Chinese Art, Chinese Masters of Art
Day 5 - High Class Art Store.
by Armstrong

Day 5 - High Class Art Store.

hong kong chinese art supplies

I walked way into Hong Kong centre and to one side of a strange underground / overground carpark was something titled as an 'ART STORE' in English. Stepping through the doorway I was stunned at the degree of art I saw and thought "if one suffered from  'ostentatious gasconadicy'  then this was their parlour-elite.  

Ornately Carved Fossilised Mamoth Tusk.
£2,800,000ukp
$28,000,000hkd

Yes, if you're a Mammoth and you're shares in flint fell through the cave floor, sell one of your tusks after giving it a bit of a whittle instead. You'll be set up for life.

The degree of carving  in this tusk was absolutely beyond everything I have encountered so far across my ten years of study in China's arts. I asked one of the pristinely attired staff if they could enlighten me as to the items history and origin.  The irritated salesman told me that he would get into trouble if his boss caught me filming or photographing their stock.
Because of the price of the item I found it tricky to say, "Well, I'm going to show this to a prospective client." I'm just not your everyday carevd Mammoth Tusk salesman. So, after two shots the camera went away. Some say, ask first. I say, Take first, suffer the reprimand later.

After thirty years in the Photographic world of Journalism, Commercial Photography and lengthy conversations with Sir Peter Maisefield in the 80's regarding P.R. photography and how intriguing HE found it... you learn that the politics in 'etiquettique' renders nothing.

He who asks, sometimes doesn't get.
He who dares... wins.

If you look at the top of the tusk (See it full size HERE)  this is a house and garden completely carved in another Mammoth's tusk found in the same region. Apologies for the quality of the image. The spotlighting was powered by lazer it seemed and time was tight as the man in charge briskly strutted over to me.  
He did tell me, though, that over 14 different people carved this and each was given a particular element to focus on. Someone did the tree trunks. Someone did the leaves. Someone did the flowers. Others did clothes, male, female. And so on.
It reminded me of the Celebratory ink Stone carevd in the Qianlong gardens celebrating Calligraphy and the Birth of Writing. The ink stone is about 66 tons. Has something like 11 dragons on it and was carved by 11 of the countries finest craftsmen.

Anyway... on the tusk itself the trees and buildings are incredible but there must be about 60 people carved into this tusk. Each one with a facial expression and clothing to the period as well. Each doing something - carrying something - working on something.
Each with a facial expression. When you look at it in detail right down to the creases in each persons cheeks from a frown or smile....... £3m doesnt really do it justice.

JADE CARVING....

We have all seen jade carvings. But this store must have had about 200 such models in it and some of these carvings were at least 7 feet across. This shot I discreetly snuck out without anyone "getting annoyed."

The thing that stunned me the most..... Jade isnt the hardest of stone, but thats not to say its easy to create this Horse. The tricky issue is..... the mane.

I could not believe the fineness of this mane or the lack of mistakes.

And many other carvings had basket weave with the tiny holes through and each weave was in perfect condition.  The ciolour of the stone is one thing but the artists carve their subjects according to the waves and washes of colour swirl within the stone.

Its not just a case of carving something to suit the artist. The artist uses the flow and marks inside the stone and its "impurities" to generate something that compliments the carving and almost makes it look as if the stone was made for the subject to appear.

Sadly I was not allowed to take any more photos than I have shown here.  I felt very alone there as I wandered about gazing at these intricately carved stones which had trailing hairs and limbs that, with the brush of a finger, would simply snap off. Yet every one was in perfect condition and incredibly beautiful. This was an art store for someone with money to burn in five figure lumps. This horse, for instance, would set you back over £200,000ukp.


Wednesday, 2 December, 2015, 18:30

by Armstrong

  Yau Sang Cheong
Cheung Wah Coml Bldg, Yau Ma Tei
Chinese Brush Makers/Chinese Art Supplies
Country / Area : Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Contact Person : Mr Yuk-Keung LeeJob : Manager...

