A new official Lamma Celebrity is born: Lamma Romeo,
take a bow! See the modern Lamma Romeo above centre (with a hoodie? Photo by
Lara Day), from
the upcoming theatrical play
11 Variations of Friar John's Failure
in the Fringe Theatre in Central, from June 13-16,
7:45pm - Tickets: $150/$120 (concessions) available from HK
3128 8288) and Fringe Club; benefit for the
Kely Support Group.
Lara Day writes:
Productions is excited to present "11 Variations of Friar John's
Failure". Inspired by Shakespeare, popular literature and contemporary
culture, the play is a fast-paced, high-energy, irreverent double-take on
the Bard's best-known tragedy, Romeo & Juliet, turned inside out and re-spun
for today's audiences."
The play features Lammaites Emily Woo-Zeller and
Sam Haley-Hill. Multi-talented thespian Emily is playing Ms.
Shakespeare, Queen Gertrude and The Messenger.
with Lamma Romeo:
Producer Nina Fussing, the play's producer and a self-proclaimed
"wannabe Lammaite", on request from the Lamma-zine]
Q/ How did you get into Theatre?
L-R: I started when I was six years
old. My parents thought I might enjoy it, so they signed me up for
an audition with a local theatre company. I have been doing it ever
Q/ What's the Theatre Scene Like in Hong Kong? How can other
Lammaites get into it?
L-R: The Hong Kong theatre scene is
under-publicized, but surprisingly vibrant. There are several
companies operating and they advertise their auditions all over.
There is a shortage of actors around here, so often people don't
need much if any prior experience to get cast in a play. The best
part for Lammaites? Most of the shows happen in the vicinity of
Central, making for easy ferry access.
Q/ Tell me about your current performance "11 Variations on Friar
L-R: The show is a series of scenes
about possible explanations for the fate of a minor character in
Romeo and Juliet. It is very funny and has a grungy sort of urban
theme to it. Not dense Shakespeare at all. It's for charity too, so
come see it.
I am actually playing four characters [Editor:
Romeo, Tom Sawyer, Robin Hood, and the Ghost], each of which is
radically different from the other three. Romeo is probably the most
significant of the four (as he appears in three of the eleven
variations), but all are meaty and complex. It was an interesting
new acting challenge to create a distinct physical presence for each
and I hope the stretch is as enjoyable to watch as it was to create.
Q/ How do you like living in Lamma?
L-R: I adore it. Ferry issues aside, I
need to live in a place with clean air and green growing things. I
really appreciate the quiet atmosphere and the small village feel of
Lamma. It's a great place for artists and expats.
We've just recently mourned the untimely death of a former member of the
Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK who had made her home on Lamma for many
years, Susan Sheers. She even shared a house with other RSC members, like
Oscar winner Dame Judi Dench, during her early theatre career. But then she
dropped out and retired early from acting, moved to Lamma, becoming a local
low-key designer, artist, writer and poet.
hope we'll soon hear more about the local romantic exploits of our Lamma
Romeo? Will we spot him prowling Main Street, sweeping fair (and not so
fair) maidens off their feet, enchanting Lamma vixens with the bard's
eternal words, for example "Dost a maiden blush bepaint thy lovely
cheek?" Will he be serenading Lovely Lamma Ladies of all nationalities
below Village House balconies? A truly fertile topic for more Lamma-zine
stories, I'd reckon. But asking Lamma Romeo about his love life, he writes -
to the massive disappointment of many Lovely Lamma Ladies, but to his big
"I have to confess that Lamma Romeo is very much a one-woman man (dating
Emily who plays Gertrude and also lives on Lamma). Emily does not have
publicity photos from he show, although I have attached one of her older
headshots. Thanks for covering the show."
I dub thee Lamma Juliet, oh fairest of maidens on our fair isle!
Lamma's favourite and most famous son, Chow Yun-fat, is
starring in the new movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End". It has
broken all previous worldwide box office records with over US$400 million
gross in the first six days, being shown in over 100 countries, beating even
Spider-Man #3's opening box office. Half the cinemas in HK's multiplexes
seem to run this blockbuster, but it's still sold out for many shows.
