Pink chocolate teas for autumn afternoons

Mirage - Sweet Treats
Channel your inner-autumn with these sweet treats

Mirage at Renaissance Harbour View is serving up a choc-tastic tea this autumn. Star of the tea table is Ruby chocolate containing pink cocoa beans and a new launch in Hong Kong.

Pastry chef Roger Fok has cleverly crafted the limited edition naturally pink-hued chocolate into ruby mille feuilles – creamy vanilla custard encased in caramelised puff pastry with a touch of the ‘berrylicious’ Ruby chocolate.

Further tea-stand treats include pine nut chocolates made of Ghana milk chocolate and pine nut praline; baked apple tart with rum raisin and cinnamon-flavoured apple filling; matcha profiteroles with smooth matcha and raspberry creme stuffed inside crispy green tea puffs; lemon bonbons with milk chocolate ganache; and Renaissance cheesecake. And of course not forgetting the obligatory freshly baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Savoury bites include pan-fried scallop, duck liver pate puffs, smoked salmon Maki, and truffle and ham toasties.

The Autumn Afternoon Tea is available in the Upper Lobby, Renaissance Harbour View, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, 3-5.30pm until Nov 30, $188/per person Monday-Friday, or $208/person on weekends and public holidays. Hang Seng Bank credit card holders can enjoy up to 50% discount. Bookings through restaurant-reservations.hk@renaissancehotels.com.

Four Seasons makes waves in Kuala Lumpur

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Relaxing on the pool deck

A cramped dormitory room and a spluttering air conditioning system was my first introduction to Kuala Lumpur. Admittedly it was twenty-odd years ago during my ‘backpacker’ years, but the difference between then and now is nonetheless eye-popping.

When I landed back in the Malaysian capital last month, change could even be detected from just a couple of years previously when I last touched down to catch up with an expat friend who lives in the city. Her residence had been surrounded by building sites and scaffolding at the time – it seems all those construction projects have now reached completion. The city is positively gleaming with glinting ‘scrapers and gleaming five-star hotels.

I had been invited to stay at The Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, which opened over the summer and is located slap bang in the city centre next to the famous Petronas Towers and with views over KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) Park. The enormous development comprises a retail mall – Shoppes at Four Seasons – at ground level, plus 209 hotel rooms and serviced apartments. At 65 floors, it’s the second tallest building in Malaysia as well as the world’s second tallest hotel building. The ambitious project began in 2013, developed by Ipoh-born Singapore tycoon Ong Beng partnering with the Sultan of Selangor. It has irrevocably altered the city’s skyline.

“It’s an absolutely stunning building in the best possible location in the city,” says general manager Tom Roelens, who has spent the last 12 months assembling a crack team to front the hotel. Built so close to the Petronas Towers, the hotel has irrevocably altered Kuala Lumpur’s cityscape.

The impressive building was enjoying its soft opening phase when I visited. My huge room overlooked the hotel pool and was among the best I’ve stayed in. Mod cons included a supremely useful laptop on the nightstand from which you could micro-manage your stay. Within half-an-hour of arrival I’d booked a massage, reserved a table for dinner in the hotel’s Curate restaurant and ordered tickets for the Petronas Towers. Other useful drop-down menus included baby gear selection (from cots to baths to kid-friendly robes, pretty much every eventuality is catered for) and a suggested sightseeing itinerary. You can even choose your style of pillow – I refrained, the bed was pretty dreamy as it was.

The hotel has gone out of its way to recognise younger guests, with a goodie bag containing a macaroon, photo frame and tiger plush toy on arrival, as well as a special kids check in experience featuring a low counter and child-friendly check-in forms.

Dining options include show-kitchen Curate, with a suitably laden buffet table and dishes from around the world. This is also where breakfast is served, unless you have access to the pleasant executive lounge – the experienced chef here has been flown in from Four Seasons Resort Maldives and seems to be making his mark on the fledgling Malaysian staff. I was lucky enough to enjoy both breakfast and afternoon tea offerings.

