The Year of the Monkey Arriveth!

Lunar New Year 2016 from February 8 – 22 2016

Hey Everyone!

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Hope all’s well with you!

I’m just posting a few pictures of Landmark’s awesome public installation to welcome in the Year of the Monkey… To be honest, I was expecting an annual lunar floral arrangements of the new incoming Chinese zodiac, but anyway, the dolly monkey were quite amazing too!

Cheers!

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Window Display: Man-Made Wonders @ Harvey Nichols, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Date:  December 2014

It’s SALE time!  Time to go shopping!  First stop is to the window displays to check out the latest trend for this season… Oh! Hang on, the window stylists have decided to take us around the world!  Am L-O-V-I-N-G the laser-cut foams glued piece-by-piece to create a multi-layered 3-dimensional effect.  Very clever! 👏👏👏

We go to US of A…

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Mount Rushmore

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Mount Rushmore

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Mount Rushmore

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Snow Globe of Famous Landmarks

To United Kingdom…

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London Parliament House

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London Parliament House

To Easter Island…

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Rapa Nui

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Rapa Nui

To Italy…

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Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Roman Colosseum

To Greece, maybe?

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Generic temple ruins

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Generic temple ruins

To China…

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The Great Wall of China

 

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The Great Wall of China

 

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The Great Wall of China

 

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The Great Wall of China

 

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The Great Wall of China

Xmas 2014: Landmark

Date of Visit: November 27 2014

I always look forward to festive decorations in the atrium of Landmark, Central. This year is no exception. Giant hot air balloons ascending and descending mechanically in tandem with each other, in the centre a block of Parisian boulevard decorated in the high spirits of Christmas filled with dolls going about their activities. This – is the ultimate dollhouse!

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A Bite + ‘Gromit Unleashed Hong Kong’ @ Elements Mall, Kowloon Station

Date of Visit:  August 13 2014

Weather in Hong Kong is very, very wet.

Still, I went ahead to meet a friend for drinks at Kowloon Station when the Amber Thunderstorm Alert was issued.  I was on the MTR when I suddenly realised that I had forgotten my umbrella, but its OK, I told myself since the walkways are covered all the way from my place to Kowloon Station.  Oops, what I also forgot was that the restaurant that we are meeting in, is at Civic Square on top of Kowloon Station, and the area is quite exposed… uh-oh!!

Madam S’Ate offers Happy Hour until 7pm on Weekdays (HK$50/ glass of wine).  Perhaps I was not hungry, so I was very undecided. A juicy steak looked enticing but I wasn’t in the mood for a heavy meal.  Pizzas, pastas… ‘meh’... so I settled for the bar menu. The salted cod croquettes were alright, in fact, pretty good.

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Salt cod croquettes, harissa and yoghurt

However, service was tardy.  The waitresses were flirting with a bunch of guys on the other table.  My wine order was mixed up (waitress’s mistake), yet she asked if I would mind taking the wrong order.  Normally I’d won’t mind, but seeing her tardiness, I minded!  😜

We had to stay for an extra couple of hours in the restaurant to wait for the thunder and rain to subside… then I’m off to Elements Mall to see Gromit… and there were a lot of Gromits  decorated in sorts.  I wonder whether Gromit minded?!  Then again, why would he?  He’s dressed up by designers, no?

TAH-DAH!!

And here is the “The Greatest Dog Show on Earth in Asia” unveiled in ELEMENTS.

“The only exhibition of decorated Gromit sculptures in Asia, inspired by a public art trail project named “Gromit Unleashed” that generated massive public attention throughout the UK last year.  At the end of the exhibition, the giant Gromit sculptures will be auctioned in support of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal and children’s art programmes in hospitals across Hong Kong”.  

Phew, with so many public art auctions nowadays… I’m presuming Hong Kong is trying really hard to push to become an art lover’s destination?

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Dreamy Balloon by Veronica Li (vnikali)

I love orchids!

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Orchid Gromit by Philip Treacy

Gromit balancing a ball on his head.

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Gromit’s adventure with his moon by Jimmy Liao

This is fun – Gromit with a fuchsia moustache!

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Beauty Will Save the World by Kim Robinson

And a prickly Godzilla Gromit!  Hey, this reminds me of someone! 😄

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Gromzilla by Kiyoshi Daniel Kohatsu

Or maybe this one?  😜

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😘

There are still time to catch up with the 60-or-so Gromits in town, before they are auctioned off in September!  Hurry! Hurry!

Elephant Parade, Pacific Mall, Admiralty

After the 1,600 Pandas departed, the Elephants stampeded into Hong Kong.   Elephant Parade is the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues created by artists and celebrities.  After the exhibition, the statues will be auctioned.  The idea is to use the power of art to bring forth a meanful message of animal conservation and protection.  Individuals can also buy miniature replicas of the elephants whereby 20% of the net profit are donated to The Asian Elephant Foundation.

Since it was Amber Rainstorm today, I was at Pacific Place Mall today to watch a movie.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the elephants dotted around the mall and had a fun time taking pictures.

Hah!  A map of HK, no doubt dedicated to Hiker Dude 😜

Pearl of the Orient by Diana Francis

Pearl of the Orient by Diana Francis

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‘Maclehose Trail’, the gruesome 100km Oxfam Trail Walk where some teams managed to finish in 13 hours!

Money makes the world go round, and so the auspicious lucky coin Elephants to reign in good fortune for the Mall

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Lucky Coins by Santi Takaew

And with the mooncake season or mid-autumn festival coming up, an Elephant Mooncake sounds like a good festive creation

Mooncake by Kitipong Tamnonsri

Mooncake by Kitipong Tamnonsri

A statue designed by my favourite designer.