Lamma-Por and I caught an evening show in the ifc Palace
multiplex in the Yung Shue Wan Shopping Mall (ifc mall) on a Tuesday when
the ticket prices are "reduced" (from $85 to "only" $65.)
It's another fine acting performance for Fat-Gor - Brother
Fat, as Chow Yun-fat is known in HK to his legions of fans, including myself
and Lamma-Por. She simply adores him, having grown up with his many
heartthrob roles in TVB soap operas. Fat Gor's doing a great and impressive
job in this movie - smirking, swaggering, glowering, threatening,
condemning, sword-fighting - in what's actually an awful, bloody mess of a
very familiar with the first two Pirates movies and having read several
reviews in advance, I nevertheless got lost in the myriads of confusing plot
twists, everybody cheating everybody else at the drop of a (pirate) hat.
Lamma-Por simply fell asleep from all the confusion. Fantastic special
effects, art direction, cinematography, editing and action scenes, though.
The light-hearted romp feeling of the two first Pirates movies has basically
been lost by this third installment. There are almost no real laughs, just
slightly amusing betrayals, but even they get tired quickly by being so
random and frequent. It all just doesn't make much sense and it makes even
less sense when you start thinking about it all.
This movie suffers from Sequelitis Bloaticus, a rampant affliction this
summer: sequels getting bigger and bigger, longer in duration and packed
with so many villains and special effects that the story sinks under its own
bloated weight. All the past favourite goodies and baddies in the series,
plus several new ones, all sharing the same movie, trying to be everything
to everybody, but ending up being little more than a boring mess lacking in
emotional impact to most viewers, but more expensive, gorgeous and amazing
to look at than ever before.
Well, some of the scenes in there are definitely well worth the ticket
price. I'm looking forward to see them again on DVD and find out how they
did them in the making-of featurettes.
Yun-Fat was born and bred on Lamma - some of his family and
relatives still live here, even though he's become a HK$-billionaire
nowadays, living in a Sai Kung villa. According to Wikipedia, he has a
"housewife mother and an oil rigger father. Of Hakka origins, Chow grew up
in a farming community in Southern Lamma in a house with no electricity. He
woke up at dawn each morning to help his mother sell dim sum and vegetables
on the streets and in the afternoons he went to work in the fields. He quit
school at seventeen and started doing odd jobs," till he applied to a
TVB talent search ad. The rest is history...
Lamma-Por and I only met him once in person on Main Street, after his yearly
family duty visit to an ancestor's grave on Lamma, rushing to the ferry
The pirate captain
he's portraying is based on the legendary 19th century Chinese pirate
Po Tsai, according to numerous sources. This most famous Chinese
pirate was rumoured to have a treasure cave on Cheung Chau Island, a tourist
attraction up to this day, the
Cheung Po Tsai Cave.
There was another Cheung Po Tsai Cave, according to Lammadonna and other
Lammaites, at the site of the Lamma Power Station, just history now.
For more info, updates and pictures of Chow Yun-Fat, check out his
and this great
After an unusually quiet month of May, the Lamma Bands scene is heating up
again with the debut of a newly conceived Lamma Band, formed from various
other former and current Lamma Bands. The musically fertile in-breeding of
Lamma Bands continues unabatedly and produces some very interesting,
unexpected new sounds and groupings. Some popular musicians seem to belong
to so many local bands that they might lose track of their memberships
The Inconceivables are the inconceivably cool lead singer Ivy, Wig on
guitar, Stuart on the bass, and Matt on drums. Click on the
comic banner above to see their full and very eye-catching poster. Yes, a
cool poster like that might get you onto this home page, especially
if it's a really special event like a debut or farewell show... or anything
totally unusual and/or inconceivable...
But any "Lamma event" can get into our
Lamma Events Calendar where all events happening on Lamma or
involving Lammaites anywhere in the world will be posted for free by Yours
Email me your event details, posters, photos, slide shows, videos,
media kits, whatever you've got in terms of info and promo!
Become inconceivably cool yourself and join the debut show of The
Inconceivables tomorrow night @ The Wanch!
