and small traders’ fair. Hong Kong’s finest makers and sellers will be offering arts, crafts and other special goods with about 140 different vendors taking part. The markets are located in the DB main plaza, just a short walk from the ferry pier. handmadehongkong.com GlamFest (2 SEPTEMBER) It will be an all-day Saturday shopping extravaganza at the Regal Kowloon Hotel when GlamFest gets underway. Local and international vendors will offer a huge array of products and services and there will be freebies and prizes throughout the fun-filled event. kowloonbazaar.com
This event combines a kayak in Deep Water Bay, around Middle Island, followed by a trail run. There are two entry categories – the adult race consists of a 4km kayak and a 5km run. The family category accepts teams of two and consists of a 3km kayak and 2.5km run, with an emphasis on participation, rather than competition. actionasiaevents.com The Great Relay Hong Kong (24 SEPTEMBER) This trail-running team event is run in a relay format. Teams of two, four or six people complete a 5km loop, handing the baton to a teammate as they finish. Teams collectively complete a 50km or 100km course, or a 5.5km trail loop around the Aberdeen Reservoir in Aberdeen Country Park. There is also a 30km course for 11-to-17-year-olds. tghkrelay.com
EXHIBITIONS Eternal Life – Exploring Ancient Egypt (AUGUST & SEPTEMBER)
FOOD & DRINK
Gain insights into Ancient Egypt, one of the oldest civilisations in the world. Exhibits include six mummies between 3,000 and 1,800 years old, along with about 200 invaluable objects. See how technology allows archaeologists and other specialists to determine the age and gender of the mummified bodies, and to learn more about the diet, state of health, mummification process and religious practices of the ancient Egyptians. hk.science. museum On Sharks and Humanity (UNTIL 30 SEPTEMBER) This contemporary art exhibition, co-curated by Parkview Arts Action and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, in partnership with the international non-profit organisation WildAid, brings together 36 top international contemporary artists that have joined forces to raise awareness on the negative impact of the shark fin trade. hkmaritimemuseum.org
Beertopia (22-23 SEPTEMBER)
This home-grown event celebrating craft beer hits the Central Harbourfront Event Space again for a weekend of quality brews. There will be hundreds of different craft beers to sample from around the globe, along with food and entertainment, in a fun-filled atmosphere. Look out this year for two new areas, one for cider fans and one for “beer geeks”. beertopiahk.com
Photo courtesy of Parkview Arts Action
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For the Kids The Woodland group of schools has established a partnership with Save the Children, an international charity organisation for children that provides those who are most vulnerable with education, healthcare and protection. To start its campaign, Woodland hosted a Save the Children kick-off at its Beachside campus with one of the most-loved children’s characters, Peppa Pig, official ambassador for Save the Children.
The American School Hong Kong (ASHK) re c en t l y c e l eb r a t ed a suc c e s s f u l Gr and Opening Ceremony at its campus in Tai Po. ASHK opened in September 2016 for Kindergarten to Grade 6 students, and Middle and High School students are now enrolling for the 2017 and 2018 school years. The original site has been totally redesigned and refurbished and ASHK will accommodate 1,000 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 at full capacity.
Art for All The fifth edition of the Affordable Art Fair in May attracted over 30,000 visitors. The event, which aims to make art accessible to all, saw an increase in sales this year, with a quarter of purchases made by first-time buyers. As well as the thousands of artworks on display from new and established artists, there was also a special projects presentation featuring live performances, interactive exhibits and installations.
Eye for Art Hailing from a renowned French family of collectors dating back to the 1920s, Sandrine Souchon’s private collection of art masterpieces was recently exhibited at Hong Kong’s Liang Yi Museum. The selection included monumental sculptures and refined furniture, with many pieces boasting precious gems. In attendance were Hong Kong art aficionados and socialites, including jewellery designer Diana Zhang and French designer Zhor Tiber.
Art with a Message In the lead up to World Refugee Day, Kellett partnered with We Are Here, an art project that aims to increase awareness for refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong. Under the guidance of We Are Here founders Kate Sparrow and Polly McGovern, students from the school created wonderful artworks including portraits of refugees and painted paper bags that have been displayed around the campus. The students not only had fun but helped to spread an important message.
