Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Archive for May 2011

up in the clouds in 60 seconds

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my favorite place in hong kong to see the panoramic view is up on the peak. there is something so nostalgic, old britain, historical about taking that slow tram up victoria peak. i love the feeling of watching the view out on the open deck enjoying the sea breeze and looking at mansions that never could i in this lifetime afford…

the latest spot to view hong kong’s breath taking view had just opened – sky 100. we didn’t go up on a good day. visibility was pretty poor and i was very disappointed. thankfully, we had a great meal at the emperor seal restaurant up on the 101 floor. that was definitely the highlight of my visit and it was the highest place i have ever dined at. i love the roasted pork – it was so juicy!

for people visiting hong kong, sky 100 is definitely one of the must dos and for those who live here, dining up in the clouds can be quite an unique experience especially when you need to impress a special someone or a special client!!!

view, seriously what view??? it looks like though i have cataract

a definite must -try and do remember to book early

sooooooooo damn good!!!!!!!
i’d definitely like to go back on a good day. i reckon at such a high altitude, the view must be sh** hot!!

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May 31, 2011 at 4:08 pm

art hk

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after the financial tsunami in 2008, investors have identified that art, jewelry and wine may have more enduring values than a lot of asset classes and that is why – people like us who live in hong kong must always take advantage of the annual art hk. funnily enough, the first time i went for art hk three years ago, it was sponsored by lehman brothers and since then another tier 1 german bank had taken over the title of lead sponsorship. well, hopefully similar fate won’t befall them as well. but then again, nothing is built to last.

hong kong don’t do a lot of things well these days. the film industry is limping along.. the entertainment business is now dominated by lack lustre stars who are usually offsprings of rich folks. finding a true star is like trying to find a speck of gold in a sack of sand and that is why if you are not in either financial, consultancy, accountancy, real estate or the legal industry – it is very hard to make a good living in this town.

but art hk is a very well done affair. it has always been very well done and the scale is growing by the year. everybody knows that asia is the pot of gold and that is why art galleries the world over come to hawk their best pieces. also there is that obsession of trying to find that next big thing.. and many believe the next big thing will come from asia.

i can’t afford any of these pieces nor have the eye to detect who is the next big thing. neither am i influential enough to proclaim, there you go – this is hot shit. i don’t care about any of it. to me, i love art. it is one of those reasons that make living worth living..

i respect a lot of artists because they only usually become big after they die. to produce something beautiful, they may have to endure a lifetime of pain,aloofness and suffering..tough.

art holds a very special meaning to me because of its texture, it holds a point of view and when things become too difficult to articulate via words, you need to find a way to convey and represent it. there is no right or wrong in art. today when so many people have an issue about everything and use words that you speak against you; art is potentially still an expression held in its most untainted form.

the next art hk will be in february 2012.. can’t wait.. it was an entire day well-spent.. tiring walking aisle to aisle but looking at all these beautiful things really makes me 🙂

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May 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm

let the wind carry me

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first of all, i have never paid to watch a documentary and secondly while i have watched many making of(s), i have never watched a behind the scene from behind the scene.

one minute in film time is the result of many minutes of hard work and preparation.

let the wind carry me is a documentary about the acclaimed cinematographer- mark lee.

it is not a documentary celebrating his work, blowing the trumpet of his talent.

it is a documentary about a man’s life-long affair with the cinema. it is a documentary about his loss, his failure to be more involved with his family, his home and his realization that time is a gentle but swift robber.

he said ” i have found love via the cinema and it takes me away from being with my family. maybe i could find another job so that that i can be with them but my life would be unfulfilled”

the honesty of his statement made me froze. you cannot have everything. when you decide to go one direction, you have let go of the other.

while he was filming in xinjiang, he saw 20 missed calls on his phone.the first thing that crossed his mind was – am i too late? something must have happened at home. something bad. he was thrown into a state of panic. the missed calls were all in codes. the caller called back informing him he was bestowed the national literary award. relief was the first wave of emotion he felt. it wasn’t happiness, it wasn’t pride.

let the wind carry me in its entirety is about movement, about journeys.. that is mark lee’s life. capturing and framing moments to help a film tell a story. mark lee may be the man behind some of the best images captured in asian cinema, forever framing our mental image of what we think of chinese cinema.

above all and everything let the wind carry me is a documentary about a man’s love affair with the cinema.

this is indeed a good dedication for all of the world’s film makers

let the wind carry me is now showing in selected cinemas.