Telephone :  (852) 23328881
Fax Number : (852) 27821597
Address : Block B, 3/F , Cheong Wah Commercial Building , 3-5 Saigon Street ,
Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong
Lum Weng Kong

On the 5th day in Hong Kong  the most memorable event was seeing the Art materials in another supreme Chinese Art Store... Yau Sang Cheong

I can't emphasise enough just how inspiring all this stock is when you stand amongst it and realise this is every day to the Chinese Artist.

The most important things to me are, if I can state this from a westerners point of view... Ink Sticks, paper and Brushes. Though an underside of all these is of course........... the Felt the paper rests upon. important that it repels water enough.

There were pots of brushes that appeared to eb the same but actually on furthe rinspection.... the makers were the difference.


(Attn: You may find that some characters on this page do not display properly unless you have something like Chinese GB18030 Encoding enabled for your browser font. If youre not sure, try this... Go to VIEW > ENCODING > MORE Chinese (GB18030) or just  VIEW > ENCODING > UNICODE (UTF-8)
 >  

 

Something I hadnt thought about. Because we dont have the resource of so many choices in the west regarding Chinese Art Materials. Here though you can get used to and appreciate AND re-purchase brushes from certain makers of your chjoice of you like the way they handle. 

Not an easy thing to achieve living in Europe for sure.

The range was staggering. The papers were beautiful and the range was excelling. I noticed that there were rolls  of xuen paper here about 150 feet long by three feet for the best part of £9ukp. $90hkd. $14usd. Thats a good price. "Standard" packs of paper (if I can use that term too!) were in the region of $700hkd to about $4000hkd (About £400ukp, $650usd )

But the range of  hues and textured was very inspiring. Some with flowers inside the p[aper fibres. Some with petals and some with what looked like whole grass stems pressed and woven in the fibres.

I feel a little sadness as I wander through this store becaause Europe is completely blind to this. Some reason exists as to why SOMEONE somewhere hasnt opened up a store and advertised it on a national scale. I cant believe that little Guanghwa in London attracts poeple from Poland, Switzerland, France and Germany  and yet something on a collosal scale, like this, would not attract business from further afield aside from its being able to promote the chinese arts in a superior fashion to what it does now.

Its embarrassing almost, Britains ignorance of the Chinese arts. Chu Lei Lei aside, an, yes, even with his prescence in the UK, we still dont really have anything other than an abbrecviated British slant in the Chinese arts.

Britains ignorance of the Chinese Calligraphic and artistic origin is as embarrassing as its butchery of Tea so no surprises there really. Yao Sang Cheong opened my eyes to the pride that's had in a store that, for five generations has stood and sold art materials to the public...

 

 

..... and the Man who owns the store now..... well, you can see the degree of pride behind his ideas and operations because the store couldn't hold any more stock if it tried.

Every ledge and stand and shelf simply bulges with every artray of carved table ornamentation, seal stone variation in size, grain and stone color, but the best of this is that the literature side of the store is as elaborate too. So, if you're a progressing artist you can sift through books of all sizes of all prices and find something that will, by example, carry you on to the next level and by the next level I really mean that. These art stores have masters selling you the weares and can teach and explain your needs quite clearly even if conversationally their english stutters a little.

The examples of Calligraphy on the walls are just beautiful. It, really, was too much for me to take in because the range of Brushes, something for which I have gained a new respect and understanding for, was too much for me to know or understand.

Yeo Sang Cheong apparently are brush makers. So if I want a brush made form the hairs of one of my miniature horses, this is where I need to send the bristles.

I hope you find something useful in this page bnecause this store really is a diamond for the Chinese Artist.  The prices were stunningly low and the suplpies beautifully arranged and just pouring out with variety.

I will return to these places in another year.
For now, I ahve some wonderful resources to use and hopefully, my work will slowly start to lean towatds Chao Shao-ans' style a little more byt he years end.

Thankyou for reading.


Wednesday, 2 December, 2015, 00:10

Chinese Art, China Art news, Chinese Brushes, Chinese Paper, Chinese Ink
Yao Sang Cheung - Chinese Art Supplies Hong Kong
by Armstrong

 Yau Sang Cheung
Cheung Wah Coml Bldg, Yau Ma Tei
Chinese Brush Makers/Chinese Art Supplies
Country / Area : Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Contact Person : Mr Yuk-Keung LeeJob : Manager...

