Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What do you wish for the Asia's World City?

A growing list of wishes randomly made by anyone who is interested:
A beautiful, traditional Chinese Gardens like those in Suzhou
A better common sense on different things rather than just making money
A big central park like in NYC
A good outdoor music festival
A local art magazine with international perspective
A local movie magazine with international perspective
A more balanced governmental perspective not only focusing on economic growth but that can also see the value, which proactively supports a rich and diverse local cultural industry
A museum culture that's really inspiring but not this bureaucracy-minded shove.
A platform for researching, studying and exhibiting Asian cultures
A population reading good books, not just newspaper and magazines
A proper visual arts university
A public art gallery with a curatorial program to show the most cutting edge contemporary local and international work
A real national park with rangers preventing people from harming wildlife
A well equipped central library and laboratories for taking up research projects and lifelong education
A town square where people will gather and enjoy outdoor activities
Academic freedom
Accountable politicians

Active surrenderings (tribute to Jeanette Winterson)
Affordable housing for low-income people including artists, musicians, poets and martial artists, etc.
All the past, the present and the future visible in the city
An all female police force
An efficient, cheap and environment-friendly transport system
An end to civil servant run museums
An end to trailer fishing
An expressive environment
An independent public-funded Visual Arts Academy.
An interest in art
An ocean that we can swim in and air we can breathe
An opera house
Artificial nature
Artist in residency programs
Ban on all Styrofoam lunch boxes
Being a normal city
Better harbour protection
Better Mandarin language training
Bicycle lanes in the city
Big warehouse-type supermarkets
Career opportunities not only for painters but artists of all art forms
Cheaper Lychee Martinis
Clean air and unpolluted bodies of water
Clean and ecological toilet
Comprehensive social welfare system
Compulsory architecture courses for all real estate developers
Compulsory pay for plastic bags
Compulsory recycling programmes, particularly for glass
Conservation and preservation of historical sites, villages and farm fields
Control and regulation of the carbon emission from the Pearl River Delta
Cultural diversity

Curious minds
Decent English bookshops
Easier connections including cheaper flights to West and South Asia (India)
Easy access to the harbour which has to be enhanced
Education that encourages creative thinking - throughout primary and secondary level
English reinstated in schools as the common language of the world's business
Free from the Chinese Government's control
Free of MSG and promotion of organic food
Free university education
Good bands
Good Chinese newspaper
Good literary skills
Good museum bookshop
Grants for artist and curators from and to all over the world
Greater environmental consciousness
Green parks and open public spaces for dogs and children
Hakka museum
Heritage management model
Hong Kong New New Wave Cinema
International art biennial
International contemporary-only visual art fair
Investment in capital projects that build the infrastructure for technology development instead of Disneyland, only a theme park of very low service industries.
Jealousy free zones
Keeping the judicial system strong and just.
Legislation on “fair trade”, sex education and human rights issues
Less administrative-driven policies in different kinds and levels of institutions
Less construction and less digging of cables on the streets
Less gossip magazines
Less inflated housing/rental cost.
Less internet/media control and self-censorship
Less mobile phone talk in public places
Less slogans
Lively street cultures
Local collectors for Hong Kong art
Lots and lots of benches, everywhere, without partitions
Low costs round trip flights to and from Hong Kong
Maintaining low crime rate with better-paid policemen who are not prone to corruption
Mature and intelligent public administrators/politicians
Media of better quality
Minimalist government (just doing what essential)
Minimum wage
Mobile hot dog booths
More cinemas showing art house films
More curators
More education on not dumping clothes every season
More English: a Master of Fine Arts program in Writing at the universities
More funds for liberal arts education
More international news in local newspapers
More local contemporary artists' works shown
More Mexican restaurants
More of a place where is adequate time for history and memory, rather than a site for transients.
More professional and international standard film stars and singers
More programs for students to travel abroad to widen their horizons
More progressive experimental art making than profit-driven art practice
More public spaces
More respect for others’ privacy
More schools that promote creative and lateral thinking
More statistic and research for arts/social aspects
More types of curators
More vegetarian restaurants (for Buddhism and Hinduism are major philosophical /religious traditions in Asia).
Muffed but glowing mornings
Multiculturalism that can transcend racism
Museum of contemporary art
No calling ourselves 'cultural wasteland'
No discrimination against people from South East Asia or anyone whose skin is darker than Chinese
No earning money for earning more money
No gossips and rumors that some simply use as a sport to discredit honorable individuals
No more art with stupid Chinese laughing faces
No more big white elephants
No more East-meet-West cliché
No more high rises especially in already congested areas
No more highways and shopping malls
No more signs telling us what to do such as "this park is NON SMOKING!"
No more TV soap operas
No nationality as majority
No one pushing each other while walking on the street
Not only functional but stylish public facilities
Open and free minds
Pensions for the elderly to really live on
People-oriented development (of places)
Permanent and lively Stanley market
Polite taxi drivers
Political action on environmental protection
Promoting a culture of philanthropy especially to support the arts
Proper waste disposal into our waters to save our marine life
Public space that really allows people to interact
Quality art exhibitions
Quality gigs on the streets
Quality healthcare for all and paying government medical practitioners competitive salaries so they remain to serve the public
Quality museums
Rational debate
Real home-ownership
Real lawn for people to sit on
Rebuilding old architectures just like the ones in the good old days
Recycling construction materials
Requiring planting more trees in all new property developments and their surrounding
Respect and space for animals and plants
Revolutionists (in different aspects)
Rich arts and culture
Saving electricity at night
Sidewalk cafes
Simpler admission procedures for would-be migrants
Slow living
Smart and attractive architectural and urban design, particularly on waterfronts
Social and personal responsibilities to the elderly and children
Speaking foreign languages
Stronger protests
Sunsets in the east
Sustained funding of cultural bodies
Taxi drivers able to understand tourists in English
The Clock Tower