One of the most visible birds in Yung Shue Wan, especially in the
beautiful, subtropical Yung Shue Long valley, are the cattle egrets. According
to our master bird photographer, HarryLi (forum avatar on the left),
about a dozen arrived there last week. He rushed out of his valley home to
record them, having watched these Lamma visitors passing through for several
According to our Flora and Fauna Forum moderator, Dr. Zep: "The
cattle egrets are inhabitants of marshy or grassy land and feed on small
animal food there."
Click to enlarge or see more of HarryLi's gorgeous bird photos in our
Lamma's Top 10 Birds forum, a topic running for several years now
with the most messages and photos of any of our bilingual forums!
Three sunsets, shot from my rooftop in the last six days, after very rainy
days. Who needs a TV when there's a free light show almost every evening?
Spotting other sunset watchers on neighbouring rooftops, I seem to be in
Today, Sunday, May 27, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Bobsy - Co-founder and Chairman of ABLE (A Better Living
Environment - an official and registered charity.)
He likes to thank KADOORIE BOTANICAL GARDENS & FARM for
supplying the local trees - including two endangered tree species -
as well as HK ELECTRIC for their ongoing support of the Lamma
Forest tree planting initiative.
[Editor: Bobsy writes in all
lowercase below intentionally.]
Tree planting day story, 2003
Tree Planting story, 2006
dear one & all,
you are getting this email because i know you care
and would be interested to come and join us in planting another 500
native trees up in the lamma forest.
ABLE CHARITY has been consistently planting trees in one scenic area
since 1997. as a result the hills of north lamma are covered in a
lush canopy of trees with a remarkable return of native flora and
fauna as well as an increasing presence of butterflies and birds.
on SUNDAY MAY THE 27th
we will be planting another 500 local species of trees up in the
hills. this may well be the last planting in this part of the
please come and join us from
9am onwards, we will keep going until all the trees are
homed in their new beds. i suggest you come early in the morning
before it gets too hot, plant as many trees as you want and then
spend the rest of the day exploring lamma island or visiting one of
the many cafes, restaurants and bars or just hanging out in the
forest under the shade of some pine trees.
if you have never planted
trees before, know that it is a most rewarding service which is not
only self-rewarding and fulfilling but also is a good form of
exercise and a chance to take in some fresh air and admire some
pleasant views of the rolling hills of north lamma. an area
few people have seen, let alone been up to.
take an early morning ferry
from PIER 4 IN CENTRAL heading to YUNG SHUE WAN. get off the ferry
and walk down the pier. AT THE END OF THE PIER YOU WILL SEE A SET OF
STAIRS GOING UP. LOOK OUT FOR THE RED RIBBON TIED TO THE STEPS AND
THEN FOLLOW THE RED RIBBONS ALL THE WAY UP
TO THE TREE PLANTING SITE. APPROXIMATELY A 12 - 15 MINUTE WALK NORTH
ALONG THE COASTAL ROAD.
please come prepared by
wearing long trousers, some sturdy footwear, your supply of water,
sun cream and a hat if you need one. we will provide
gloves and all the necessary tools for planting the trees. take note
that all 500 holes will be already dug on the saturday and that you
won't be digging any holes, just planting the trees.
please email me if you would like to come and feel
free to spread the word (and this email) or bring your friends. the
more the merrier.
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
Spinoza1112 - One of Lamma's numerous "Ghost Teachers"
wrote this poem after the extremely rainy Sunday yesterday (100
mm of rain):
The passing rain and persistent clouds keep the crowds away
But the frogs, or are they toads, are out in force:
The light is green and the light is grey.
The light is green and the green on grey
The black cloud takes the sun away.
But the light remains, clarified
A light that shows blue mountain with mist
The ocean laps feebly, gorged with rain
Upon the packed damp sand of the desert beach.
It's a good day to watch your step,
Lest you crunch a sentient being and rack up time in Buddhist
And to film a snail's progress across the path.
It is also a good day for imitating
The frogs and being green and being grey.
For imagination before and after: it would be so queer
If you were not here.
Bach in the monsoon forest, a paradox perhaps
Something to make the lion lay down with the lamb?