Telephone :  (852) 23328881
Fax Number : (852) 27821597
Address : Block B, 3/F , Cheong Wah Commercial Building , 3-5 Saigon Street ,
Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong
Lum Weng Kong

On the 5th day in Hong Kong  the most memorable event was seeing the Art materials in another supreme Chinese Art Store... Yau Sang Cheong

I can't emphasise enough just how inspiring all this stock is when you stand amongst it and realise this is every day to the Chinese Artist.

The most important things to me are, if I can state this from a westerners point of view... Ink Sticks, paper and Brushes. Though an underside of all these is of course........... the Felt the paper rests upon. important that it repels water enough.

There were pots of brushes that appeared to be the same but actually on further inspection.... the makers were the difference. Something I hadn't thought about.

 Because we dont have the resource of so many choices in the west regarding Chinese Art Materials. Here, though, you can get used to and appreciate AND re-purchase brushes from certain makers of your choice if you like the way they handle. 

Not an easy thing to achieve living in Europe for sure.

The range was staggering. The papers were beautiful and the variety excelling. I noticed that there were rolls  of xuen paper here about 150 feet long by three feet for the best part of £9 ukp. $90 hkd. $14 usd. Thats a good price.
"Standard" packs of paper (if I can use that term too!) were in the region of $700hkd (£63ukp) to about $4000hkd (About £370ukp, $650usd )

But the range of  hues and texture was very inspiring. Some with flowers inside the paper fibres. Some with petals and some with what looked like whole grass stems pressed and woven in the fibres.

I feel a little sadness as I wander through this store becaause Europe is completely blind to this. Some reason exists as to why SOMEONE somewhere hasnt opened up a store and advertised it on a national scale. I cant believe that little Guanghwa in London attracts poeple from Poland, Switzerland, France and Germany  and yet something on a collosal scale, like this, would not attract business from further afield aside from its being able to promote the chinese arts in a superior fashion to what it does now.

Its embarrassing; Britains ignorance of the Chinese arts. Chu Lei Lei aside, and, yes, even with his prescence in the UK, we still dont really have anything other than an abbreviated British slant in the Chinese arts.

Britains ignorance of the Chinese Calligraphic and artistic origin is as embarrassing as its butchery of Tea so no surprises there really. Yao Sang Cheong opened my eyes to the pride that's had in a store that, for five generations, has stood and sold art materials to the public with elegance and pride...

 

..... and the Man who owns the store now..... well, you can see the degree of perfection behind his ideas and operations because the store couldn't hold any more stock if it tried.

Every ledge and stand and shelf simply bulges with every array of carved table ornamentation, seal stone variation in size, grain and stone color, but the best of this is that the literature side of the store is as elaborate too.

So, if you're a progressing artist you can sift through books of all sizes of all prices and find something that will, by example, carry you on to the next level and by the next level I really mean that. These art stores have masters selling you the wares and can teach and explain your needs quite clearly even if conversationally their english stutters a little.

The examples of Calligraphy on the walls are just beautiful. It really was too much for me to take in because the range of Brushes, something for which I have gained a new respect and understanding for, was too much for me to know or understand.

Yeo Sang Cheong apparently are brush makers. So if I want a brush made from the hairs of one of my miniature horses, this is where I need to send the bristles.

I hope you find something useful in this page bnecause this store really is a diamond for the Chinese Artist.  The prices were stunningly low and the supplies beautifully arranged and just pouring out with variety.

I will return to these places in another year.
For now, I have some wonderful resources to use and hopefully, my work will slowly start to lean towards Chao Shao-ans' style a little more by the years end.


Monday, 30 November, 2015, 22:49

Chinese Art, Chinese Brushes, Chinese Paper, Chinese Ink, Chinese Accessories, Chao Shao-an
Day 2. I finally met Elaine Yip.
by Armstrong

   Day 2. Elaine Yip and Man Luen Choon.  

After having been in touch with Elaine through the Chinese Arts for about 10 years I finally got the chance to meet her in HongKong for the very first time. This penpal of the adult world who for a decade has been text in an email client. Though it wasn't easy and I did wonder whether we were ever going to find one another.  I stood on the corner of an extremely busy city centre high street and waited in this strange land texting Elaine now and then and trying to make sure I was by the right place. Saigon street, its name photographed and analysed by a phone OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program for Chinese to English is precarious to say the least especially when "Elephant" seems to come in as a potential meaning for one character on its own!!!! 
So... when you're new to an area and finding exit "B" of the MTR station in Chinese is daunting as well despite having studied the language for a decade. .