True blue sky
Universal suffrage
University admittance for all pass grades
Values that are less money-oriented
Wet markets permanent in Central
Working hard playing hard
World-class galleries
Yin-Yan' instead of 'Starbuck'

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Recently there are all these spams as comments left in my blog. Before I learn how to delete them, just don't click into any hyperlink if you're not sure about the source.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wishes for Asia's World City

Dear friends,

I'm working on a new project about propaganda of the "Asia's World City" for which I need to compile a "wish" and "wish not" list for Hong Kong as reference. I hope you could contribute your ideas of what makes the "Asia's World City" and what not. Then I will draft a list of what all of you think Hong Kong deserves to have but not really yet got it. Here I put a couple of mine to start it off:

museum of contemporary art
free university education

Please help out to make this list longer. It will be interesting to see the result of this list after so many of you take part or make it. Simply send me a couple of "wishes" by email. All contributors will remain anonymous.

I look forward to your reply soon.

best regards,

Leung Chi Wo


Got up at 4am to go to visit Borobudur, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Very impressive indeed and really worth sleeping a bit less.

I met these students who started conversation with me as part of their exam of their English course.

Dadou in Jogia

I had a very nice chat with Davide “Dadou” Quadrio of BizArt before he returned to Shanghai after a meeting with colleagues from Singapore, Manila and here Jogia. They have started a collaboration on a project with young curators in the region. Sometimes I really feel we might progressing in a similar direction as there’re more social/economic exchanges in Asia as in different places there’re drives for development of curatorial practice as Para/Site has implemented its curatorial programme.
It’s almost become a usual topic about the art market boom in Asia and the up-roaring price of contemporary Chinese art recently when you talk to anyone from the art community in Asia. Our conversation is no exception. Of course it also touched the idea of independent art organizations. In China’s context, an “non-profit” art space could also represent artists in art fairs. Somehow Dadou was proud that he didn’t do. Not that he had problem with commercial gallery practice, he’s bothered by the fact that you’re doing it but claiming something else.
By the end of the meeting, there’s also Daphne who once worked in the New Museum in New York but now lives in Shanghai and works with Dadou. Small world it is; she’s also from De Appel and her study here was partly due to Tobias’ advice!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cemeti Art House

Cemeti Art House is located in a very nice premise, the second one that they moved in about 10 years ago. It’s very spacious and bright. Just so open that it merges inside and outside, like most houses here in Jogia. At the moment when I got there, they are packing the exhibits after the show of a Dutch resident artist.

Nice hotel

Arrived in Jogia on Friday at 8am, a little rain as backdrop it gave me an impress as a tropical garden. Indeed on my way to the hotel, there’re always rows of small houses, normally of one storey only. Mella booked me in a hotel of very inexpensive rate. To my surprise, it could be really one of the best I ever have stayed. I got a nice room facing the garden, full of trees and plants. There was also even a waterfall as a feature linked to the swimming pool. As it’s early, I had a nice power nap before I met anyone.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Asian Tour

Just embarked a tour to different cities in Asia, something I'd always like but not manage to do so. Last night I arrived in Jakarta at 7:30pm, too late to visit the people of Ruang Rupa. I simply stayed quiet in the hotel to wait for the early morning connecting flight to Yogyakarta (Jogya as commonly called). Not yet having seen the city of Jakarta, I saw it's infamous traffic jam from my window of the hotel which located somewhere between the airport and the city.

My first meal in Jakarta