Jewellery Duo Selected VIP guests were invited to the exclusive preview of the new eco-chic collaboration between HRH Prince Costan Eghiazarian of Austrian jewellery house AENEA and Hong Kong-based Niin. The Alaria Collection is inspired by the colours and forms of aquatic life, handcrafted using palladium 950 and conflict-free precious stones including rainbow moonstone and white diamonds. Five percent of sales will be donated the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation.
45 Buying Guide: Beautiful bedrooms
24 Product News: Summer sales and discounts
34 On the Wall: ACAS comes to town
37 Home Showcase: Remodelled family homes
HOME & PROPERTY
Fabric Pop-up Sale As the largest interior design showroom in Hong Kong, Altfield has an incredible range of fabrics from all over the world. Opening 1 September for a week is a special in-store pop-up, with a selection of fabulous fabric lengths from top decorative brands on sale in the Central showroom. Find floral, patterns, block colours and more for 50 percent off retail prices. 1101 Nine Queen’s Road, Central. 2525 2738 | altfield.com.hk
Birthday Bonus It’s birthday time for Okooko , but the customers are getting the presents! To celebrate the brand’s tenth birthday, everything is on sale, with 30 percent off storewide until 31 August. Okooko has a new website too, so you can now also shop for beds and bedding online. okooko.com
Ina freneticcity likeHong Kong, you need a place to unwind and recharge. The new Oasis line at Tequila Kola makes this easy, with natural warm pieces with hand- carved details, natural colours and reclaimed woods. Buy a single statement piece for a tropical touch, or go all out and buy the whole collection for a complete look. Add plants such as succulents, cacti and palm trees to complete the look and make your home a Tropical Oasis. 1/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau. 2877 3295 | tequilakola.com
HOME & PROPERTY
Loving the Living Room Whether you’re kicking back with your feet up, doing movie night with the kids, or hosting friends, the living room is the central hub of the home. This season, TREE introduces its top eco-chic living room picks that work for every occasion. The Audrey sofa is smart and sophisticated, while the Scandi- inspired Vintage tripod coffee table makes a stylish statement piece. Throw in a cute but compact seat such as the Dimple armchair, or TREE’s Joe lounge chair, a Wave sideboard for storage and a structural magazine rack to keep your latest reads within easy reach. The result? A minimalist, tranquil setting perfect for all occasions. tree.com.hk
This summer, one of Denmark’s most established retail furniture brands, BoConcept , has launched a spectacular light campaign. Featuring pendant lights, floor and desk lamps, chandeliers, and specially designed globes, the collection is filled with scintillating pieces to light up your home and workspace. boconcept.com
Nespresso has taken Hong Kong coffee lovers by storm and the brand has reduced its prices to make your daily coffee hit even more affordable. It has also launched its smallest machine ever. Perfect for tiny kitchens, the Essenza Mini is compact, sleek and Nespresso’s lowest priced coffee machine yet – just HK$988. The unit is available in Ruby Red, Lime Green, Piano Black or Pure White.
Back to School After farewelling the graduating students from its diploma and certificate courses, I nsight School of Interior Design is now accepting enrolments for the Residential and Commercial Certificates commencing 11 September. Offering a range of courses, with full-time or part-time options, and real-life practical experience, Insight is the only school of its kind in Hong Kong. 77 Sheung On Street, Chai Wan. insightschoolhk.com
Shop at Nespresso Hong Kong boutiques, online at nespresso.com or through the 24-hour hotline, 800 968 821 .
HOME & PROPERTY
BY KATE FARR PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEWART SHAW We revisit a reworked and revitalised Pok Fu Lam apartment that offers a family of growing teens a serene and stylish space that’s great for work and play.