Or, the plink plank plunk of Pentatone music of China
We're all foreigners here, it's a strange place.
It's a place not a place, of villages that Time forgot
From which you can see ships taking stuff to the USA
And returning, empty handed.
The Earth has drunk deeply and is ready for sleep.
Things prey, so children pray
Keep the Centipede from my bed
Let its stingerbite be not here.
China turns her face from the sun to the moon.
P.S. What are those
things that make those deep, loud sounds at night after a heavy rain?
Frogs? Toads? Lost Souls? To vote and see the results,
Pick up a copy of the free, biweekly bc Magazine this
features a very nice cover story -
"Lamma Lifestyle" (click to read) - written and photographed by two
Lammaites. Elizabeth Briel - Lamma Artist of the Month for June 2007
and a friend, see below - wrote the story and contributed many of her great
photos as well, for a fee. Congratulations to her on a
great promotional job for Lamma, hopefully bringing in more week-day and
off-season tourists, plus more business for our local restaurants and shops!
Ansye Sopacua - an Indonesian Lamma Newbie,
forum member and PhD candidate -submitted the rest of the article's many photos, for
Lamma photos.) They contacted me and selected four photos from our
Lamma Photos of the Day gallery featuring the best of the best of
over 50 photographers. I got the high-resolution, print-quality files from the
three photographers. But I dared to ask about bc's photo fees, suggesting a
minimal one, but being ready to let them use them for free, knowing the
notoriously cheapskate local publishing business.
They ditched all our photos without even telling me or any negotiation, two days
before the deadline, using Ansye's free photos instead. Well, c'est la vie
dans Hongkong. Here are the four
Photos of the Day that bc magazine selected but didn't publish
(click to enlarge):
Yung Shue Wan, by Bobby Chiu
Maximum Tide 360-Degree Panorama, by Lamma-Gung
Power Station City, by Bobby Chiu - Power Station Bay, by Wingman
"Do You Want to Have Sex With a Goat?"
This is the intro question to the latest edition of the first of the
HK Copy News
23, created and presented by Lamma's very own Daniel "MomentEye"
Clarke. It's a clever, well-written and -acted spoof on the recent big
controversy about Chinese University students publishing a sex survey in
their student newspaper and being severely punished for it.
This issue of HK Copy News is all new and improved and animation-free! Instead of
the (very labour-intensive) bubble-headed, helium-voiced pipsqueak newsreader many of us have grown to
love it features a smooth-talking, suave, well-coiffed and amazingly
handsome newsreader: Daniel himself! We might be witnessing the difficult
birth and meteoric rise of a brand-new, home-grown standup comedy talent!
Well, I actually quite liked the animated bubble head with his great comedic
timing and his deadpan delivery of
even the most hilarious lines...
This issue of HK Copy News is "chockfull of sex, violence and pornography",
according to Daniel, so it seems to be trying to go more mainstream? It even
mentions "cannibalism, incest and fratricide in the bible", and something
intriguingly mysterious called "Deuteronomy 22 20" ("Look it up!",
Daniel advises). If all these titillating teasers don't make you click on
the link below, nothing will!
Well, it looks like Daniel has finally joined the "League of Awesomeness"
(He's even got the T-shirt to prove it!) and we're looking forward eagerly
to more Copy News, HK as viewed through the (pink, grey or multi-coloured?)
glasses of a Lammaite.
Adie Hart - Lamma Dragons Men's Team member
and media liaison:
(Photos by Lamma Dragons, except last photo by L-G. Click to
Sunday, May 13th, saw the Lamma Dragons sail out on
the 6:40am ferry for the 8th Deepwater Bay 500m Dragonboat Race. The
Sun was shining, the team was geared up and the first race was just
We have stepped things up a level and dramatically changed the
training this year. The guys were aiming to show other HK teams that
they are serious contenders for the trophies. With improved
technique, structured training and great team spirit the guys took a
blistering start, winning the days first race, and guaranteeing a
spot in the semi-final.
As the day went on, the team continued to do well and secured a
place in the Plate Final, proving that they are serious contenders
to the teams who are winning frequently.
