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Hong Kong feat. Aik Beng Chia

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On the evening of 30 Nov, SPRMRKT hosted the opening reception for one of Singapore’s most prominent photographers—Aik Beng Chia’s (ABC) first self-published travel zine.

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If you had read the tagline/blurb for the exhibition, it might have caused some intrigue and with good reason because this otherwise striking show of city life belies a recurrent revelation that had emerged from the process of putting together the travel zine.

Hong Kong is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in Asia but also infamous for a culture of materialism. By observing this covetousness, it was a reminder for ABC that nothing is ours forever and if we can embrace the fact that some things do not belong to us, life would be simpler. Even cities, at times, do not get to choose their own destiny and such is the ironic fate of Hong Kong—a former British colony that tried to find her own feet outside of China’s grip, only to have her fate decided for her.

 

As fate would have it, as ABC was on his way back to Singapore from his second and last scheduled trip to Hong Kong, his hard drive, which would have contained at least half the images in his travel zine, was stolen from him on the plane and never retrieved, epitomising his main takeaway: “What you choose to keep may not be what life chooses to keep for you.”

Hong Kong (香港) is a highlight reel of the photos ABC took both alone and with the help of friends. Each with a story to tell, here is a recording of him taking us through some the works on display:

Video credits: Wilson Wong

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It is interesting to note that the photos printed in black & white are those lost in his hard drive because they can be printed in lower resolution.

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There were quite a number of photography enthusiasts among the crowd and here’s a vlog shared with us:

Video credits: Jayden Beginheim

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Our Hong Kong-inspired slushies were indeed quite a hit with two flavours: a yuan yang (coffee mixed with tea) espresso-based slushie and soy milk-based slushie.

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Printed on fabric textile, it was a great medium for the muted yet distinct colours characteristic of ABC’s work.

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The travel zines itself comprised 2 sections—one filled with B&W photos lost and the flip side with full-coloured photos. Guests who purchased the zines on the day managed to get an autographed copy!

Some of the delicious Hong Kong-inspired canapés prepared (from left to right): har cheong gai (shrimp paste chicken) waffle cones with slaw, jiaozi (pan-fried dumplings) skewers, instant noodle cups with a soft poached egg.

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Thank you to those who came down, hope you guys had a lovely time 🙂

Contributing writer: Hui Li

Greed THE CITY BOOK—SINGAPORE
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