ART HK 12

Over the weekend I went to ART HK 12, an annual art fair held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. International galleries came to HK for four days to display contemporary artwork. There was a focus on Asian artists as well as on young artists under 35.

I enjoy looking at art, particularly modern art, even though I don’t know what good art is. I was there for nearly five hours though and by the end of it, I felt that I had reached my quota for modern art for a while.

I was distracted by two things: firstly, there were a lot of people and some people (I saw about five) were touching the artwork! AGH! On the flip side, this was the first time I was in an environment where people were talking about purchasing US$500,000 pieces of art. That said, it was a great event and I was really appreciative that the general populace was welcome to look at and learn more about contemporary art.

I was not sure what the photography policy was. There was a sign saying no long lens cameras which seemed to imply that point and shoot cameras were permitted, but there was also a sign saying no photography. However, it wasn’t enforced unless there was a sign right by the artwork. I did snap a few shots of artwork I liked. I hope that’s alright.

Thought this title was amusing 😉

There was one exhibit featuring amazing advanced technology that allowed us to view the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas in Dunhuang, a small town in northwestern China, while still preserving it. We could point an iPad at different parts of the wall and the sensors would determine the corresponding view from that position.

Ai WeiWei’s work, displaying letters from the government regarding the schools that collapsed in the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.

Very life-like children dancer sculptures

The Exhibition Centre was in the Wan Chai area, which I hadn’t explored much on foot before. For lunch I wanted to try something different. However, I forgot how illiterate I was when it came to Chinese characters. Wan Chai, as opposed to Central, caters to a local crowd. As for Chinese food, most of the restaurants only have Chinese menus and no pictures.

Although there were a couple dishes I could piece together from words I knew, I decided to try a Filipino restaurant since I didn’t know much about that cuisine and there was English. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy what I got.

I chose pork adobo, assorted vegetables and rice. The pork tasted fine, a little salty and sour like the adobo I’ve had before. I didn’t realize until I got it that the pork was pork belly though and I didn’t feeling like eating so much fat for lunch. The food was kept heated from below before being dished out, resulting in lukewarm food.

I had a weird taste in my mouth after lunch. I walked into a bakery and picked up hot milk tea and bo lo bau (“pineapple bun”), my first one this trip! It also helped to cleanse my palate.

Milk tea is very strong steeped tea with carnation milk. My drink was creamy and delightful. Bo lo bau does not actually contain pineapple and is only named so because of the crumble topping that looks like pineapple skin. Bo lo bau is really just a big fluffy bun. They are very fresh in HK and so much fun to eat. Half the bun was more than enough to make me happy again.

After the art fair I was quite tired so I went to Cafe de Coral, a chain of HK restaurants, which serves standard HK-fare and is always reliable. I had Portuguese chicken and rice with iced milk tea. Portuguese chicken is a creamy, mild curry-like dish. This was very filling, even without eating all the rice.

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