C HRISTINE SMITH-MANN is a Hong Kong-born marketing and PR veteran who is renowned for her flair with interiors; in fact, her apartment featured in the launch issue of Expat Living ! So, when she decided to remodel her home last year, we couldn’t wait to take a peek at the new and improved look. Christine first moved to Pok Fu Lam from the Mid-Levels nearly 20 years ago, and is yet to be tempted elsewhere. “We found our first proper Pok Fu Lam home in Upper Baguio Villas in around 1998 and I just loved it. The views, the space, the drive here and the supermarket – it ticked all the boxes.” Christine loves the location so much, in fact, that she has lived in no less than four apartments within the development. “Originally, there was no Cyberport – we survived the entire construction period! It was worth it, because now we have a cinema, a beautiful park, a Starbucks, and restaurants all less than five minutes away, which is a huge bonus!” For Christine, partner James and her teenage children Daniel, Christopher and Charleigh, that accessibility and consistency is a huge plus. “Our kids have known nothing other than Baguio, and their schools have always been within five kilometres of our home, which is really convenient.” As the founder of two businesses – her eponymous PR firm Smith-Mann Communications, and party-planning business Eezy Peezy Parties – working from home is often unavoidable for Christine. But with five people sharing the three-bed, 1,300-square-foot apartment, she has been compelled to come up with some creative solutions when it comes to carving out a dedicated workspace. “I have a home office but I don’t have the luxury of having a separate room for it. Instead, I designed and built a piece of furniture in the dining room that looks like a sideboard where I can hide all my office equipment.” This smart design has hidden benefits. “When we have company, I just hide everything away and it doubles up as a splendid surface on which to place wine!”
HOME & PROPERTY
When asked what initially triggered the apartment’s extensive renovation, Christine cites her daughter as the inspiration. “For Charleigh’s 12th birthday last year, I suggested that, rather than buy presents, we renovate her bedroom to bring it more up-to-date with her age. From that came the idea to make a few more upgrades.” This is something of an understatement; Christine actually had all three bedrooms plus the living and dining room remodelled, as well as significant work done on the flooring that runs throughout the apartment. “One thing that had always frustrated me was my decision to keep the original floors that were here when we moved in, which were a typical orangey-wood colour. For years, I’d wanted to sand them back and paint them grey or white, but the logistics of doing so while living here were too great.” Fortunately, a well-timed holiday combined with the contact of a trusted contractor were the keys to achieving the “Hamptons beach house” look she had originally envisaged. “I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. Our contractor tried a little test spot in the corner but I’m really bad at looking at a four-inch sample of anything, so I took a huge leap of faith and instructed him to go for it!” The gamble paid off, with the project giving the home the facelift that Christine had been craving. “The contractor was fabulous; he came up with some drawings for the kids’ rooms and after a couple of alterations here and there, we went away for a month and gave him the keys! We literally let him do everything without us even being in the country
to monitor the progress. We returned home a month later to pretty much a brand new apartment – and I couldn’t be happier.” She adds that the decision to sand the floors back and repaint them was “the best I’ve made”; “It totally transformed the living space into exactly what I had always dreamed of.” Christine’s daughter is equally as thrilled with her spruced-up room, which now boasts every teen girl’s dream come true – a walk-in wardrobe. And Daniel and Christopher are also enjoying their room, which has been carefully planned to improve their shared and private space. “Both boys have their own ‘cubbies’, there is more storage space than we have ever had, they have a desk and there is still room for them to move around.” She jokes, “On the basis that the kids go straight to their rooms and pretty much stay there until they smell food, I can only assume that they are happy and comfortable in their spaces!” When it comes to significant pieces of furniture, Christine’s collection has a story to tell. “My ‘thrones’ are practically antiques! I acquired them when the old Furama Hotel closed down in 2001, and they sold the entire contents. A couple of months ago, I reupholstered them in white leather to match the new refurbishment; they’re still in great condition and are very comfortable.”
HOME & PROPERTY
As for her favourite spot in her beautifully revamped home, Christine thinks for a moment. “I would say the living-dining room, because aesthetically it’s exactly how I want it now. When I get home, I genuinely feel a sense of relief, comfort and serenity in my surroundings.”
Bowerbird Home 8/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau 2552 2727 | bowerbird-home.com Fink 20/F, Horizon Plaza 3520 2526 | fink-shop.com Habitat 15/F, Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay 2310 1964 | habitat.eu/shop/hk/habitat-hong-kong Indigo Living 6/F, Horizon Plaza 2555 0540 | indigo-living.com IKEA U/B, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay 3125 0888 | ikea.com Overstock overstock.com White Contemporary Homeware Shop 245, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central 2526 8482 | whitehk.com Zara Home Harbour City, 25 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 2880 5068 | zarahome.com
What’s on Hong Kong’s art scene this month
For collectors and a r t en t hu s i a s t s , noth i ng bea t s a good art fair. The Asia Contemporary Art Show is back for its 11th edition from 21 to 24 September, and we sat down with three of the exhibiting artists to get an insight into what they’re showing this season.