Also worth a look is the glitzy Bar Trigona with killer views over the capital. I checked in for a post Saturday-night dinner cocktail at midnight and the place was rocking – the bartender was hard-pushed to find me a seat. Of course once I was settled at my window-view table that first cocktail quickly became a second…

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The glamorous Bar Trigona at Four Seasons

The restaurants are beautifully decorated – think colourful pink hibiscus petals floating from the ceiling in Curate and an ambitious mosaic tiled bar in Trigona – but Yun House, the modern Cantonese restaurant, was my favourite. Elegant velvet chairs perch around circular tables and beside floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the park, while one wall is dominated by an enormous and impressive sculpture-come-painting of wind rushing over a paddy field. It was quite mesmerising. As you would expect from a five-star brand, there has been no skimping on the detail.

There is also a bar and casual dining by the hotel pool, an area which is dominated in a rather instagrammable-way by the surrounding skyscrapers. Again, pinch yourself that you’re not in Singapore.

Yet more high-end hotel openings are planned for the city – this year saw the unveiling of no less than eight properties, including Pavilion Banyan Tree Residence, W Kuala Lumpur, Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur and an Alila Hotel & Resorts property.

However, despite the new swankiness, the city retains much of its soul through its food and street markets, with countless street stalls, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and markets hawking a delicious messy mix of food cultures representing Malaysia’s Malay, Chinese and Indian residents. Jalan Alor Street Food Night Market is a particular favourite. However, prices are starting to rise and a pint of beer will these days set you back upwards of MYR30.00, or $50. Those heady backpacker days are now just a distant memory.

And as the (higher-end) tourist dollar continues to be wooed, shopping malls have sprung up on every corner. At 10pm the designer-label heavy Suria KLCC was heaving with shoppers. In so many ways, Kuala Lumpur is no longer the country cousin to neighbouring Singapore. 

Sadly, my Sunday night flight back to Hong Kong came around all too soon. fourseasons.com

 

Local artist launches hand-carved Mahjong tile gift set

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Karen Cheung’s hand-painted Mahjong tile gift sets are available from her pop-up shop at K11, Tsim Sha Tsui, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until October 28

The clack of Mahjong tiles is as Hong Kong as dim sum and Cantonese opera. In fact in 2014 it was named ‘an intangible cultural heritage’ by the government, along with umbrella-making and kung fu.

The popular Chinese table game is similar to gin rummy and is currently played by an estimated 350 million Asians. A Singapore Mahjong parlour even made a brief appearance in recent box hit smash Crazy Rich Asians.

But despite that, just a handful of Mahjong carving shops remain in Hong Kong today. The traditional tile has fallen foul to mass produced plastic tiles, electronic Mahjong tables, Mahjong app games and a youth who are spending more and more leisure time glued to their phones. Market research company Ipsos reported earlier this year that just one in 50 young Hong Kongers regularly play, compared with one in 12 five years ago. The once buoyant carving industry is now in the hands of a scattering of octo- and nano-genarians.

Illustrator Karen Cheung was born into a Mahjong family – her father is a traditional carver who took-over the family-run tile factory, Fuk Hing Lung Mahjong Manufacturing Factory, which was set up by her grandfather, supplying Hong Kong’s Mahjong parlours and hotels. But due to dwindling demand, her father was forced to shut up shop ten years ago.

“The day he closed the factory was so sad for him and my mother,” says Cheung. “They had to lay off employees who had worked for them for decades. He packed away his tools and didn’t even want to look at them again.”

But Cheung had other ideas. Her creative business, Travel with Pencil & Color, is a side-hustle (“it’s difficult to make a living drawing in Hong Kong,” she says) to her main job as an events organiser. “I come home from work, sleep for an hour or so, and then I draw from 11pm into the early hours,” she says.

Over the last six months, she has painstakingly designed five different Hong Kong scenes which have been carved into sets of Mahjong tiles. The six carved tiles in each set depict different areas of Hong Kong and come with a wind or dragon tile hand carved and painted by her father. North Point owns the North wind, Tung Chung the East, Sai Kung the West and Southside the South. Central is matched with the red dragon.

