This week we visited the little known architectural wonder that is Tai O fishing village in Hong Kong. A fishing village built entirely on stilts, visited mainly buy tourists wanting to purchase dried fish and eat local snacks. But look a little further, delve into the back streets and you will find a community that has built (and is still building) an entire village on stilts in the inlet of the South China sea. Here is our photo diary of a quiet Sunday spent exploring the structures that seem to defy gravity, and watching the villagers build new structures and maintain the old houses.
Our Friday food post has gone festive this week with a traditional christmas pudding. We have a little twist of course! You might think Thai Rum (known as Sang Som) is better suited to being drunk from buckets on a beach in Koh Phangan in the glow of the full moon, and you might be right! But we challenge you to change your preconceptions about and give this a go – it might bring back some happy memories! Our second unusual ingredient is candied yuzu peel. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit with a milder zest than a lemon or lime – the candied version is quite mellow and adds a nice depth of flavour to this pudding.
We can’t take credit for this winning recipe. It comes courtesy of the failsafe Delia Smith – you can find it here. We can only take credit for adding the Yuzu and Thai Rum which certainly gives the pudding an Eclectic East kick. If you want to try the same, substitute the rum for Sang Som and sustitute the candied peel for yuzu candied peel.
Garnish your pudding with some yuzu peel (shown below) and serve with flames powered by Sang Som rum and some brandy (or Sang Som!) butter.
You will need…..
- Clear glass or plastic baubles
- Colourful feathers
- Colourful tape or string for hanging
- A chopstick!
Start by removing the hanging stand from your baubles and pull the feathers off the tape, selecting the colours that you want to use.
Once you have put in all the feathers that you want to, put back the hanger stand and add a colourful tape to hang the baubles.
Ever wondered where all the fabrics, trims and beads on your new dress come from? Or how the latest colours are so quickly translated from the catwalk to your local Topshop? The chances are pretty high that a little unassuming low rise area in Hong Kong – Sham Shui Po – will have been part of the fashion chain.
Before I moved to Hong Kong 6 years ago, I had heard of this fabled place through industry chatter. It sounded like a textile Mecca but I wasn’t sure if I was just hearing Chinese whispers. Fresh off the boat and straight into my job, I was taken to Sham Shui Po by a colleague on my third day in Hong Kong. Let’s just say I never looked back! The rumours were true; a place where you can freely pick up bundles of fabric swatches, ribbons arranged with scissors for you to cut yourself a free sample, beads by the bucket load, and sequins – well don’t get me started.
Colour, print, texture, wools, silks, nylons, trims, furs, stretch fabrics, knits, wovens, glitter, feathers and the list goes on. You name it – it is here. Fueled by the high street’s love of fast fashion, this is where fashion buyers and designers from all over the world will come to source fabrics and new ideas to create the latest looks for your wardrobe. I see Sham Shui Po as a giant moodboard and colour palette for the latest trends. When I want to see what direction fashion is about to take, making a trip to Sham Shui Po is normally a good place to start.
Putting my magpie tendency aside, I have also grown a special love for Sham Shui Po as an area over the six years I have been coming here. Certain shop keepers never change, the delivery men on bikes still make me smile and it is really quite photogenic when the sun shines! I enjoy coming here, not just for the textiles, but for the glimpses into Hong Kong life that has faded in other parts of the city. An afternoon in Sham Shui Po always puts a smile back on my face after a tough week in the office. Give it a visit if you ever have a spare afternoon in Hong Kong, with all that colour and sparkle – I challenge you not to come away with a smile on your face!
This weekend at Eclectic East we visited the Hi 60’s installation project at Fine Art Asia.
The project invited a group of local Hong Kong artists to create artworks which expressed Hong Kong in the 1960’s. The exhibition was bright, playful and energetic with striking colours and experimentation with light and shadow. We were really inspired by the work of Cornelia Erdmann. Erdmann’s City Pattern showed the changes that went on in Hong Kong during the building of the high rise apartments and “new towns” which define so much of Hong Kong’s architecture today. I am often inspired by patterns in architecture and have used such inspiration to create textile designs. It was interesting to see how Erdmann approached this often divisive subject with humour and visual audacity. See more of Cornelia Erdmann here
The work of Otto Li also stood out. Li had created a perspex motorbike in sections. When seen straight on it clearly showed a bike, from the side you saw each piece broken down. Li used the motorbike icon because it reflected the Teddy Boys in Hong Kong in the 1960’s. See more of Otto Li’s work here
The final artist really made my heart sing! Man Fung -yi and her work which depicts traditional Cheongsam made from metal. Man Fung-yi is a renowned artist who has been internationally recognised for her intricate sculptures made from heavy metal work. As a textile designer I loved seeing the structure woven from metal and the colours and patterns were inspiring. Find out more about Man Fung-yi here.
There is still time to get down to Fine Art Asia, it is open until the 7th Oct. Have fun and hope you are as inspired as we were!
Hidden in the concrete jungle of some of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping districts (and I really mean busy!) are what we call Honkies’ call mini malls. They are small, badly lit and sometimes hard to find, but here you will feast upon some of the newest trends and most exciting fashion and accessories. Bursting with independent retailers with product sourced from all over asia. Each boutique focuses on a different theme, some stock their own designs of apparel or handmade shoes, some bring in the hottest looks from Korea and others focus on more understated Japanese pieces. Whatever you fancy, there is always something to inspire you. Here are some images from my latest mini mall adventure.
Handmade shoes from Korea.
Not so handmade shoes from Korea!
A local Hong Kong designer creates a collection using the same dress in multiple prints – one for everyday of the week, what’s not to love!
For similar adventures visit Island Beverly, La Foret and Apple Mall in Causeway Bay. You could even get yourself a HK$60.00 Manicure while you are about it – neon nails anyone?!