However, finally a face I recognised amidst the crowds and our first event was to sit in a restaurant on the 2nd floor of an incredible office block ( I think) and have lunch and Traditional Chinese Tea. Proper Tea. My favourites being Oolong and Teh Quan Yin.  Something I had promised my self to do for years.

Teh Kuan Yin was the order of the day, something common in China I suspect but rare in the UK.  The food Elaine ordered..... I simply said I'd go along with whatever was most Chinese.    The food consisted of a large arrangement of small filled Dumplings, sauces and noodles and something frighteningly close to a sort of cuttlefish egg sack!!!!! At least they weren't still wriggling. Quite a variety, otherwise, actually. Delicious. The tea was flowery though I suspect in China they do not know of the brown stuff served as Tea in Europe.

We spoke of Art, the surrounds, the way the restaurant worked and the people who startwed to gather all around us.  When we walked in we were the 2nd table of about 30. Within a short while the entire place was heaving with people. The food was excellent and the day was slipping through my fingers again.

After lunch we made out way through the town towards Man Luen Choon.  This was to be the highlight of the year and something I was not prepared for as I walked up the crowded alleyway street towards an opening in a building because Man Luen Choon does not have a shop front, but rather is upstairs in the middle of a large building without windows. 

 

          Man Luen Choon  

 As we walked through the doorway I could not believe my eyes. The area was huge, much bigger than I expedted and heaving with art materials in the Chinese style. I have never seen so many Brushes in so many different style and containers. Incredible.

The things that struck me the most were the variety of xuen paper and types. Secondlty the cost of everything was about a third to a fifth of what Europe normally pays for these items on ebay and from the states. But thirdly, the cost of the brushes was alot more than I expected , not because they were not worth it, but because they deserved more respect than I had given them. My failing.  Paint brushes and Calligraphy bruishes in China are serious business.

It was incredible to look through the store. The library of books was almost eternal and most publications were in Chinese by 98% (nothing new there) so I inadvertantly found two superb books by Chau Shau-an. My current master by example. One book came with a 22 gig DVD which, to my amazement when I got back to England, contained about 6 tutorial videos by Chau himself. Absolutely a bonus. Now I can see how the brush lays on the paper and how the paint is supposed to work. Stunning. very happy to see this.

I made a short video in the store as the people there were impressed that I wanted to document the place and put it on the web for europe. So I had free run to photograph the premises and stock for the video coming later.  The master there explained about Wild Horse Hair Brushes and supplied me with about 5 medium ranging brushes. He said these were the style Chau used for his works and that also I should use the cotton fibre paper for my work and studies as this was not sized but neither was it raw. And it would work correctly for the style of Shau-an.

So enjoyable to sit and listen to a master who teaches Chinese arts and who works in the store as well. An incredble day.... 

Later Elaine took me to see a tea treader and in this store I saw  that you could buy a pound (1 lb) of tea for around $3,800:00 hk dollars, which is about £380uk pounds. For 1lb of tea.  Yes, in China when you say, "Would you like a cup of tea?.. or "Nǐ xiÇĊ½ng hÄ“ bÄ“i chá?" It most definitely  won't be the stewed freeze dried chopped stems the west are so conditioned to accept as tea.
It was funny in the store becasue I smelt the teh Quan Yin and it was flowery and soft scented; delicious. I know this Tea, I can say with confidence. But the oolong.... I smelt the sample packet and it was actually faint but sour. I frowned, smelled it once more.... definitely sour.
"It's sour!" I announced to Elaine who also frowned and took the sample to smell. The man behind the counter looked very concerned and fussed about for a completely new packet. He opened this one and smelt it himself before handing me that one. He took the "sour" one.
I smelt the new packet and, ahhh, thats Oolong. Oolong has a kind of  deep liquid scent you cant mistake for anything else.
The man behind the counter was so imrpoessed that a westerner has identified "bad tea" that I was given a free packet of Teh Quan Yin with my order of two tins of TQY and Oolong.  I parted with the cost for these teas, knowing I would not return to HongKong or any other tea shop for quite some time... so I spent extravagantly on my two tins of tea.... and came away happy.
At home in Scotland I have about 30 different types of tea and about three varieties at least of Teh Quan yin. 
Tonight in the hotel I will try these teas. If you think tea is typhoo, yorkshire (make me alugh, ) or PGTips, think again. your drinking freeze dried cuttings shredded and blasted with the treated sap powders which contain caffiene and tannin of no taste.
Spend some time searching out Chinese Tea leaves and take a drinnk from a teapot and realise the conditioning you've suffered because the taste of real tea is wonderufl and makes having a "cuppa" really worthwhile and educational.