Tiny, beautiful details include a miniature Foreign Correspondents’ Club etched onto the Central tiles (quite apt as that is the venue for our meet-up), the Lantau buddha and cable car, seafood shops in Sai Kung and The Repulse on Southside.

“I think my father was ultimately glad to pick up his tools again,” she says. “He understood my excitement about the project. The challenge for me was managing high labour costs. From packaging to promotion, it’s been a steep learning curve.”

Cheung worked with fellow designers Connie Siu and Maggie Cheung on the project and it has gone on to win the Judges Award at this year’s annual Hong Kong Smarts Design Award, organised by the Hong Kong Export Association. “I think Hong Kong tourism likes this sort of thing as it promotes Hong Kong’s heritage and culture.”

Cheung says the project bridges the gap between traditional craftsmanship and modern art, aiming to reignite the dying art of hand-carved mahjong with advanced printing technology. The trio now find themselves in the top eight finalists of the K11 D Project this year.

Cheung will be managing a pop-up shop in K11 shopping mall this month featuring the Mahjong tiles sets, Travel Mahjong City, and other Mahjong-inspired products.  Customers who spend over $350 will receive a set of postcards depicting the mahjong story, while shoppers who spend over $500 will be receive a hand-carved ‘Sparrow Mahjong’ tile.

“Sparrow sounds the same as Mahjong in Chinese, the click clack of the tiles being shuffled is referred to as ‘twittering of the sparrows’,” she explains.

Cheung is currently working on a set of tiles to celebrate Christmas and Chinese New Year in the territory – the Lunar New Year is traditionally a time when families get together to play Mahjong.

“I’ve always loved drawing and I’m so pleased to have been able to turn it into a viable project,” she says.

Cheung’s pop-up shop will open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between September 28 and October 21, K11, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (MTR TST exit D2), karenaruba.com

Hong Kong’s Mahjong carvers

There are estimated to be a mere handful of carving shops left in Hong Kong, possibly not even that.

Biu Kee Mahjong is still operational on Jordan Road, Yau Ma Tei (opposite the entrance to Temple Street night markets).

Kam Fat Mahjong is the only female Mahjong carver in Hong Kong and has an under-the-stairs workshop in Hung Hom.

Factory-produced, plastic tile sets can be found in most markets, including Stanley and Cat Street.

 

Where to play

American Women’s Association (AWA) members and American Club members play every Tuesday, 10am-4pm, American Club, Tai Tam, awa.org.hk

Australian Association of Hong Kong members play every Monday, 10am-1pm, Dynasty Court Function Room, 17-23 Old Peak Road, Mid-levels, ozhongkong.com

 

The AWA will be organising a Mahjong Fundraiser in support of local charities, 10am-3.30pm, October 19, American Club Fireside Lounge, 28 Tai Tam Road, Tai Tam, $500/member, $500/guest, complimentary buffet lunch at noon, drinks charged to member’s accounts or payment by credit card, open to all, awa.org.hk

Volunteers needed for Mangkhut clear-up

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Devastation at Trio Beach, New Territories – a community clean-up has been organised on October 13

Typhoon Mangkhut slammed through Hong Kong last month, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Three weeks on and the territory’s outlying islands and remote areas are still struggling with the clean-up.

The typhoon was the most powerful since records began in 1946 and the resultant storm surge caused flood waters to reach their highest levels since 1904. The maximum typhoon signal number ten was issued for ten hours. Outlying islands including Cheung Chau were without water or electricity for several days following the storm.

With roads and government beaches now predominantly clear, local volunteers have rallied to clean up the mess inflicted on non-gazetted beaches and hiking trails, which have been deluged with trash or decimated by fallen trees. Hard-hit areas include Sai Kung, Tap Mun (Grass Island), Sai Wan, Lamma Island and Po Toi Island.

