Starlight Alchemy’s spectacular showcase of its multi-disciplinary flow arts at Singapore Night Festival 2015 combines a variety of aerial and large custom-made fire props, as well as LED technology performance props. Their performance tells of the exhilarating journey of reconciliation between Apollo from the world of Ethereal Light and Nuri from the world of Eternal Flame, through three 25-minute segments during the night. I am so proud we have such a great performance art group from Singapore :)
I was brought into a world of fantasy and joy with a carousel of flying angels, singing birds and burlesque pigs over the weekend. No, I wasn’t dreaming. I caught the “Garden of Angels” performance by Theatre Tol (Belgium), a festival commission for this year’s Singapore Night Festival.
Inspired by the paintings of Russian-French expressionist artist Marc Chagall, Theater Tol’s latest performance merges the realms of nature, people and fantasy into one. It was the second time Theatre Tol presented their show at the festival, and they certainly mesmerized the crowd with their performance, dribbled with surprises throughout which drew countless oohs and ahhhs. Singing Bird serenading the crowd with O Mio Babbino Caro
After laying dormant for almost 14 years, the former Police Married Quarters (PMQ) on Hollywood Road has found new life as Hong Kong’s latest creative hub for local designers of diverse disciplines. The 18,000sqm former heritage site houses 130 units rented out to selected locally based creative talents from the fields of design, fashion and art at a discounted rate for a maximum lease of two years, to allow them to create their own viable businesses. More established brands such as Bread and Butter and Vivienne Tam are also present on the ground and first floor to lend some clout.
PMQ is also home to five restaurants including Aberdeen Street Social by Jason Atherton & Yenn Wong, and Spanish fine dining restaurant Vasco featuring Paolo Casagrande from two- Michelin star Barcelonan restaurant Lasarte. There are 15 pop-up spaces, 6 units for international ‘designers in residence’ to work from and a huge 6,000sqm exhibition space called the Cube which will host fashion and art events. Be sure to visit the night market run by the organisers of Island East Markets every Friday and weekend nights featuring street food from the city’s most cutting edge eateries, creations by local craftspeople and music from top musicians and DJs. I popped by Hong Kong’s newest creative spot for a look during its soft opening in May. It officially opens in late June 2014. As far as I could see from the 30% of the shops open during the soft opening – it’s a shopping haven for people who appreciate one-of-a-kind product offerings (like me), and I have no doubt it will be a hip place to hangout during the weekend evenings. Pen it down in your itinerary on your next trip to Hong Kong.
The site on Aberdeen Road where PMQ sits also deserves mentioning for its rich cultural heritage – it was built way back in 1889 as the Central School. The school was severely damaged during World War II and was demolished in 1948 to make way for building the Former Police Married Quarters (and where its current name PMQ was derived). After the Former Police Married Quarters were vacated in 2000, it remained empty for years amid a mire of indecision on its next usage. It was definitely a costly (in)decision as the market price of the building was estimated at $2,500m to $3,000m. The government eventually launched the ‘Conserving Central’ plan in 2009 to preserve eight key heritage sites in Central including PMQ. A $100m bid by the Musketeers Foundation (a group of 3 anonymous local businessmen who support culture and education) to turn the site into a creative hub for designers was accepted, and voila – PMQ is born.
1) MTR Sheung Wan Station Exit E2. Walk through the Grand Millennium Plaza to reach Bonham Strand. Cross the road and turn left onto Wellington Street and walk for around two minutes. Turn onto Aberdeen Street and walk for around three minutes to reach PMQ.
2) MTR Central Station Exit C. Walk along Dex Voeux Road to the Hang Seng Bank Headquarters, which is linked to the Central–Mid-Levels Escalator. Take the escalator to Staunton Street and turn right. Walk for about three minutes to reach PMQ. The whole walk takes about 15 minutes.
People say “贵人招风雨” (important people will bring with them rain – water is prosperity) which must be true cos’ it rained non-stop for two days when I arrived in Hong Kong :D It still couldn’t dampen my spirit to seek adventures in a country which I call my second home :)
It rained so much the rain warning changed from yellow(torrential rain) to red(heavy rain) to black(seriously heavy rain that you can don’t go to work – until it stops)within a night. The steps at the Mid-Levels escalator turned into mini-waterfalls lol. Yesh, we were out in the rain and taking in a scene we haven’t seen in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, I’m glad to be back :)