Some of the teas I have are small mandarins stripped out fo the wet fruit, the skin is then packed tightly with tea, and the "lid" put back on. The  this little fruit is wrapped in foil and left in a drying house for a year or two.
Then sold.
I have about a dozen types of this tea and they are all wonderful and not drenched with the tang of citrus either, the end result os a much finer softer flowery flavour sometimes not evben remotely like citrus at all.
Its a side interest of mine because China has SO so many types of tea. Yellow, Orange, Black, Greem, Amber....... and then there's japanese teas like a fine green powder that sometimes smells of chocolate. Sometimes roses.
....  and in the west.... we have brown sludge. Freeze dried and sprayed back onto stems and stalks. Masses of tannin to coat the blood veins and caffeine.

Many types of Chinese tea don't have caffeine or Tannin. But the west doesn't know this. Most types of tea taste flowery and have been aged in tea huts for 5 to ten years sometimes and then smoked...  commonly, but the west doesn't know anything further than PG tips and (shudder) Yorskshire tea. "The taste of home" whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.  Compared to Yun Nan Puer Po Nee... you'd wonder why Englsih Supermarkets do NOT stock Chinese teas when they are in SUCH massive abundance in China.

On that note, I bought some very elite The Quan Yin (1/2 lb) for little under $600 hkd from a very upmarket Tea shop Elaine showed me. Something you have to do once. 
Some of the teas in there were priced at about $3800:00hkd for 1/2 lb. 
Now you may be able to undertsand why I was so intent on Elaine taking me to a Tea shop as a prioritised element of my Visit to HongKong. But I didnt expect to see £3000+++  tins of dried leaves.  But it was exciting to see them. And realise that tea in China is taken very very seriously.

So a big thankyou to Elaine for a wonderful day and for spending alot of time being my translator, showing me around HongKong, Taking me to Man Luen Choon, Introducing me to a very elite Tea Trader (where I puirchasd some fine Teh Quan Yin and Oolong) and for chasing over 50 taxis until we found one happy enough to take me the one mile back to the hotel.  taxi's in HongKong seem to come from another planet.

Bit like me, really!  

======================================+++===============================

 

 

 

 


Wednesday, 25 November, 2015, 00:35

by Armstrong

   HongKong or Bust!

Day 1.

Finally I stood, for all the world to see, on Chinese Soil. HongKong, then, for me was something I had to see and mainly because, buried amidst this intense society of workaholics rattling about their business undaunted and undistracted by the mass of "everything" churning past, there are two Chinese Art Stores of some repute but otherwise rather hidden on the internet.

After Maxine and I had unpacked and sorted out what we were going to wear in the hotel we went outside and for the second time I felt the heat and humidity contrast from inside to out (inside which was too cold to wear just a shirt in almost all establishments.)  Its the first time my glasses steamed up going outside and I had to put something warm to wear on going inside. The air cons were set to really too low. I took a sweater with me most places. Laugh, but to begin with the air temp is nice. Then.... you shiver.
An 'Education' then.

It's when you can stand back and take in whole chunks of this landscape; see the entirety of this massive working industrious engine of the Chinese People, that you really appreciate how fast it's all grown and how changing the landscape is even as I write.

The first we noticed as the plane comes in for landing is how busy the harbour is. There are so many boats and ships and barges but not particularly of any size... (and sadly no junks that I could see either... :(  )  just holding, in some cases, one or two "containers" as stored and hauled about every harbour on earth.