The teams final race went on to an extremely close finish, with the
guys taking 4th place with a time of 2:13.
Not too bad for a team that has many new paddlers! After proving
they can get up there with the best, where do they go from here?
Good technique, perfect timing, keep it long, up the pace and paddle
Men's team in training
Race results: Lamma Dragons #1!
The mixed Lamma Dragons team (in pink & blue) handing over the
dragonboat to the yellow team, after their race at the YSW Tin Hau
Festival, May 9, 2007.
Mark Burns - Co-organiser of the
International Dragon Boat Festival, former Lamma Dragons
Men's team member, and one of the
masterminds behind the
Lamma Cricket Club
International Cricket Sixes Festivals.
Fifty-five teams to compete in
Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival, 10th June 2007
Organisers of the Lamma International Dragon Boat
Festival, to take place on 10th June 2007, announced today that
entries were now for the first ever international dragon boat race
to be held on Lamma Island as all 55 berths in the Festival had been
"It has been an incredible response from the Hong
Kong dragon boat community," said Race Convenor Ms Gina Miller.
"To gain 55 team entries in the first year of the
event is fantastic and showcases the popularity of the sport here in
Hong Kong," Ms Miller continued.
The Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival will be
held at the picturesque Tai Wan To Beach on the Yung Shue Wan side
of Lamma Island.
The 55 teams will compete in Men's Open, Women's
Open and Mixed Division race categories.
Races will be staged on a six-lane, 500-meter course
specially created for the Festival.
"We felt it was important to offer a good
quality, international-standard event for teams who are serious
about their racing," said Tournament Director Mr Brad Tarr.
"There are a lot of dragon boat races around in Hong
Kong, but very few over the full 500 meter distance. The Lamma
Festival gives dragon boaters the opportunity to show their mettle
at an international standard race meeting," Mr Tarr continued.
Races at the Lamma International Dragon Boat
Festival 2007 will commence at 8.45am and be completed by 5.30pm on
Spectators are welcome to join in the festivities
and their entry is free of charge. For further information see the
tournament website at
ABN AMRO Men's Crew
AIS Southside Massive Urban Gorrilaz Men
Auxiliary Medical Service
BGC Stormydragons Men
Castle Peak Power Station DB Team
CLP Eastern Dragon Boat Team
Dubai Flying Dragons Men Team
Freudenberg & Vilene Dragon Boat Racing Team
HKUST Alumni Dragon Boat Team
HKUST Dragon Boat Team
HKUST Rowing Team Alumni
Hong Kong Freedom Dragon - Men
Lamma Dragons Men
Liechtenstein Princely Navy
Lingnan University Men Team
MTR Corporation Dragon Boat Team
OUHK Dragon Boat Club
Tai O Happy Dragon Boat
Tong Fuk Sports Club
Thirsty Horse A
Thirsty Horse B
Australian Association Jackaroos
Auxiliary Medical Service
BGC Stormydragons Mixed
Dubai Flying Dragons A Team
Dubai Flying Dragons B Team
Hong Kong Freedom Dragon - Mixed
Hong Kong Institute of CPAs
Lamma Dragons Mixed
Lingnan University Old Student Team
Royal X Mixed
VIVA Macau Fair Dinkum A
VIVA Macau Fair Dinkum B
AIA Southside Massive Urban Gorrilaz
Australian Association Jullaroos
BGC Stormy-dragons Women
Dubai Flying Dragons Women Team
ING Lady Buzz
Lingnan University Women Team
Celtic Viking - Registered
Lamma.com.hk forum member #100, appointed Mr Lamma.com.hk
over 4 years ago. It's an honourary title he still holds as nobody
has dared yet to follow in his trail-blazing footsteps.
Celtic Viking wrote: "Are you interested in an article about
beach cleaning, combined with genealogy, skin cancer awareness, and
No scary stuff this time, only skin cancer
protection, and all Lamma-based."
I resist such an article about some of the Lamma-zine favourite
topics? Here it is, see below. (Photos above by
Just recently I have acquired some new-found energy!