“In times of tension, uncertainty and loss of values, it’s important to focus on reality.”
German artist Jochen Cerny’s medium of choice is photography, and he applies post-production techniques like blur, PixSort and colour manipulation to his work. “My art isn’t abstract in the sense of the real meaning of the word – photography can’t disengage from the object; in this sense, abstraction for me means my distance to the object. For example, my piece Endless Feast reflects the close interweaving of aspects of content and form. It shows the variety of individual living designs within one picture. The story that each picture tells gives way to our perception of structures and colours. According to my hypothesis, ‘Reality can be seen when viewed from different levels’; I would like to exhibit to each spectator an abundance of precisely captured details, all of which are uncannily in focus, forming one whole.” This is Jochen’s first time exhibiting in Asia; so, what is he expecting? “While I’ve already attracted a considerable audience in Europe, so I will get to experience how my photographs are perceived in Asia. At the show, I plan to display a variety of my most acknowledged artefacts. You’ll see a selection of ‘abstract’ motifs as well as shots representing my multicultural life story in various places around the world.”
LIFE & FAMILY
“Is it possible for a local expression to offer common ground to everyone in the world?”
53-year-old Japanese artist Tomoo Seki highlights the beauty of the Japanese landscape through his works using oils, natural mineral pigments, and watercolour on canvas and paper. The two series he is showing at ACAS are the perfect example of this fascination with nature. “I’m including bothmy ‘Real/Red’ and ‘Blue-and-White (SEIKA)’ series, where the red, blue and gold colours are a synergy of East and West. In Real/Red, I’ve used an overhead projector indoors to paint flowers and blossoms asmotifs representing Japan. The drawings in Blue-and-White, meanwhile, were created directly in front of the actual landscape; for this series, I used natural azurite because I wanted to realise through my artwork the blue colour created by cobalt oxide in Chinese porcelain that I greatly admire.” Seki’s works are a nod to more traditional craftwork and styles, but with a modern take and a Western influence. “A recent shift in my Real/Red series is the inclusion of round-shaped perforations on coloured surfaces; these perforations reveal an inversion of lightness that takes into consideration the ‘lightness’ between surfaces found in early Cubism. In Blue-and-White, gold leaf has been applied to the matte framing of the drawings in a manner found in the panelled paintings of the 16th century Momoyama Era. I want to express the splendour of that era’s aesthetic through the combination of blue and gold, and bring back this decorative role to contemporary space as well.”
“Everything is a source of inspiration, filtered through the personal and subjective experience of the artist.”
resin finish. The drawings express the strong contradictions between chaos and order in human culture and experience.” When asked what he hopes people will take away fromhis work, Rafael says, “A smile would be great – and curiosity. It’s always interesting to show work in Asia, because what I do is inspired by Japanese pop aesthetics, but from an Andean and Latin-American point of view. I’m familiar with how Peruvians and tourists who visit Peru react to my work, but it always amazes and surprises me how ‘the other side of the Pacific’ connects to it. It’s usually a positive response, and what I hope is that through it they find strong similarities between our civilisations, sparking their curiosity and encouraging them to research more of these links.”
they’re available as limited editions and also unique pieces. I’m also bringing paintings and limited- edition prints that expand on the world of the characters I’ve created. I’m particularly excited about my ‘storyteller’ collections, which are characters in resin, completely covered with POSCA pen art, with a
Peruvian Rafael Lanfranco Gallofre presents a playful yet personal reinterpretation of Andean culture and mythology in his work; he’s also influenced by pop art, pop culture and Asian aesthetics. “I don’t believe that’s been done before,” he says, “or at least in the way I am doing it. Humour is also very present; it’s a mechanism, which I believe eases the connection of the art with the audience. It lowers your guard, and allows the work to invade you.” Working in multiple media, such as sculpture, digital prints, painting and installations, Rafael plans to bring several sculptures to ACAS this year. “My medium-size resin sculptures are between 16cm and 40cm in height and are inspired by Andean mythology and Japanese kawaii (the aesthetics of cuteness);
HOME & PROPERTY
BY BROOKE CHENOWETH PHOTOGRAPHY SUZANNE GOODWIN HIDEAWAY
Tai Long Wan, a remote village in the southwestern country park on Lantau Island, is not the first place you’d think of building a family home. The village was built as compensation for locals whose homes were submerged during the construction of the Shek Pik Reservoir in the 1960s, and today it’s home to a number of families looking for a little piece of island paradise. BRADLY and ÅSA WILKINS have made island life look very appealing with their beachside hideaway; on a rare day off, Bradly gave us a tour. Who lives here? Åsa and I share the house with our two sons Liam and Nathan, aged seven and six, and, occasionally visiting from Kowloon, my 21-year-old daughter Savannah, as well as my 23-year-old daughter Shalyn, who is currently at university in London. There’s also our German Shepherd Mamba, two French Bulldogs Mally and Sonja, two cats Frosty and Lake (the third cat River recently taken by our resident python nicknamed Burmy), and a handful of fish.
