For a fashion and art obsessed city such as Hong Kong, one would surely expect that there would be a place where creativity, handmade and fun could be showcased on a regular basis. On this writer’s arrival to Hong Kong, it was disappointing to find that there was a lack of such an avenue and that the handmade movement was virtually non-existent.
Sure there are the OpenAir HK markets formerly at Discovery Bay (now at the Peak) and at Pok Fu Lam, but stalls are unaffordable for upcoming designers/artists. It didn’t help that hosted vendors catered more towards tourists.
Thus, it was refreshing to stumble across The Living Room Craft Market – a new fun event in Hong Kong with the aim of bringing together creativity, handmade, art and music (oh and did we mention booze?).
With the success of the last two markets, the next one will be held this Sunday.
Date: 24th May 2009
Time: 2pm – 6pm
Venue: Sense 99, 99 Wellington Street, Hong Kong.
Contact: Awon, 60764949
I talk to Awon Golding, the creative brains behind the event about herself and The Living Room.
Tell us what The Living Room Craft Markets is all about!
The Living Room was conceived as a place where handcrafters, artists and creatives could come together and hang out whilst also selling their handmade wares to the public. We’ve got an open mic session happening upstairs, a DJ playing in the main room, plus a bake sale which has proved particularly popular. All of this washed down with a bloody mary and you’ve got yourself a kick ass Sunday afternoon!
What gave you the idea to start an indie market here in Hong Kong?
Initially it came out of a need for somewhere to sell my own handicrafts and knick-knacks. What markets that do exist in HK, are all geared towards middle aged expats and tourists and don’t represent the youth of HK at all. I also love throwing parties so everything kind of just fell into place.
And the name – ‘The Living Room’?
I chose ‘The Living Room’ because I wanted something that made people feel at home and conveys the core ethos of market, which is casual laid-back fun.
Do you have a background in crafting or the arts?
Not specifically in the production side of things, I’ve worked in and around the fashion industry for the last 4 years so my interests have always lay within arts and crafts, but I’ve only recently started making my own hats and fascinators. I’m off to London next month to embark on a yearlong millinery course so you could say that crafting is definitely in my future.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting ‘The Living Room’?
Educating people about the worth of handmade goods. I think there is still a lack of understanding here in HK about quality. Most people just go for what’s cheapest rather than what’s well made.
Where do you hope to see ‘The Living Room’ in a few years’ time?
As I’m leaving HK I’m going to hand over the reigns to someone else which sucks but I hope the market grows into a bigger event with more vendors and more support from the community. If I was hanging around then I’d definitely want it to become a more permanent feature of the HK fashion dynamic.
So tell us a little about yourself.
Born and bred in HK however lived the majority of my life on Lamma Island, a bohemian enclave 30 mins away from the thick of it. I used to be the editor of Juice Magazine HK whilst it was still alive and kicking so writing about art, music, fashion and clubbing comes easily. As I’m gearing up to leave HK I’ve been doing freelance writing as well as organising the market, but basically trying to get as much time with my friends and family as possible.
And your fashion style? Where do you draw your influences from?
My fashion style is pretty eclectic; I wear a lot of second hand/vintage clothes but mix it up with simple basics. My main influences are probably street fashion blogs like Facehunter or the Sartorialist, but I reckon vintage clothing shops are a good place to start for inspiration.
Any favourite designers?
I don’t really have any. I don’t follow specific designers so much as pick up on odds and ends from everyone.
Care to divulge some of your favourite shopping destinations here in HK?
Me and George is a huge must if you come through HK. It’s a chain of second-hand stores that sells a whole array of cheap cool stuff from Japan, you just have to have the patience to look through it all. I also love Retrostone in Causeway Bay. They have great one-off upcycled vintage clothes.
One last thing: watch this space for some street style shots after this weekend from The Living Room!
[Photo and image credits: Awon Golding]