Going down to our beloved Power Station Beach for a relaxing float,
I decided to do a quick clean-up. Before sitting down, I picked up
all the bits of plastic and fag ends (cigarette butts for Canadians
and Americans) and other ugly crap within a three-metre radius of my
This took two minutes and made my little part of the
beach look really clean, looking around I saw no more crap. Nice!
Out floating it's very easy to ignore the noise and
sight of the power station. Looking back inland to our wonderful
whirling turbine - and listening to some African drumming nearby - I
couldn't help hoping to - one day soon - see many more turbines out
to sea, as HK Electric has in mind and on the drawing board.
At about mid-day, as I covered up from the burning
sun, I couldn't help remembering - sitting on Phra Nang beach in
Krabi, Thailand, once voted the world's No.1 beach by the London
Times - being approached by an Australian doctor who said in a dark
and commanding voice with a grin on his face, "Get off the beach!"
"Er, um, well, er." I said, eloquently, "Why?"
"Because you're a Celt". He said.
"Er, um, what the phuqs has that got to do with anything?" I
"It's people of Celtic origin that contract the most skin cancers in
Auzzie!" Looking deep into my eyes for effect, and hoping for a
freaky reaction he added, "By far!"
He then introduced himself as a doctor working for
the Australian Sports Council as a skin cancer specialist, and being
a Celt himself, told me that Celtic noses and other parts, often
drop off and litter the sandy beaches of Australia! Alarmed, I
quickly donned my T-shirt, placed a large crispy sun-dried leaf on
my head, and headed for the shade trees at the back of the beach.
He joined me and asked me my name, he was a Jones.
"Vivian" I replied, and he looked at me puzzled. "It comes from the
Viking name 'Vyvyan', a traditional old Viking name from the 10th
century AD, before they were cajoled into becoming Christian in the
12th century, and took on often enforced names ending in -sson," I
"Oh, that's good news for you" he said. "The
Scandinavians are the ones with the least skin cancers of all
Europeans! That's why you can see bronzed Scandinavians basking on
beaches worldwide at mid-day."
So, next time you're down at Power Station Beach,
take a quick look around, and take two minutes to pick up all those
bits of plastic, fag ends (that's still cigarette butts for
Canadians and Americans) and other bits of ugly crap, and deliver
them to the nearest bin, but don't forget your sun factor 25 if
you're a Celt.
I'll meet you under the shade trees at the back of
the beach for a wee bit of bagpipe blowing, bhodran banging and
singing. Never mind if you're a Viking, though. You lucky lot can
just stretch right out in the sun and enjoy!
Power Station Beach
(Photos by Sonya, L-G, 4 shots by Lucy, Becky Kong):
by Katie Flowers
Jay Scott Kanes - Official
Court Pet Correspondent and Official Court Interviewer of the
Lamma-zine, submitting another cute masterpiece in his own
inimitable style, this time the result of a two-village special
(Text and pictures
below by Jay Scott Kanes, courtesy of
Families and Villages
natural charms and wandering ways make a fluffy dog named
Bianchino one of the most intriguing and lovable characters
to roam across his home turf on Lamma Island.
Lamma's two largest villages from Yung Shue Wan in the
north, where he has an adoring family and many admirers, to
Sok Kwu Wan in the south, where he has another family and
more fans is Bianchino's routine.
Like a polygamous
man, he spends a few hours or days at each home before
vanishing, trotting along footpaths through the hills on a
one-hour-plus journey to his second abode. Along the way, he
takes a keen interest in everyone he meets, consistently
making more friends.
advantage, he looks a lot like Benji, a canine movie
star famous in the 1970s and 80s. He combines the celebrity
good-looks with potent doggy charm.
and girlfriend Sonia, an Italian couple living on
northern Lamma, adopted the dog about a year ago and called
him Bianchino (meaning "slightly white"). But in Sok Kwu
Wan, where he likes to relax and dine at the seafood
restaurants, he's known as Bobo.
"He's my dog and
has a microchip to prove it," insisted Sonia, who sources
fashion accessories for a living. "We took him to the vet
and had it implanted."
"Before that, he
was completely unregistered," Piero said.
At the Lamma
Veterinary Clinic in Yung Shue Wan, Dr Hans de Vries
estimated Bianchino's age at three years.
