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Many traditional art forms in Hong Kong are slowly fading away.

 

‘A Memory of the Future’ is an initiative by us in collaboration with Marriott Bonvoy to preserve these by getting the world to experience Hong Kong’s illustrious cultural legacy. 

 

The project is being showcased at Art Basel Hong Kong 2021.

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How?

We identified four art-forms that are intrinsically Hong Kong - hand carving of mahjong tiles, neon sign making, hand carving of stencils and Cantonese opera costume design.

 

We then infused these century-old art forms with 21st century magic.

 

For each, we’ve paired the practitioners of the art form with an innovative global artist.
The artistry of the past is respected, while the art form is given a modern face.
A memory is captured, reinvented and made ready for the future.

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Rewind back to the 1950s where the Cantonese opera drew in thousands of fans into traditional bamboo theatres with its jewelled masks and elaborate headdresses. However, younger audiences have lost interest in this vibrant craft.

 

We partnered with Suket Dhir, a Woolmark prize winner, to capture the beauty and elegance of the Cantonese opera in this limited edition art plate. His muse and motif was the Zhenyin Wusheng: a new female warrior character for the Cantonese opera. She represents the modern woman of today. 

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Between 1950 and 1980, there were a million neon signs in Hong Kong. Today, they’re disappearing rapidly, and with them, a piece of Hong Kong’s once vibrant street culture is fading into darkness.

We worked with Insane51, a Greek muralist and one of the pioneers in 3D art to immortalise the past beauty of the neon signs using graffiti as a tool to create a ‘vibrant’ memory of the future.

 

His creations respond to neon lights and the 3D glasses provided with the plate. The red tinge reminds us of how emptier Hong Kong’s streets would be if we let their neon-filled past fade into nothing.

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Mahjong originated in China during the Qing dynasty and then spread across the world. Electronic mahjong tables and digital games have slowly chipped away at the legacy of beautiful, hand-carved mahjong tiles. 

We collaborated with the artisan collective KalakaariHaath to reinvent they way mahjong’s story can be communicated to future generations. A multi-layered narrative is brought alive in an engaging plate that combines the weight of the history with the eternal playfulness of the game. 

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The sun is setting on the ancient art of making stencils by hand. The precision of laser-cutting technology is preferred to the ancient, history laden craft that so few makers today still practice. 

 

This plate, created by Tarini Sethi in collaboration with Anila Agha, tells the story of the stencil maker who sits in the shadows. A story of timeless craftsmanship whose time in the light has come. One that needs to be heard before the loving fingerprints of the maker fade from the meticulous cutouts of the stencil.

Be part of the memory of the future that we’re creating. 

Only 10 collector’s pieces of each design are available for sale online.

Grab them before they are sold out. 

100% of the sale proceeds will be donated to GiveIndia’s COVID relief fund.