hbl notes

giant mahjong gym lockers Hong Kong-esque breakfast table trivets.

Chinese-style hot water bottle wine cases egg-tart paper liner postcards.

defunct restaurant ‘Ho Lee Fok’ sign doormats old newspaper print garments.

Hum Barn Larng,

Ham Barn Larng is a Cantonese slang phrase that means all or everything. Hong Kong is Hum Barn Larng, and G.O.D. is “everything Hong Kong in a brand.” ‘Goods of Desire’ is a maverick of creative pursuit, its designers revolutionary pioneers pushing boundaries and redefining the world of art and fashion. Within the physical limitations of Hong Kong.

It’s taken over the world

  • Search results are the same,
  • Compared to canned food

These are your resources, the fresh things, Young: “to me these are treasure”, Should be inspired these things

  • Collected for 20+ years, House, exchange online, second hand shop, E.g. complete sets of furniture donated by schools, In shops, use complete sets of furniture- PMQ store uses Saint Paul Coette school- throwing away desks, cupboards

§ Not the same to replace with ikea furniture, “UGH”

§ “So valuable but worth so little money

Young calls himself a “cultural entrepreneur,”

- The brand to represent Chinese cultural evolution

- Take Chinese traditions and culture to evolve it, inject new things into it

o Make it trendy and fashionable

- Desire to express his own identity,

o Not enough people in HK are honest with their own history- too westernized

§ E.g. he incorporated Chinese in design projects during time in England, but taught it was no good

“As a hybrid person,” he says, referring to himself, “ ….,” having spend exactly half of his life in England and the other half in Hong Kong.

- Training in architecture, but HK architecture is rigid, and I wanted to do creative things

- Internationally minded, imaginative

- Customers are not locals-

o If you never leave HK, you don’t appreciate how special it is, but once you leave, you realize it’s full of meaning

- Want to give people a piece of authentic Hong Kong, but with international standard, comparable to world trend

o That he learned in UK

Western and Eastern should be very fluid

- Fusing things that are not usually mixed- unlikely combinations

o Clothing- Chinese styles, western materials and colors

§ E.g. Chinese clothes, denim, sexy, not traditional, not loose fitting, futuristic

- Abacus- instead of QWERTY

- “East meets west”- overused by creates energy, sparks, contrast

o As an Asian designer, add things that people never blended before

o Western world- design/esp architecture education always starts with Greeks, Romans

§ But HK- cornucopia of resources

Emphasizes: not antiques, rather twilight zone

- Not from Ming, Qing- can get at sotherby’s, museums

o Not interesting because people who used it are dead

- Like things where people of a certain age would see it and connect with it

- Enjoys seeing parents talking to children about their past,

o “This is what it’s all about”

Values the “essence of the education, rather than results.”

- Knowledge is like food- eat it in, shit some out.

o Get the essence of it, need to digest it- that’s education

- Need to teach children to digest

Karon Ng, intern for 2 summers, “Cabinet of Curiosities”

- Young: young people, may not have seen/used the things, but make them curious

Hong Kong’s multitude of diversity paired with the restricted physical proximity of everything

- Through the clamor of activity arises commonality and originality.

  • Pinnacle of individuality,
  • Hong Kong is a city rich with culture and steeped in history, that fuels continuous change and ongoing dialogue. It is an amalgam of subtle paradoxes: a community defined by opposing factors that reinforce one another. It is at once old and new, eastern and western, creating a culture of commonality and intimacy where diverse minds grapple with the same tall buildings, dilapidated roads and natural wonders.
  • The G.O.D. studio is a microcosm of Hong Kong, a hub of non-stop activity. One wall is lined with hundreds of old tin mailboxes, another plastered with a variety of different wooden clocks. Wide window sills sitting high above the ground is filled with old wooden furniture, and a platform sticking out from the wall carries a row of broken theatre seats. A huge glass bottle chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and the back room is taken up by a steel gate, telephone booth, electric fans and even ten-year-old rolls of dried preserved noodles.
  • Douglas Young, 50, is the man behind all of this. Call him what you will- antiques collector, hoarder, even crazy, but Young has created an ideal environment for burgeoning creativity. The “street culture museum,” as he refers to it, serves as a pillar of consistency amidst a flurry of activity that allows his designers to convene and realize their individual differences. G.O.D.’s senior designer, Ida Fung, says no Google. Young “Google is a disease/drug- you get addicted to it
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