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DVF, Love is Life by Diane von Furstenberg

Hong Kong is a tourist destinations and of course a couple of Elephants decorated with local flavours are a must!  Themes included food and tourist landmarks.

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Yum-Ephant by Diana Francis

We Love Hong Kong by Carsac Limited

We Love Hong Kong by Carsac Limited

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Commandments of God by Prajjwal Choudhury

One of the crowd’s favourite as judged by the number of people taking pictures.  The cutest of ’em all, I reckon!  This is by celebrated local designer Carrie Chau

The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

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The Hiding Men and The Elephant by Carrie Chau

The exhibition started on August 1 and will continue to September 9 2014.  Do pay the Elephant Parade a visit – other locations includes CityPlaza in Taikoo Shing and CityGate in Tung Chung.

Tree of Life exclusively designed for Pacific Place by Diana Francis

Tree of Life exclusively designed for Pacific Place by Diana Francis

Drinkies @Vinexpo 2014 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Date of Visit:  May 28 2014

One simply does not pass on a freebie – especially when it is a free trade pass to Asia-Pacific Vinexpo, no?!

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Vinexpo Asia-Pacific

Boy! Am I getting pissed today!! 😜

Spanning the entire 2 floors of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Level 1 houses all the New World Wines, whereas Level 3 is reserved exclusively for the French (and the odd Chinese winery or two, e.g. Dynasty, hoping to rub some Old World prestige into their spanking new establishments)

Since Vinexpo is the world’s premier wine and spirits festival, one should expect an impressive list of international exhibitors from over 30 countries.  The line-up of wines are mind-bogglingly overwhelming.  So one must definitely do a bit of homework – research on the vineries, top producers, up-and-coming wines, etc-before attending!

Here are some of the wines sampled (pictures courtesy of Monsieur Wine Nut – my wine tasting buddy).

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Premium French…

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So much wine to sample…

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More wines…

Tasting delicious wines can get a tad boring and tedious, so I started looking for interesting labels.  Now, do tell, how many of you buy wines on the account of the quirkiness of the labels?  Be it the name or graphics?  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of that ALL the time! 😜

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A regal looking French Bulldog – my future pet! 😄

What about Hello Kitty sparkling wines?  I guess it is never too early to start training your kids to start drinking, right?

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Starter Wines for kiddies

‘No Sex For Butterfly’ is a new line from Chateau de Valcombe, only available in some Scandinavian countries and Belgium at the moment.  A quirky label with an interesting story in that vines are sprayed with electrostatic powder containing female pheromones. Male pests cannot find females because of the scent on their own bodies, and females reject them as mates because they think they are female, too. In this way, the insects are controlled without use of pesticides, thus stopping the male pests  from breeding and spoiling grape crops (read here).

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I like the crisp No Sex For Butterfly’s Chardonnay, but it was the Cabernet Sauvignon that blew me away.  It was unusual as both the nose and palate has hints of petroleum.

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Quaffable Grenache

I was also introduced to a friend of a friend who is the 3rd generation of this estate.  😚  Unfortunately, I cannot appreciate the wines fully given the numbness from all the tastings but I do like the labels designed by an ex-Hermes designer – Pierrre Le Tan.

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20140528-190257-68577802.jpgDoes fast cars and wines mix?  Apparently not, but because the Chinese had over bought the Bordeaux 4 years back – bidding up the prices in the process – they are currently  sitting on top of oversupply to the detriment of the Bordeaux producers.  So, what to do to?  Hence, the marketing gurus came up with the gimmick of beauties and fast cars to make Bordeaux sexy and desirable again!

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I missed out on the conferences, tastings, and master classes hosted by the industry experts, so next year, remind me to register early for the classes!!

My Pictorial Arvo @Art Basel Hong Kong 2014

Date of Visit:  May 14 2014

This is the 2nd Hong Kong edition of Art Basel, the world’s premier show of Modern and Contemporary Art.  I was lucky that I got a free ticket.

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Otherwise, I would have to fork out HK$300 for a day pass like what my friend did…

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Is this Art??  I can do this too!  In fact, there were several mono-coloured canvasses in the exhibition.  Perhaps done by big names.  And we all know, any doodles by big names conjures a hefty price tag (belt our your number Jessie J!)

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This is kooky! So cool and psychedelic!  Reminds me of Austin Powers! Yeah, Baby!

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The bizarre.  A life-sized mannequin of a hairy young girl cradling deformed baby??

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Totally outrageous!  A dog encased inside glass bubbles??  SPCA where art thou?!

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Waste not, want not... the next time you stop by for a Chinese, remember to bring home the scallop shells.

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The comical – the singing Banana Trio!  Inspiration from Casper The Friendly Ghost?

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A wake-up call, don’t eat too much

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But don’t starve yourself to the bones either!

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A bit of reality call – the post 80s generation?  Demonstrations!  Protests!

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A bit of logic!  My favourite 3 Ms: Chocolates, Junk and Post-It Notes!

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Recyclable art…

Buddha sitting on a pile of used clothing.

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Shredded papers as sculptural art?

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What about a mangled smashed-up car?

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Something contemporarily religious…

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Art Basel is basically an art expo with over 245 leading galleries from 39 countries.  Heck!  I even met a sister of a friend who runs a gallery in Kuala Lumpur!!

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I spent  over 2 hours at the expo…and was dead tired…

Check out this man face-planted on the floor! Bet he WAS really tired! Zzzz…

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Any qualms?  Talk to me, better still, email me!

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