Fill In / 填充 #2: Looking back, going forward

This newsletter was sent on the 26th May 2020. Subscribe here.


Welcome to Fill In / 填充 #2. We want to thank you for the positive feedback and surprising number of subscribers for our first newsletter, it warms our hearts to see that our work is of interest to both familiar and new faces to us. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for your suggestions or if you want to get involved, we have some opportunities coming up to share your research and experiments. Following some recent news regarding our project, we intend to be concentrating on our platforms for a while and would love to have you on board (a full update towards the end of this newsletter!). As always, get in touch with us at or send us a DM on Instagram or Twitter @hkdhnet.

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With the continuing lockdown advice in much of the world (although Hong Kong is slowly easing back into ‘normal’ schedules again), as well as Zoom, more people in design and academia are utilising Instagram as a place to share their work and experiences. Recently Hong Kong studios like milkxhake, Blow and Toby Ng Design have featured on Live! Talk From by agoffice (UK), and Design Diplomacy run by Foreign Policy Design Group (SG), spaces ‘for creative exchange, pollination of ideas, interviews and discourse for the creative community.’ This might be something we’ll try in the future for ourselves as well (more details below!) as a place to make design history more visible!

Design research heavyweights have also been on the Instagram Live act. Alice Rawsthorn and Paola Antonelli joined forces to launch Design Emergency earlier this month to ‘explore design’s role in the Covid-19 crisis’. So far they’ve brought on Michael Murphy from MASS Design Group, medical illustrator Alissa Echert, and will soon be hosting their own in-conversations related to themes of the crisis.

The Hong Kong Studies Initiative based at UBC, in collaboration with Hong Kong History Project at University of Bristol will be hosting a workshop Mapping Hong Kong, which like many of the conferences happening this season, has moved online. Mapping is viewed in the broadest sense, from exploring archive practices to listening to orchestras.

Friedman Benda gallery in New York launched their online Zoom talks Design in Dialogue at the beginning of this month, with Glenn Adamson talking to designers, design writers and curators from all over the world. A full archive of all the talks can be found on their website.

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For more long-form audio, podcasting has been the medium of choice in recent years (and especially popular for those of us without internet on our commute…). One of our founding members Janice Li joins a collective of colleagues from the RCA class of 2018 to start the conversational platform Where are we Going?. The platform reflects on their position as multidisciplinary design practitioners as they graduated into two tumultuous years of Brexit, more Trump, and the increasing instability and uncertainty of the world. Coming together weekly, the platform is a chance for the team to use ‘discussion as a tool to recognise who has the power in the present and what future they are constructing’ and ‘create opportunities that (re)imagine a better future for humanity and the planet we inhabit’. After the first discussion asking ‘Why Where are we Going?, the second looks back on ‘Where Education Has Taken Us’

One of the ultimate design podcasts, 99% Invisible released an episode ‘Masking for a Friend’ a few weeks ago about the history of the face mask intertwined with the now oft-referenced histories of epidemics. We learn that the racialised socio-cultural antagonism of mask-wearing has been long in the making, a picture we’re seeing everywhere today with more blatant anti-Chinese racism and backlash on quarantine in the US and UK. If you’re tired of pandemic-related content though, producer Avery Trufelman’s Articles of Interest returns with another season, unpacking the notions and collective ideas of luxury in fashion.

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We were excited to read the first issue of online journal Curatography this week. Produced out of Taiwan by Curating Asia International, it ‘examines the geopolitical dimensions of cultural production in East and Southeast Asia, adopting a reflexive stance towards curatorial practice and the way it has generated an interdisciplinary knowledge of Asia today.’ Translating to ‘the writing of curation’ it seeks to wake us up from exhibition amnesia and inject new debate, while asking the community to step back and consider our next move in curating meaningful, long-lasting exhibitions. The presence of history and subjectivity is strongly felt in the first issue, and ultimately the questioning of authoritative narratives of art history and meaning, topics increasingly urgent in design curation as well.

The outcome of a triple collaboration between Fashion Revolution, STOP THE TRAFFIK and Durham University Charity Fashion Show, Fanzine 06 binds together 10 out of 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption & production, and climate action, in this dynamic cacophony of riso-printed zines. You can also check out the Hong Kong faction of Fashion Revolution, who have also been running talks on Facebook Live featuring local designers and brands.

For a snapshot of ‘the old days’ of architectural writing, we have unearthed critic of Architectural Review J.M. Richards’ memoir Memoirs of an Unjust Fella chapter 22 ‘Interlude in Hong Kong’ for your amusement. We won’t attempt to paraphrase the man, but please do read for yourselves… We couldn’t be sure Google Books made the chapter open to everyone, so we’ve provided a PDF link. Password: unjustfella

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After a soft opening last week of The SHOPHOUSE, a new concept store based in a 1930s tong lau in Tai Hang, it now welcomes everyone to drop by to enjoy a cup of tea, and visit their three concurrent showcases of art, fashion and design. The “Shanghai plaster” exterior of the building was conserved and renovated by our LDB collaborator aona. We recently discovered an early photograph of the building, thanks to Dr. Kimburley Choi for sharing her sources which she collected for her interactive website, Making Home.