Making our way from the airport via train (some kind of underground) was interesting. The train has no intersected carriages so you can see from one end all the way down the full mile to the other end. Going round corners you see the end swinging about until you also take the turn. Interesting to see and something visually poetic about it too.

The people all queue up to board the train but as soon as the secondary glass doors open (Youre held in a contained platform where the train arrives behind glass panels and when the train doors open then the glass doorways also open. No chance of suicides here.)  the ordered queues reform to become a raucus crowd hurtling themselves into the tube train en masse and clinging onto any bar, spring or security they can before the train whistles off again.

Exciting times and my brain at this point is racing through what I might find in these two art stores. The main one being Man Luen Choon. A store that to this day only has about 1 image half a dozen times on any search engine of its wares. I hope to change that internationally. People need to see, not only that Chinese art supplies are a fifth the prices they're paying in the US and Ebay arenas,  but that the range and variety of papers and accessories is leagues above what has been seen in the west so far.

It's like some un-guarded secret; some unspoken order than denies access to such materials any further than the chinese broder. I'll post a page or three on the stores I found here and also make a standalone page to advertise what they do and what they stock. So if you're a chinese artist, I suggest you bookmark this because it will hold links to real eye openers.

 Maxine and I stepped out into the high street and were faced with the glitzy modern... but it doesnt take long to discover that in so many places the shabby backend sits between these buildings and scratches along in an altogether environment. It's a real eye opener. On the one hand you can step into a modern very high tech shopping mall and the outside high street oozes with metallic modernity and efficient technology...

Turn a corner and you'll see that somehow the poorer Chinese have bypassed the effects of hygene and are living in conditions and working in environments that make you grimace but walk forwards to see anyway.

One stall I noticed showed marketeers changing the fish from the polystyrene containers into tanks to "revive them" and slapped out some more into the water filled polistyrene containers to swim about and look lively and fresh.

Beside this was a girl cutting their heads off as they flapped about and fin and tailing them for a customer and aside down a thin alley where the market extended on another day  I saw live chickens and ducks being handled in exactly the same manner.

While this siunds barbaric the freshness of the meats involved do not contain disease because if the food was prepped before hand and laid out in poly boxes as over here.... it would go bad in the same morning. The temperatures here are 25 to 30 degrees c. The humidiy is like drinking the air some afternoons. So be prepared if you're not aware.


      FOOD TO GO....  

It's not everyones cup of tea to have their lunch performing death throes in their shopping bags but no less tricky looking about the markets and shops that have their wares on trays and boxes outside either. Its a horrifically delightful explorative affair looking at what on the one hand appears to be a chicken leg drumstick................. but that seems to have been genetically grafted onto something that looks like a cuttlefish cross octopus bladder. Don't ask me! I just took the picture.

(Left.) there are whart appear to be spare ribs but the acrid smell of carrion doesn't do alot for my appetite. And aside from these delights there are always dried fish of every description and I mean every. Some of them look like they're crustaceons dried and, sort of inflated!!!!!! Well, they do! Vitamin "D" bubble gum?? Who knows.

In all, the markets were highly colourful and exciting because in these street markets, if you can turn your head away from the usual touristy crap on sale, you get a good cross section of the kind of common place in China and especially here, in HongKong, what sells. The Chinese are very tenacious and the stalls you see are stocked with what they are because such stock moves and you're the ones who mnake it so. 

I found on the whole the stalls held a wide variety of super-colourful nothings and trinkets you can't live without and I succumbed and bought a few.  A few???????? I hear you ask!
Yes, just a few.

Night Markets.
The night markets were fun to browse about in mainly because it's so late but people are rushing about like its saturday morning.  The lights and city lights mixed with the sizzling  smells of cafe's and restaurants and..... well, I'm not too sure what to call all the other 80% btu they are, suffice it to say, places where you sit down and eat the food thats cooked to order.

Scary.
On passing one cafe I did note that these long hairlike strands of fatty grease and clinging dust and.... what looked like fibres of "stuff" caught in the air.... it was all shiny, sticky, dribbling with oil, and was the deposit of fatty smoke above the friers that had caught all manner of pollution and grime and it literally hung in lengths about 15 inches down from the metal rafters the marquee draped across. The ceiling area was about thirty feet by about 15 above the "cooking area" of this semi-inside-outside cafe marquee and the people's food would have been spattered by this hanging drenched dark brown debri as the wind and passing traffic dislodged hunks of it to drop down on the floor anf tables and......