 

 

 

Written by smalltroubleinhk

May 29, 2011 at 4:25 am

pirates of the caribbean 4

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we watched the new pirates of the caribbean movie last night.it was probably an unlikely choice because we went to the cinema with something else in mind but since it wasn’t showing and we didn’t want to leave empty handed – we reluctantly bought tickets for it and prayed that it won’t be that bad. over dinner – i asked my friends gale and matt, do you remember what happened at the last movie and none of us did. gale had watched the movie in the afternoon reassured me of its entertainment value. she was right. i had truly enjoyed the movie.

first of all, it was like starting the franchise on a new note. they phased out keira knightley’s character and it was a fantastic decision because she is such an awful actress. other than being able to pout her lips rather well, i always thought the only people who like kiera are guys. orlando bloom is gone as well – another good decision because his character is so boring next to jack sparrow.

geoffrey rush came back albeit a missing leg and in came the lovely penelope cruz – spain’s very best export to the world with the enigmatic captain blackbeard played by ian mcshane. ian definitely rivalled johnny as my most preferred aye captain to sail with.

i always love a good pirate story. my favorite new addition to the movie  was definitely the mermaids.. you have to watch it to know what i mean.

speaking which, i wonder if they are going to continue with more pirate movies.. i think it’s now a good note to stop. like all good things, hollywood tend to squeeze every good thing dry repulsing us to the point of no return.

i have always loved johnny depp since his gawky days of 21 jump street but i love the man even more now.. he is the finest actor of our time and i love his style so much. he does really remind me a pirate.

mark six and the imf

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it was a bizarre week in hong kong and perhaps even the world. in the last five days; regardless of where i was – i heard people talking about two things – mark six tickets  and dominic strauss- kahn the new ex imf chief who was arrested for sexually assaulting a hotel maid in new york.

while i was at lunch with my colleague a few days ago, he asked if i had bought my mark six ticket. i said to him ,” i don’t think i am one of those with that kinda luck”. somehow after a few banters, i found myself walking with him to the infamous stanley street jockey club branch- it was nothing like i have ever seen.apparently in the mark six world the stanley street branch has the highest probability of winning based on historical records * chuckles***

i thought people were queuing up in front of various restaurants for lunch but i was wrong – they were all queuing for that elusive ticket..

that scene had truly opened my eyes to something amazing. as skeptical as city folks could be maybe deep down, we want to believe that there is a miracle somewhat. a miracle that would change everything you know about life in itself.. maybe. that is a nice thought.

well, i didn’t win anything that night and the jackpot remained holy and untouched – snowballing the jackpot to a level of OMGness – 100 freaking million bucks. the city was paralyzed with euphoria!!!!

everyone wanted a piece of the action…

the result was finally announced yesterday – a truck driver of indian descent had won the jackpot with a few friends. he walked away with 44 million.. oh well like they say, easy come easy go.. nothing beats earning anything the old fashioned way – blood, sweat and tears. i won’t have it any other way..

the lucky winner 

on the other note, this is also the week whereby i have successfully completed my angry bird soft toy collection.. i try to regale at the small things in life. i try my best to remind myself not to be jaded and be one of those people who are so hard to please. i don’t know, do you think that people are unhappy because they think happiness is about achieving the big things? i think so…

it’s always about the eyes

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i finally found it – an eyeliner that won’t smudge, that won’t give way to my oily face and that will last me through the day!!! and oh my god, like all good things in hong kong, you practically need to stock it up because all the 20 year olds are using it.  i love you kate!!!

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May 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm

the world of pixar

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in the last 10 years some of my most enduring animated favorites had come from pixar. there was finding nemo with my favorite character dory. i loved all three toy story installations because it that related well to my imagination and childhood yearning of really wanting to talk to toys..

i didn’t think much when i was watching wall – e but after the movie, i find that the movie had left me with something profound to think about.i think the story presented a good prelude to a future world and a future us. it is the fact that we are over- consuming and getting far too reliant on technology that is surely but slowly killing us. if you like to observe the world half as much as i do, i often study the way people walk. muscles are getting atrophied because we don’t use it much anymore.

cartoons and animations always have a way of telling us stories and the meaning that you are able to derive from it – goes far deeper than any movies played by people.

yesterday we went to the pixar 25 years of animation exhibition at the hong kong heritage museum. it was like stepping into a factory and watching piece by piece how an animation is created.. i never  realized  the effort that goes into creating a story that starts with just an inspiration.

i enjoyed seeing the storyboards of how characters are created. i never realized the variations and the process of exploration of the look and feel of a character. like the character boo in monsters inc – before we know boo as boo there was at least 6 different variations of how boo would look like..

the exhibition will be on from now onwards till 11th of july. tickets are only hk$20 – a wonderful cheap and educational way to spend the weekend! to know more about the history of pixar



Written by smalltroubleinhk

May 8, 2011 at 4:49 am

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