Hong Kong is feeling a bit like an ex-girlfriend to me at the moment emotionally. When I left to go to Seoul it was the right decision but still. . . when I see her again it opens up old emotions and makes me think: “am I crazy? Why did I leave?“. It is just such a brilliant city. And the food; oh the food.
I got the chance to revisit Hong Kong last week and it re-inspired me as to everything I love about her which was wonderful as I left in a bit of a funk at its mercantile nature (here). This was particularly interesting as just before I went I watched Louis Vuitton’s new advertising piece “When Hong Kong is a women“. This personifies Hong Kong as a sultry, mysterious and empty woman. Sophisticated even.
However, that is everything that Hong Kong isn’t. The Hong Kong of luxury, handbags and quiet is an advertising invention. A corruption of a still great city which grows daily and is evidenced in the tumours of Louis Vuitton shops sprouting around the city catering to the invading Mainland tourists.
If Hong Kong was a women she would be half rotting / half under construction. The humidity constantly undermining her lustre which is patched up in a never ending cycle.
If Hong Kong was a woman she wouldn’t be the shy wilting creature we see in the video flouncing around in cabs. She would be the screaming, energetic ribald she-devil you see on the street every day. The woman who pushes you back onto the MTR and somehow manages to stay thin despite eating bread covered with condensed milk covered with sugar. Either drunk in LKF or rowdy and eating yum cha.
If Hong Kong was a woman she wouldn’t be lounging in The Upper House playing mahjong she would be out on the streets in her joyous chaotic protests against the Beijing led influence over the political system.
If Hong Kong was a woman she would reflect that private/ public sprawl that is so Hong Kong. Where every space is an opportunity for an illegal structure or a temporary seizure of space. This is Naomi Klein and the privatisation of public space on an individual level.
If Hong Kong was a woman she would be an international mutt rather than the pure blood European and Chinese models you see in the video. And unlike the first model she definitely wouldn’t be wearing glass in her glasses. Those glasses would be just the frames la.
If Hong Kong was a women she wouldn’t display the minimalist ostentation you see in the video. It would be the flaunting of success. The brilliance of the family. Understated is simply not stated.
All of this is why I love Hong Kong and I hate Louis Vuitton for cynical or just misplaced advertising crap which just undermines and corrupts the soul of the city. So this is the city. The next post is the food.