An artist I discovered last year, Riva Christophe, spoke about how “in a completely different environment, you have to take off all the concepts you’ve been wearing. By doing so, movement occurs such as taking off the skin, scraping off something, and trying on something different.”
On my travels and throughout my life, I’ve gravitated towards kindred spirits who share my sense of curiosity and adventure. So I decided to ask some of my favorite humans who are lucky to call extraordinary destinations home: What are your top 3 off-the-beaten-track treasures in your city? And what would you wear while while exploring these secret havens?
Our next stop is the energetic city of Hong Kong, as seen through the eyes of home-grown experimental neon artist chankalun. A shopping mecca, gastronomic paradise, and boasting a stunning skyline, Hong Kong stands out with its extraordinary fusion of Eastern and Western influences.
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Not only because it has been serving Hong Kong for almost 120 years, each wooden tram is a unique piece of local craftsmanship, carrying with it a rich history and charm. When I hop on the tram, I'm transported to a world of romance, with the wind gently caressing my face as I take in the city's mesmerizing skyline.
One of my most treasured moments is sharing this enchanting journey with my boyfriend, Fred. We bring along a bottle of wine and two cups, settling into the back seat of the upper deck as we embark on an hour-long adventure from Sheung Wan to North Point.
You would go from the historical and dried seafood neighborhood in Sheung Wan, stretching to the dynamic Central district, to the busy Wan Chai area and slowly to the residential Fortress Hill, and finally landing at the busy market in North Point where the tram will need to stop as people would be filled up on the tram rail to buy last minute groceries for dinner that night. The Back Loop Dress would be an elegant dress for my romantic date with my boyfriend. In my favorite Colbalt Blue, and I like the surprise of showing a bit of my sexy back.
The heart of Sham Shui Po is still beating the strong street culture of Hong Kong - I also like this neighborhood because it is being rejuvenated from a fabric district to a hipster area now. Walking in Sham Shui Po, it is very common nowadays to find an old-style fabric and button store that is sandwiched by a trendy cafe and vinyl CD store, modern lifestyle shop, or even a vegan restaurant!
It's the little treasures that make this place special - like a tiny shop filled with Japanese mangas or a quaint beer joint with Japanese aesthetics tucked under an old walk-up stairway. And the heartwarming sight of a corner spot serving as a refuge for stray cats fills my heart with joy.
In Sham Shui Po, I've experienced the true essence of old Hong Kong - a long lost sense of community (人情味), where neighbors greet each other with warmth and kindness. It's these genuine encounters that make this neighborhood a true gem, offering a glimpse of the past while embracing the spirit of the present.
I would wear a garment from the NOT x LIENX agar-bioplastic capsule in Shum Shui Po as I strongly support sustainable fashion. I think the interesting pattern would create conversations with the locals from this former fabric district.
Whenever I have the luxury of time, I find peace in taking the ferry across Victoria Harbour, from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui. The experience is simply magical, especially during sunset. The gentle sea breeze caresses my skin, and the waves glimmer with a golden hue.
As the ferry cruises, the enchanting view reveals the majestic skylines of both Hong Kong and Kowloon, set against the backdrop of a pastel-colored sky resembling a canvas of soft marshmallows. It's a moment that fills me with awe and gratitude for the beauty of my city. The stripes of NOT's Cropped Curve Rib Top remind me of the sailor pattern, and the curves definitely resonate with the waves on Victoria Harbor.
The only female and experimental neon artist in Hong Kong | TEDxSpeaker | SCMP Women Of Our Time 2022
Targeted to increase awareness and enrich female empowerment in the male-dominant neon industry, her neon art explores new media and technology that gives new meanings to neon lights. Her mission is keep the neon legacy alive and kicking through her experiments. Find chankalun at theneongirl.com and @chankalun.