HOME & PROPERTY
What was it about this house that appealed to you?
We moved here two and a half years ago, after spotting its unique location. The house is 2,100 square feet and a typical, three-storey, Hong Kong column-and-beam village house built in the late 1990s, extensively renovated when we took ownership in 2014, and now with a 2,500-square-foot garden. The quiet and peacefulness of the remote village really appealed, along with the sound of the waves breaking and the beautiful sea and mountain views. I’ve lived in Hong Kong 15 years, and Åsa has been here for 14. I’ve lived in Lantau since first arriving, and I’ve witnessed the incredible speed that South Lantau is developing at. This house gave us a feeling of what Lantau used to be like – a remote and exclusive place that most people wouldn’t bother making the trek out to visit. The fact that the house came with a big garden, which we subsequently increased in size by adding another plot of land to it, was a huge bonus over the other houses available in the village at the time. I love gardening, and the pottering about and fixing things up relaxes me! The land was originally rice paddies, and the flooding in the rainy season would trash the garden. It’s been a huge project to first drain the land and then install an irrigation system to keep the lawn lush. You’ve owned and renovated a few houses in your time in HK; what is it about renovating that appeals? It adds a personal touch and turns a house into a home. Hong Kong is our home, not merely a temporary stopover as it is for many expats, and so it’s important for us that we feel at home in our house.
Tell us about the renovation process. A living nightmare! Unfortunate circumstances dictated that we had to live in the house as we fully renovated it – only one room in the house remains more or less as we bought it. We lived on one floor as the others were worked on and moved around as each floor was completed. Shortly after completion of the middle floor, a serious electrical fire had us re-decorating that floor – an unfortunate event that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as new details greatly improved the design of the living area. Needless to say, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are now fitted in all rooms and every floor. Also, contrary to popular belief, concrete houses (or rather the contents of them) burn perfectly well, and faster than you’d think! In the end, after six months, we had turned a two-bedroom house into a family home of four bedrooms, a study and two living areas.
HOME & PROPERTY
Did you know what you wanted to achieve when you started, or has it been a work in progress? From the first viewing of the house, we had an idea of the potential, and I spent many hours designing and re-designing in SketchUp (a 3D modelling program) until we were ready to begin the building process. As always happens when turning a plan from the sketch board into reality, things don’t always turn out as expected, so it becomes a work in progress with a master plan behind it. One example is our 2,000-litre marine fish tank in our top-floor living area: it had the builders scratching their heads to ensure that the house structure could support the weight of the tank (which had to be custom-built on site), with each pane of glass hoisted up over the balcony; definitely a challenge, but the hours of pure enjoyment we get out of witnessing the fully developed ecosystem was worth every headache and setback, and every “Cannot!” from the builders.
How do you find the process of renovating in HK? If you don’t enjoy a challenge, then renovating is not for you. The cultural differences in how we see our home and what the builders think is possible are miles apart. We built our previous home from scratch, and the design proposal that the builder gave us for that house was rather boring. Upon completion, the builders asked to use our house for showcasing their new skills, and we see parts of the design repeated in village houses across the island. It’s tough when you’re away a lot for work. You have to be on top of the workers all the time – this wasn’t really a problem this time around, as we were living in the house during renovations (which we have sworn we will never do again!). However, while we were building our previous home, with both of us working full time, we nearly ended up with a staircase going up the wrong way around, which would have completely ruined our design. Fortunately, we happened to pop in on our way to work the morning they built the wood structure ahead of pouring the concrete, and we noticed the flaw; it then had to be re-done with lots of shouting going on between the manager and the workers. Any advice for anyone wanting to renovate? Have a firm plan, stay on top of things and don’t accept “cannot”. Also, add about 30 percent to your budget! What’s the most important room in the house to you? All rooms are enjoyable in their own way, but the top-floor living area, which has the most unobstructed sea views of the entire house, is certainly the one where we spend most of our time as a family. With the open-plan kitchen – dining room, living room and the centrepiece marine tank, which is visible from all angles of the floor – this is where the family comes together.