Hong Kong’s own hub for the community of illustrators and comic artists, Zine Coop reopened their shop at Form Society last weekend. After their amazing roving exhibitions Freedom-Hi, displayed in fifteen cities across the world, and Burning Ixxues at BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair earlier this year, Zine Coop recently found a permanent base in the corner of Form Society as of 2020. The shop is open at the weekends for perusing and purchasing publications by local zinesters, 2-7pm Tai Nam St, SSP.

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So for our big update: As of this week, London Design Biennale decided to postpone the 2020 biennale to June 2021. On hearing this we had mixed feelings. On one hand, it pushes all our work up until now for another year, on the other we now have more time to reflect and work on this more sustainably. With the situation in Hong Kong and globally over the last year, we have had to constantly battle with both the difficulties of simply making it work and a growing urgency to get this right. The meaning of ‘Resonance’ has only become more profound over the course of this project which began in 2018, and we mean to make a pavilion that can reflect this wholeheartedly. Thank you to everyone we’ve worked with so far, especially to our design collaborators at aona, K2 and Trilingua for their patience and rigour with this project. We hope you all will keep running with us, and see this as only just the beginning of what we can do together as a network.

In the meantime, (aside from continuing with our planning and fundraising) we decided to take this summer to try out some new things in a further effort to reach out to you. As well as launching this newsletter, we’re planning to join the circuit of Instagram Live talks and Zoom interviews! Keep an eye on our social media feeds and upcoming newsletters, we hope to be coming to an IGTV screen near you very soon. In addition, we will be rolling out blogposts by our dear colleagues from all over the world to share some of the wide variety of Hong Kong design history research. We’re very open to submissions from everyone, whether you’re an academic, designer, student, curator, or enthusiast, we’d love to hear from you. Please do get in touch!

Note: We’ve endeavoured to make as much of our content as possible to be bilingual. You can select your preferred language at the beginning of the newsletter.


歡迎瀏覽第二期 Fill In/ 填充。 自從推出第一期通訊後,我們十分感謝各位的積極迴響,以及令人驚喜的訂閱數量增長,喜見我們的工作吸引了各方新知舊友。請隨時與我們聯繫及提出建議,或者如果你想參與其中,我們希望能夠徵集並發布你的研究和作品。由於我們進行中的項目有一些變動,我們計劃在未來一段時間再次集中於我們的網上平台,並讓各位參與其中(詳見本通訊末段)。與往常一樣,請通過 與我們聯繫,或者在 Instagram或 Twitter @hkdhnet 向我們發送簡訊。

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隨著世界各地仍然持續限制外出與外遊封鎖措施(儘管香港正逐漸恢復「正常」日程),除了近期流行的視像通訊軟件 Zoom,越來越多設計和學術界人士利用 Instagram Live 分享他們的工作和經驗。 除了英國設計界發起的 “Live! Talk From” 直播之外最近, milkxhakeBlowToby Ng Design 等香港工作室參與由新加坡設計團隊 Foreign Policy 策劃的 “Design Diplomacy” 網上對談,「為創意社群提供了一個進行創意交流、傳播思想、訪談和演講的空間。」我們亦正考慮以類似形式推廣設計歷史,期望讓更多人認識設計與歷史的聯繫,(在下文有更多詳細信息),敬請留意!

設計研究的重量級人物也積極投入 Instagram Live 的行動。 Alice Rawsthorn 和 Paola Antonelli 於本月初聯手推出 “Design Emergency”,以「探索設計在新冠肺炎危機中的作用」。 到目前為止,他們已經邀請了 MASS Design Group 的 Michael Murphy、醫學插畫家Alissa Echert 作直播分享,並即將親自主持相關的專題對談。

加拿大英屬哥倫比亞大學的香港研究計劃,與英國布里斯託大學的香港歷史項目合作,將舉辦「Mapping Hong Kong」研討會,一如本季的許多活動,是次研討會亦將在網上進行。從探索檔案實踐到欣賞管弦樂團表演,期待以最廣義的角度來定位香港。

紐約的 Friedman Benda 畫廊於本月初啟動他們的 Zoom 對談系列「Design in Dialogue」,設計策展人 Glenn Adamson 與來自世界各地的設計師、設計作家和策展人進行對話。 所有談話的完整記錄可見於其網站

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而收聽更長格式的音頻,podcast(播客)已成為近年的首選媒體(特別是對於那些在通勤期間沒有網絡訊號的人來說尤其如此)。 我們的創始成員之一李頌恩(Janice Li)與2018年RCA 的同學們發起了一個對話平台 ”Where are we Going?”。該平台反映了他們作為多學科設計從業者的角色,尤其因為他們畢業於英國脫歐期間、特朗普治下動盪的兩年,世界日漸不穩定、前景未明。 該平台每週聚會一次,為團隊提供了一個機會,使用「討論作為一種工具,來了解誰在當前擁有權力,以及他們正在建設怎樣的未來」,並「創造機會(重新)想像人類與我們居住的地球更美好未來」。在第一集討論「為什麼要問我們往何方?」之後,第二集則回望「教育把我們帶往哪裡」