Meanwhile, damage to Sai Kung Sewage Treatment facilities was so serious that sewage treatment was reduced to a ‘primary’ level in the week following the storm – meaning only half of the raw sewage pollutants were being eliminated. Full repairs are not expected until the end of the year. The public is currently recommended not to swim at nearby beaches.

Beach clean-ups will be taking place on Sunday October 7 at Deepwater Bay at 10.30am-1pm; Chi Ma Wan, Lantau, in conjunction with the Agriculture, Fisheries Conservation Department (AFCD) at 9.30am; and on October 13 for ‘little’ Trio Beach, Sai Kung, meeting at Hebe Haven Yacht Club, boats departing for Trio at 11am and returning at 3pm, cold beer and vegetarian buffet for all 3-4pm – bags and cotton gloves provided, please wear sensible footwear, contact carolfsk@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Tai Kwun’s Aaharn set for mid-October opening

 

Award-winning chef David Thompson will be helming the new restaurant

The latest restaurant to arrive at Central’s Tai Kwun heritage redevelopment is Aaharn. Slated for an October 18 opening, the venue will see award-winning chef David Thompson explore the best of Thai cuisine.

Aaharn, meaning ‘food’ in Thai, presents “a refined contemporary exploration of the best cuisine,” according to the venue, showcasing Thai seasonal ingredients sourced locally in Hong Kong. There will be both a la carte and tasting menus available.

Thompson is one of the world’s leading authorities on Thai food and was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016, as well as a Global Gastronomy Award from White Guide. He admits to drawing inspiration from Thai funeral books and rarely cooked ancient ceremonial recipes that are published as a memorial to the deceased.

The restaurant will be located on the top floor of the historic Armoury Building overlooking Tai Kwun’s open-air parade ground. Bookings are being taken now, aaharn.hk.

 

 

Rendez-vous with Madame Fu

By Carolynne Dear for Hong Kong Livng

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Connie Aldao-Worder is the Argentinian chef, mum and expat in charge of one of Hong Kong’s swankiest new dining venues.  Photography courtesy of Michelle J Proctor

 

It’s been a busy twelve months for chef and restaurateur Connie Aldao-Worker. The beginning of the year saw her making the move from New Zealand to Hong Kong with her two young sons, and by mid-year she was managing the launch of the city’s much anticipated Madame Fu Grand Cafe Chinois inside Central’s Tai Kwun heritage redevelopment.

Designed by Christian Rhomberg (founder and chairman of the now-defunct KEE Club – once voted Asia’s ‘best private members’’ club – and early pioneer of the Lan Kwai Fong scene in the 1980s), the space occupies the whole of the top floor of the former Barrack Block. The huge area has been divided into seven lavishly decorated rooms, including a wrap-around verandah, main dining room, two private dining rooms, a lunch room, library and the gloriously pink Pearl Room – which within weeks of opening had hosted a Victoria’s Secrets ‘Angels’ shoot. Not without good reason has Madame Fu been nicknamed Hong Kong’s most instagrammable restaurant.

The backstory to the restaurant evoques a Shanghai-meets-Paris ‘grand cafe’ of the 1920s, based around a mysterious fictional persona named Madame Fu.

Lavish attention to detail, gorgeous soft furnishings in velvets and silks (my favourite are the lanterns on the verandah that have been created using vintage hermes scarves) as well as much colourful artwork – some of it painted by Rhomberg’s son – has made this one of Hong Kong’s most glamorous spaces.

But of course a restaurant needs substance, which is where Aldao-Worker comes in.

Appointed as the restaurant’s executive director, she is Argentinian by birth, married to the New Zealand consul-general in Hong Kong and Macau, Carl Worker, and arrived in the territory less than a year ago.

Nimbly directing staff and answering queries about various dishes during our interview, Aldao Worker admits she first started out in the restaurant trade as an office-based employee.

Back in the ‘90s, she was taken on by Argentinian celebrity chef and restaurateur, Francis Mallmann, and helped with everything from organising his cooking shows and co-writing his cookery books to putting together his busy travel itinerary. Eventually she started helping out in the kitchen “a little bit”, and this led to her eventually spending more time kitchen-side than office-side.  