HOME & PROPERTY
What’s your favourite feature of the house? Once again, we come back to the marine tank – it’s the one aspect of the house that blows everyone away when they first see it. We also really enjoy our outdoor area and garden, and the fact that we have an extremely private beach on our doorstep. The boys use the village as their playground and roam around like we used to growing up – very far from the way most kids grow up in Hong Kong today. Did you plan the space around the furniture you already owned or was the plan to buy new stuff that suited the space better? We constantly change furniture as and when we see interesting pieces that we think will fit well in our house. Over the past 10 years, we’ve changed everything several times – the only constant is my brother’s leather couch that was shipped out from South Africa before we even met. How would you describe your design style? It can’t really be labelled; we go with what we like and, having grown up in very different parts of the world, we’ve had very different influences. But everything seems to come together – if we may say so ourselves! What do the kids think of the house? They love the outdoor space, the beach and the trails in our backyard. We recently moved them to a new school on Hong Kong Island, which means a commute of 90 minutes each way, and Nathan asked if we could please move closer to the school so we wouldn’t have to drive so far. When we explained to him what kind of lifestyle we would have there in comparison to what the cheaper cost of living in Lantau allows you, he decided the drive was fine! They don’t seem to take much interest yet, but they do love their chalkboard wall. When their big sister Savannah moved to Sham Shui Po to be closer to her university, we asked the boys if they wanted separate bedrooms, but they decided to stay together for now; but that’s about as far as their involvement goes at the moment. When they get older, they’ll have more influence on their rooms, if they want. What do you love most about life on South Lantau? The laid-back lifestyle. Life in Lantau is changing as more and more people move here to take advantage of the cheaper housing, and that was one of the reasons for the move to Tai Long Wan, where life is still slow and you can still send your kids across to the neighbour for a cup of sugar. Do they get involved when it comes to planning their rooms? What are your plans now? Will you stay in this house for a while? As renovations came to an end, Åsa exclaimed that this is her last move within Hong Kong! So, if I’m to move again it’s to leave the country, which I can’t see happening anytime soon. We have made our lives in Hong Kong – met each other here, had our kids here, Åsa has her business here (Phoenix Wills), and we just feel at home.
FURNITURE HomeSquare 138 Sha Tin Rural Committee Road, Sha Tin homesquare.com.hk
Red Hall Furniture G/F, Silver Pearl Mansion, Mui Wo 2988 1368
Gough Street, Central
BUILDING SUPPLIES Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
HOME & PROPERTY
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, filled with beautiful pieces that help you relax and unwind at the end of the day. We’ve rounded up a selection that offers both comfort and function.