Stomache it!
Which is why I say, somehow the Chnese seem to have bypassed hygene and can live through anything free of poisoning and infection. But this is the way it was across so many places I saw. Trays of chicken thighs five deep and thirty across sitting on cardboard on a wall with a man selling them as his income. All afternoon in the ehat these things will sit there awaiting their custom.  While you're there you kind of see this stuff and dont respond to it.

 

   Markets...  



   HONG KONG PARK.  

HongKong Park. Now this is a place I saw on video on youtube one year... about 2007 or so. The person who video'd this also created a video of spiralling Koi Carp by the thousand.  This video I commented on and asked the person where they lived and what they most enjoyed doing. They said they lived in HongKong and enjoyed Art and painting  most.

From then on I wrote to Elaine Yip and when Maxine said we were going to HongKong I thought we have a friend there we can rely on for navigation and translation.   Now, I stood in HongKong park and it was a superb feeling to stand somewhere I imagined was impossible for me to see in the flesh. Around us was an aviary of about 100 feet high and 300 feet round. huge trees towered inside it and the birds flew both above us and below as we walked a gangway suspended from the ground.

It was beautiful to see these birds, now kind of tame to the public, and as I turned round one was sitting right besdie me and one was "talking"  to Maxine and curiously approaching.

Peace amidst chaos.
The oddity of this park is that, while  being quite large it's actually right in the middle of a busy city centre. The towering trees try to conceal the towering skyscrapers around uis and the drone of traffic, while being prevailant, is also hushed by shrill birdsong as you stand in this hot humid enclosure which feels like a rain forest.

The brids were in good variety  and there were also some incredible butterflies and moths whizzing past and hiding amongst the leaves.  The day was whistling by me, too, and light started fading so we headed back to the hotels to change and go out for dinner.

 

   Dusk in HongKong...  

The night lights in HongKong are something to see.  You really need a digital camera that gioves a digital view of whast the sensor see in this environment because otherwise the guesswork  will be immense. I've just bought a Fuji HS50 which is their top of the range HS series cameras and it excells at night photography. It even takes triple exposures and blends them together to decrease grain at very high iso's (asa's for the original pro's amongst us.)

The signs hanging down every alleyway and side styreet suddenly start to come to glorious flurescent life and their colourful spray of shimmer makes the environment even more gracefull to drift amongst, despite the carnage of the goods being prepared as you wander past.

We sat down to eat.
The people stand outside their cafes and try to speak to you, asking if youre hungry, and would you like a table for????? etc etc. One such "Cafe", a kind of doorless garage, we entered and sat down. The walls covered in shiny predominantly yellow  pictures of shellfish, animal segments and fish from the depths waiting to be eaten. I ordered a Grouper as they are extremely deep sea fish and I had never seen one for real let alone eaten one. With a bill of about $80hkd (About £80 UKP) I decided that, for a garage, this was a little expensive and I could probably buy a small car for the same price to drive me back to the hotel so instead I ordered a fish not quite to deep in the ocean and not quite so deep a lunge into the pocket either.  The food tasted good to us all ....... but the following day, we realised in a mad rush, just how rather unhealthy the food had been as it evolved into something else inside us as we slept. Alien had nothing on this.

It was, none the less, a really entertaining and enjoyable evening. Raw and basic with raucus humour from some of the locals drunk and apparently celebrating their daughters wedding engagement though, as the evening wore one, I suspected the wedding led daughter routine to be something they used frequently to lure holiday makers into buying the majority of drinks. With several refusals we made our way back to our hotel and made Tih Kuan Yin before bed time.

The days end.
Sad, then, as, already, the first day had ended in a whirr of activity and color of everything new and strange, commonplace but uncommon, but the ride had been as incredible as seeing the sun rise in the sky at 2am through the Boeng 777 window as we hurtled towards HongKong, beating it 6 hours ahead of its european morning.


Monday, 23 November, 2015, 20:10



powered by pppBLOG v 0.3.10