Her big break came in 1998 when she set up the award-winning 1884 Francis Bodegas Escorihuela restaurant in Buenos Aires. It went on to place seventh out of the top 50 restaurants in the world listed in the UK’s esteemed Restaurant magazine.

“It was a huge honour,” she says. “Of course myself and the whole team were extremely proud of what we’d achieved.”

In 2003 she married career diplomat Carl Worker, who at the time was serving as New Zealand Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. “Francis Mallmann took care of our wedding as a gift to us,” she tells me as we sit down to tea in Madame Fu’s main dining room. “We had a great party. And Nicolas Catena (owner of Catena Zapata Winery and the man credited with putting Argentinian wines on the world map) took care of all the wine.”

In 2009 Worker accepted the position of New Zealand ambassador to China and Mongolia and the family, including Aldao Worker’s two stepsons, Simon and Alex, and her two younger sons, Ollie and Nicky, moved to Beijing.

As an experienced chef, not-to-mention wife of the ambassador, Aldao-Worker took on the management of entertaining at the New Zealand Embassy, which included running the kitchens as well as organising cooking demonstrations and acting as guest chef in several restaurants across the capital – at one point, perhaps portentously, she spent two weeks in the clubhouse of the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Beijing.

“I picked up Mandarin and fell in love with Sichuanese and Beijing cuisine,” she says. When pushed to name a favourite dish, she insists there are too many stand-outs to pick just one.

The Beijing stint lasted until 2015, at which point the family returned to Waiheke Island near Auckland in New Zealand. Here Aldao Worker joined the renowned Stonyridge Vineyard as head chef.

Her husband was offered the role of New Zealand consul-general in Hong Kong and Macau in August 2017 and Aldao Worker moved up at the beginning of this year with her younger boys Ollie, 14, and Nicky, 11, in tow, and who are now happily ensconced at The Australian International School in Kowloon Tong. Her two older stepsons have these days flown the nest. This is Worker’s second stint as New Zealand consul-general in the SAR – he took up the reigns for the first time between 1994 and 1998.

Having settled the family into Hong Kong life, Aldao-Worker landed her current role at Madame Fu just four weeks before the restaurant opened earlier this summer.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” she says. “It’s a great location and a super set up. As with all new venues, there have been challenges (tense moments include electricity not being fully installed until just hours before the launch party – “it’s pretty normal stuff,” she shrugs, unruffled), especially as it’s a big kitchen. Divided into four sections – main kitchen, dim sum, barbecue and pastry – there are 25 chefs covering all stations, so yes, it’s very busy.”

She admits that being in Hong Kong she’s keen to learn more about Cantonese food. “Our dim sum chef has 39 years experience, so I feel I have a good master to follow. I’m hoping to learn a lot from him and his team.”

At the time of our meeting, the restaurant was just about to launch afternoon teas in the Pearl Room. The main restaurant menu is Cantonese with selected Chinese dishes from the northern provinces – for me the standouts were the braised five spice beef shin and the crispy cod with vinegar glaze and ginger.  

Of course holding down a role such as this requires judicious juggling with family demands. And her husband is caught in a similar balancing act. But she remains unphased. “Family is very important and I have to find a balance. Sometimes the kids come in to see me here. And on weekends I try and participate in their activities as much as I can,” she says. “At the end of the day, I enjoy being busy.”

madamefu.com.hk

Coming soon…

Tai Kwun is set to welcome several more dining venues this autumn.

Under the helm of renowned chef David Thompson, Thai specialist Aaharn moves in on the first floor of the Armoury building.

Bar at Armoury on the ground floor will be serving wines by the glass, cocktails, draught beers, premium teas and coffees and a simple menu of modern Thai bar snacks.

hc:Bistro brings light gourmet dishes and community spirit to the complex. The local bistro is the 13th catering social enterprise project of the non-profit Hong Chi Association, which provides training and a safe working environment for people with intellectual disabilities.