Indochine bedding collection; hand-embroidered bed linen in 100 percent superfine cotton sateen with 364 thread count, queen and king sizes, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com
Bedroom furniture from the Montmartre Collection, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com
Chest of drawers with white lacquer and antique brass-effect detail, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com
Embroidered linen cushion, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk
Flora quilted bedcover in ivory, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com
Egyptian cotton bedding, Ceannis cushions and single-piece quilt from India, INSIDE , 2873 1795, inside.com.hk
Cole & Son Leopard Walk wallpaper, Altfield , 2526 8681, altfield.com.hk
Larsen custom pillows and throw, Altfield , 2526 8681, altfield.com.hk
HOME & PROPERTY
Rumba grey throw, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com
Teak KDS dresser with two sliding doors, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk
Wedding cabinet with brass plate, Bowerbird Home , 2552 2727, bowerbird-home.com
Porta Romana thread lamp in amber, Altfield , 2526 8681, altfield.com.hk
Phoenix bed and headboard,
customisable in any fabric, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com
Fine Persian Nain rug, Carpet Buyer , 2850 5508, carpetbuyer.com
Walnut Bowie queen bed, OVO Home , 2526 7226, ovohome.com.hk
Nordic II bed with drawers, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk
Carosa bed in Peroba solid and white lacquer case, Sonder Living section of H.D. Buttercup , 2555 2997, hdbuttercup.com
Cushion Collection starring US designer Dana Gibson’s fabrics, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com
Boshom bed from India with Ceannis cushions and bedside flute lamp, INSIDE , 2873 1795, inside.com.hk
Twist side table in teak, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk
HOME & PROPERTY
Ava bed with subtle diamond tufting detail, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com
Puro shelving unit in lacquered Mango wood, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com
Silk Road Desire Premium range of duvet covers and pillow case sets, Australian design and sizes, Silk Road Desire , 9400 2955, silkroaddesire.com
Classic, tribal, contemporary and fine silk carpets, Carpet Buyer , 2850 5508, carpetbuyer.com
Ashley bed and headboard, customisable in any fabric, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com
Oxford headboard and bench in Belgian linen and oak, Bowerbird , 2552 2727, bowerbird-home.com
Newport Satin Euro Sham cushions, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com
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Porta Romano Alberto oval drum table in Versailles gold with faux limestone top, Altfield , 2526 8681, altfield.com.hk
HOME & PROPERTY
Fermo chest of drawers, BoConcept , 2688 0027, boconcept.com/en-hk
Bedroom furniture and accessories, Reddie , 5593 4902, reddie.co
Jane Churchill custom soft furnishings, Altfield , 2526 8681, altfield.com.hk
Simply City standing mirror in oak, TREE ,
2870 1582, tree.com.hk
I n the midst of yet another Hong Kong summer, what could be better than spending time outdoors; getting onto the water on a junk, sweating out the stresses of the week on a hike, soaking up the sun on a balcony or terrace, or having a delicious barbecue in the garden? No wonder we are seeing a significant global trend for seamless “indoor-outdoor living”, that makes private outdoor space as inviting as air-conditioned interiors. While a whopping 40 percent of Hong Kong is public green space, very little of that is in the urban areas many of us call home. So, many tenants are looking further afield (or higher up) for their own small slice of the great outdoors, be that a balcony, terrace, rooftop or garden. Hong Kong is definitely a city that looks great from above, as anyone who’s looked down from the Peak can tell you. If you know where to look, there are plenty of urban properties offering spectacular city views from small balconies or bigger rooftops; but it’s the areas close to Hong Kong’s coastline that often appeal most to couples and families looking to enjoy a really outdoorsy lifestyle. Many properties in these locations have the double advantage of having both extra space available for private terraces and gardens, and easy access to beautiful beaches and country parks. These are just a few of our favourite Hong Kong gems offering one-of-a-kind, luxury indoor/outdoor living space.
Stella Abraham Head of Residential Leasing & Relocation Services National Director Jones Lang LaSalle Limited (JLL)
Area: Deep Water Bay Rent: HK$230,000 per month Size: 12,520 sq. ft
Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3
A rare find on the market, this stunning townhouse features a spacious split-level living and dining room, a luscious terrace, cosy back garden and a large flat roof with breath-taking views over DeepWater Bay. The complex has a communal outdoor swimming pool and 24-hour security. Less than 10 minutes from Central, it’s perfect for those working in the CBD, but who also want their privacy and a little luxury.
HOME & PROPERTY
SEASIDE FAMILY LIVING Area: Tai Tam Rent: $175,000 per month Size: 2,631 sq. ft
Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3
This spacious three-bedroom apartment features unbeatable sea views, a semi open-plan kitchen, excellent storage options and a large flat roof that’s perfect for luxury outdoor seaside living. The development is conveniently located just minutes away from the American Club and the Hong Kong International School. Residents can also enjoy easy access to Stanley Beach and Stanley Plaza, which are a five-minute drive away.
Located in a quiet, tree-lined cul-de-sac, this colonial low-rise property features a large garden and a wide balcony on the second floor. Just a five-minute drive from the beaches and shopping complexes of the Southside, and 15 minutes away from Central, it’s the perfect spot for families who want to get away from it all!
Area: Chung Hom Kok Rent: $170,000 per month Size: 2,768 sq. ft
Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3
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