設計界 podcast 首選之一 — 99%Invisible 幾星期前的一集,講到口罩的歷史、與最近常被引用的流行病史相互交織的關係。 我們了解到,佩戴口罩引申的種族化社會文化對立其實醞釀已久,這種現象在現今我們到處可見,特別在美國和英國的反華情緒中更加明顯,不少民眾對社交隔離的措施亦產生了強烈反響。 不過,如果你對於疫情有關的資訊已感到厭倦,可收聽製作人 Avery Trufelman 的新一季《趣味文章》聲音專欄,解析時尚奢侈品的概念和集體觀念。

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我們很高興讀到新推出的網上期刊《策展學/ Curatography》。 它由國家藝術文化基金會委託籌組之「亞洲策展聯盟」,在台灣策劃成立。此寫作平台「從台灣向國際開放,並尋求溝通的互主體文化論述,及以亞洲與東南亞的視覺藝術和策展文化為坐標,透過線上出版的論述空間,關照彼此地理政治的特殊意涵,並促進區域間的文化對話。」期刊的英文命名有「策展的寫作」之含意,它旨在嘗試喚醒白盒子展演邏輯中,不斷汰舊換新的展覽「失憶」情況,並引發新的辯論,同時邀請群體退後一步,思考往後如何實踐具持續意義的策展。 在第一期當中強烈地感受到歷史和主觀性的存在,並最終質疑藝術史和其意義的敘事權威性,這也是設計策展中越來越迫切的議題。

同人誌06》是 Fashion Revolution、STOP THE TRAFFIK 與 英國杜倫大學慈善時裝滙演三方合作的成果,在這系列充滿活力、五味雜陳的RISO快印雜誌中,結合聯合國可持續發展17項目標當中的10項,包括性別平等、體面工作和經濟增長、負責任消費和生產,以及氣候行動。你還可以留意 Fashion Revolution 的香港分支,他們亦有在 Facebook Live 舉行本地設計師和品牌的分享會。

作為對「舊日」建築寫作的一種回顧,我們發掘了《建築評論》期刊的評論家 J.M. Richards 之回憶錄《Memoirs of an Unjust Fella》第22章「香港插曲」,在此和各位分享以饗同好。 我們不會嘗試演繹作者的意思,請自行閱讀… 未知 Google Book 有否對公眾開放此篇章,因此在此提供了PDF 連結。 密碼:unjustfella

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THE SHOPHOUSE 上週試營業之後,這家設於香港大坑、一幢建於1930年代唐樓的概念空間 ,現在正式開放並歡迎各位前來品茶,以及參觀他們三個同時進行的藝術、時裝和設計展示。 該建築物的「上海批蕩」外牆由我們的倫敦設計雙年展合作夥伴 aona 擔任復修顧問。 我們最近亦發現了這座建築的早期照片,在此特別鳴謝蔡穎儀博士分享了她在製作互動網站「大坑家居圖志」過程中收集的資料。

集合香港本地插畫家和漫畫家的小誌社群 Zine Coop,上週末重新在文化空間合舍開設他們的小店。 Zine Coop 在全球15個城市舉辦精彩的「Freedom-Hi!」巡迴展覽、並於今年初在「BOOKED:香港藝術書展」舉行「Burning Ixxues」特展之後,在深水埗大南街合舍的的一個角落找到永久基地。小店每周末下午2至7點開放,供小誌擁躉駐足閱讀及購買收藏。

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終於,是時候分享我們的重要消息:原訂於2020年9月舉行的倫敦設計雙年展,大會已決定延期至2021年6月。 一方面,這將我們現時的工作延長一年,而另一方面,我們有更多時間檢討反思,期望能更持續地進行展館的設計和策劃工作。在過去一年香港和全球的局勢下,我們不斷艱苦努力,在日漸困難的客觀環境,讓項目能繼續下去,以及透過展館帶出我們要傳遞的信息。 在這個始於2018年的策展計劃中,大會主題「共鳴」的含義在這一年多以來變得更加深切,希望香港館在我們竭盡所能之下能夠反映這一點。 衷心感謝到目前為止所有曾與我們合作的人士,特別多謝我們的合作夥伴 aona、K2 和 叄語設計對這個項目耐心和嚴謹的付出。 我們希望和大家繼續努力,以此作為我們共同開展網絡的開始。

與此同時,(在繼續進行我們目前的計劃,及為此籌款之餘)我們決定在今年夏天作一些新嘗試,以進一步與你保持聯繫。 除了發布此通訊之外,我們還計劃推出 Instagram Live 對談,請留意我們的社交媒體更新和電郵通訊!此外,我們將推出來自世界各地同好的的網誌文章,分享他們研究、蒐集香港設計的經驗。 無論您是學者、設計師、學生、策展人或是設計與歷史的愛好者,我們都很樂意接受大家的來稿。 下次見!