And Aqua restaurant group hosts two flagship restaurants and a ‘luxury’ lounge in the main police headquarters block. East-meets-West with The Chinese Library (Chinese specialities) and Statement (British classics), while The Dispensary lounge channels a colonial Hong Kong vibe.

Kennedy Town welcomes Fishteria Waterside

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Casual seafood dining is the name of the day at Fishteria

Relaxed seaside eatery Fishteria has opened on Kennedy Town’s New Praya. Boasting a menu stuffed with seafood delights – think lobster rolls, tuna poke focaccia, lean tuna and creamy burrata, scallops and apple ceviche and dover sole – the venue  has maximised its waterside location with floor-to-ceiling glass windows along the length of the dining area.

The restaurant is positioning itself as an laid-back venue for weekend brunches or casual family dinners, with sharing-style plates and a foosball table. Fishteria also offers a wide range of craft beers and wines.

According to chef Gianni Caprioli, the menu features “some of my most exciting creations yet. I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends dive into our lovingly made food.” Caprioli also oversees Fishteria’s flagship restaurant on Queens Road East, Wan Chai.

Fishteria Waterside is now open for dinner and weekend and public holiday brunch.

New Fortune House, Shop 3 G/F, 2-5A New Praya, Kennedy Town, fishteria.hk

 

Gordon Ramsay announces restaurant opening on Victoria Peak

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Gordon Ramsay’s maze Grill in Ocean Terminal is now open for business

Gordon Ramsay is in town this week and has announced he will be opening a second Bread Street Kitchen in the new year, this time on Victoria Peak. The British chef closed his inaugural Bread Street Kitchen eatery in Lan Kwai Fong earlier this year citing building refurbishment issues.

Ramsay made the announcement during the official press launch of his maze Grill restaurant in Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui. This is Ramsay’s third partnership with Hong Kong’s Dining Concepts restaurant group and the first time the steakhouse has opened outside of London. Ramsay currently manages three maze Grills in the British capital.

He described the restaurant as a “modern, family-oriented steakhouse with a huge Asian influence in one of Hong Kong’s best locations.” The venue cannot be faulted for wow factor, with a large outdoor patio boasting views over the harbour and to Hong Kong Island. It occupies a corner space in the new Ocean Terminal glasshouse extension and there doesn’t appear to be a ‘dud’ table in the space – even the bathroom has a view.

“Aesthetics are crucial to the success of a restaurant,” said Ramsay at the launch. “I’m a big stickler for lighting – I’ve taken my wife to venues where the overly bright lighting has totally killed the vibe. Equally, a space should enable service to be unobtrusive.” 

Asked how he hopes to prevent maze becoming little more than a ‘concept’ restaurant while he is based in London, Ramsay admitted that it was all down to good infrastructure, with staff shuttling back and forth. “Look, we’re not a fine dining place and we’re not aiming for three Michelin stars. I make sure I’m up-to-date with how my venues are performing via social media. I read all the negative comments because that’s how you improve. I love how social media keeps chefs like me accountable. Long may food bloggers continue.” The space is to be helmed by head chef Gareth Packham, who has worked with the Gordon Ramsay Group for over seven years.

The menu features Ramsay’s signature dish, Beef Wellington, plus charcoal-grilled steaks, rare breed cuts, fish and poultry dishes, as well as a number of options exclusive to maze Grill Hong Kong.

The restaurant is located in the glasshouse extension of Ocean Terminal, Lvl 4, Ocean Terminal Deck, dining concepts.com.

Don’t miss this week’s deadline for the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts prize

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Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize director Katie Vadga at work in her studio

Director, photographer and former winner Katie Vadga speaks to Carolynne Dear for Hong Kong Living

“The Hong Kong Human Rights Art Prize (HKHRAP) is now in its fifth year. It’s open to all Hong Kong-born or based artists who are aged 16 or over and who enter work around the theme of human rights. The event is also an important annual fundraiser for Justice Centre.