"I love Bianchino's lifestyle," Sonia said.
"He's like a typical Italian man with one wife and family in
Rome and another one in Milan."
"He's such a
character, a cocky little bugger," Piero added. Sometimes
Bianchino respects human authority, as when trotting hastily
past the "No Dogs Allowed" signs at Hung Shing Yeh Beach. At
other moments, he doesn't, as when stopping to urinate on
bicycles parked outside the police station.
If other dogs show
hostility, Bianchino neither fights, nor flees. He freezes
submissively until the dangerous moments inevitably pass.
special. I respect his personality," Sonia said. "He's very
clever. When we speak to him, he understands some Italian."
wayward dog, Sonia, originally from Sardinia, and Piero, a
fashion consultant from Florence, once walked to Sok Kwu
Wan. There, they found him stretched out, relaxing on the
"He looked very
shocked to see us," Sonia said. "I'm sure he thought,
What're you doing here? You've discovered my secret life?'"
Sonia and Piero
spoke to the dog's Sok Kwu Wan humans, who work in the food
industry. The two sides agreed to share custody.
owners are happy that we look after him," Piero said.
"In Sok Kwu Wan,
everyone knows and loves Bianchino too," Sonia said.
caught Sonia and Piero's attention a year ago. He had plenty
of dirt matted into his long fur, like a homeless mutt badly
needing a shower. The Italian pair made friends with him, as
did Flo and Tara, their other dogs. "I was convinced
he had no home," Piero said.
Partial to Sok Kwu
Wan's famous seafood, Bianchino initially refused offers of
dog-food. "He didn't know what dog biscuits were," Piero
said. "So we gave him leftovers. Those he ate. Now he eats
dog biscuits too."
double-life exposed, Bianchino sometimes visits Sonia and
Piero accompanied by two canine pals from Sok Kwu Wan. "Then
we have five dogs at home," Piero said. "It gets a bit
If a closed door
or gate hinders Bianchino's freedom to leave, he scratches
and whines until it opens. "This dog must be free, no
chains, no gates," Sonia said.
Not everyone has
the charm and audacity to juggle two families, especially
once "caught out", but Bianchino swings it with ease. "He
brings us good luck," Sonia said. "I'm always happy to see
him. After he first came to us, my life changed completely.
I found a good job and began to make more money. He gives
more to us than we give to him."
Piero adds: "A lot
of Chinese people, who never used to speak to us, say hello
now because we're associated with Bianchino, whom they know
from one village or the other."
and day-visitors meeting Bianchino on his hikes through the
hills shouldn't be surprised if he stops to shake hands, er,
paws and follows them for a spell. That's his nature. But
soon he departs, continuing on his way. He has places to go,
people and pals to see.
Call him Bianchino,
Bobo, or a two-timer. This renegade dog cares little about
names. His priority is the great lifestyle he loves. A real
Bianchino, alias Bobo, relaxes in Sok Kwu Wan.
Always amiable, Bianchino greets a passing pal.
Piero Paolini and Sonia admire the come-and-go canine.
On the road again, Bianchino pauses to pose on his way between
Bianchino and a pal assess human traffic along the trail.
Hastily, Bianchino trots past discriminatory signs at Hung Shing
At the beach, Bianchino surveys a sandy expanse.
A face everyone loves: Bianchino, the two-timer.
News Gets Informatationalised!
News about HK Copy News from Daniel
"Hong Kong News is undergoing some changes. There's a
special announcement online now and you can expect some 'real' news in the
next couple of days."
P.S. It took over three weeks to build... and only 2 days to take
the Cantonese opera bamboo arena dissolves back into its components:
sheet metal, blue-white-striped plastic sheets and bamboo poles,
fully recycled, to be rebuilt somewhere else:
& Peggy Be Saved?