My own path first crossed with the Justice Centre HK when I entered the HKHRAP in 2014. I had been working with my friend Eva Sultiana who is a domestic helper and together we made a series called “Can you see me yet?”. My lecturer Dr. Edwin Lai encouraged me to enter and the series went on to win the prize. In 2017 co-director Peter Augustus and I stepped up to help run the arts prize when resourcing it became difficult.

My career as a photographer began accidentally. I came to Hong Kong in 2009 from Sydney, where my husband and I were working in the media industry. I had loved art all my life, so I decided to go back to university to study Fine Art at Hong Kong Art School. Having spent many years working with newspapers and magazines, photography was a language where I could draw from my experience and reference it in my work. I never imagined the level of politics and social theory at play in visual culture.

We accept all mediums, there is no fee to enter and there are no size restrictions. The judging is conducted blind and therefore without bias. We receive entries across the spectrum of practitioners from emerging to established artists.

The judges will be looking for an artist’s ability to translate the theme into a fine art context. And also their ability to articulate their stories through their chosen medium. Last year saw a record-breaking number of entries and an incredible shortlist, with artists exhibiting work across painting, photography, video, installation and sculpture.

Entries are judged by a panel of noted experts from Hong Kong’s art community. They include Claire Hsu, co-founder & executive director of Asia Art Archive, and Kacey Wong, a prominent Hong Kong- based artist. Hsu and Wong have both been advisors to the prize since its inception in 2013. To be honest I don’t envy them; judging this competition is always a difficult task!

The winning artist this year will receive a cash prize of $35,000 and a trophy created this year by leading Hong Kong artist Jaffa Lam. Two runners-up will also receive cash prizes, and a directors’ choice award will also be given on the night.

Entries are open until October 5. The prize ceremony will be held at The Hive Spring, 3/F Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road on December 8, Justice Centre

Your Hong Kong ‘Christmas’ markets guide – October

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The sun’s out and it’s time to start shopping Christmas goodies…

Discovery Bay Sunday Market

Jump on a ferry and head over for heaps of stalls hosting some of Hong Kong’s best-loved local businesses.

11am-6pm, October 14, Discovery Bay Main Plaza, Discovery Bay, Lantau, handmadehongkong.com.

 

Gold Coast Autumn Gift & Fashion Fair

Head over to Hong Kong’s one-and-only Gold Coast to shop jewellery, fashion, lifestyle products, cosmetics, fine wine and more.

10am-6pm, October 20, MCH Lobby, Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club.

 

Momentai Pop-Up Market

Sai Kung’s favourite waterfront hang-out is hosting a host of local businesses, from eats to homewares to womenswear. Drop in, enjoy some lunch, grab a bargain.

10am-5pm, October 21, Kiosk 1, Wau Man Road, Sai Kung, momentai-la-com.

 

Fashion & Fun Pop-Up

Channel your inner Diwali diva as local event specialist Mums@PLAY hosts a three-day shopping event to celebrate Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. Shop precious stones, ethnic ‘kundan’ jewellery, traditional ‘gota’ pouches and bags, cotton and linen saris and homewares.

11am-8pm, October 25-27, Usagi, Wah Shin House, 6-10 Shin Hing Street, Central, mumsatplay.com.

Pinktober support

Join OnTheList for its month-long Breast Cancer Awareness Charity Sale. Shop Marc Jacobs, Mischa, APM Monaco and more – all proceeds go to Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre.

Throughout October, G/F Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, OnTheList.

 

Entrepreneurs’ pop-up

Drop into Culture Cover in Central for a month-long pop-up shop. Browse style, self-care, home and adventure labels from some of Hong Kong’s best loved small businesses.

Throughout October, 67 Hollywood Road, Central, Pink Lotus.

 

Ethical kids’ clothing

Eco-chic children’s boutique Retykle will be showcasing hundreds of designer children swear brands throughout the month of October. Pop along for pre-loved and new pieces from newborn to 12 years at this eco-conscious shopping event.

Throughout October, 57-59 Hollywood Road, Central, retykle.com.