An urgent appeal from Keren and LAWC, as Sumo & Peggy, Keren's beloved pets,
are in imminent danger of being taken away by force by the Agriculture &
Fisheries Dept. to be slaughtered:
Dr John Wedderburn -
Lamma Animal Welfare Centre:
The Government seems determined to kill
Keren's pigs and they will probably get their way as the people
involved appear heartless and unfortunately have the law behind
them. They could easily make an exemption for this exceptional case
(a "grandfather clause") but they have so far refused. We don't know
which day they are coming to take them away for auction and
slaughter but it will be soon unless we can do something to change
Any publicity you can muster up will be
appreciated. In addition, please could you allow Apple Daily
to use the photos of the pigs that you took earlier [Editor:
click on photo below]. Appended below is what Keren has written.
Goldman - Owner of Sumo & Peggy, landscaping
Tel: 9010 7970,
Peggy and Sumo
These two pet pigs are in immediate danger of
being killed by the Government. I am appealing to everyone to
help allow them to live out their natural lives.
I had been keeping the pigs for several years
already before I discovered that Lamma Island is a restricted
area and it is against the law to keep "livestock" here. I have
been trying for the last year and a half to legalise their
status. I consulted all the relevant Government Departments.
AFCD and EPD have proved inflexible. One would
have thought it not too difficult for them to make an exception
in this case with the understanding that no more pigs would be
Sumo is a male Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig who we
estimate to be around 6 years of age. I rescued him 5 years ago
after he was abandoned on Lamma Island. He was overweight and
had to go on a diet to ease the pressure on his legs.
is a female Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig who is 4 years old. She
had been kept in a flat for her entire life and had never even
seen another pig and could barely walk. Her owner had been
advised by a Feng Shui Master to get a pig but when she grew to
the size of an adult pig the family did not want her anymore.
It was decided that to provide a proper
environment for Peggy she should be kept with Sumo. They were
introduced to each other slowly and are now inseparable.
Both animals are very healthy, they have been
de-wormed and microchipped.
They are being fed organic food and their weight
is monitored. They cannot breed!
In order to obtain a license from the AFCD I
gave up my house, moved to a new location and built the
facilities where the pigs are now kept. The facilities are up to
the standards and requirements of the AFCD. I passed all the
AFCD inspections and was in the process of obtaining a licence
from the EPD concerning waste disposal.
The AFCD informed me 3 months ago that my
licence application was rejected, they stated that a license can
not be issued on Government land.
The EPD contacted me one month ago saying that
since I am not holding a valid licence I am committing an
offence, I will be prosecuted and will have to surrender the
animals to the AFCD. Surrendering Peggy and Sumo to AFCD will
result in their being sold at an auction and sent to a
In order to avoid such actions and save the
lives of Peggy and Sumo I have to find a place where they can be
kept legally, a place with a license for keeping livestock.
I am in contact with every possible animals
society in Hong Kong, among them SPCA, HKDR, LAWC, LAP, trying
to help find such a place but with no success so far.
Anyone given a chance to get to know Sumo and
Peggy and their loving characters and unique charm falls in love
The trend of having pigs as pets created a
situation where they might be put down and killed as livestock.
Please do anything in your power to help me give
them a chance to live.
If you need any more information please don't
hesitate to contact me.
P.S. Exclusive Sumo & Peggy story in
Apple Daily, May 20, 2007 (in Chinese).
Wan - End of the Earth?
Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court
Interviewer of the Lamma-zine
(Text and pictures
below by Jay Scott Kanes, courtesy of
Mo Tat Wan
Who could imagine a place more pleasing than a
seaside village in the tropics, one warmed by bright sunshine,
caressed by gentle breezes and seldom swarmed by tourists?
The description perfectly fits Mo Tat Wan on
Hong Kong's outlying Lamma Island. Linked to the big city by
infrequent ferries, this serene village lies over the hills,
separated from the more bustling Lamma communities of Yung Shue
Wan (a 90-minute hike away) and Sok Kwu Wan (30 minutes away).
Even the notorious smokestacks of Hongkong
Electric's power station on northern Lamma stay hidden behind
the hills, unseen to individuals happily strolling along Mo Tat
Wan's beach. It's a magical setting maybe magical enough to
warp the laws of geography.
A prominent sign at the edge of the sand gives
directions to "all places". Its single arrow indicates a left
turn up steep steps and into the hills.
Everywhere else in Asia has destinations to the
north, south, east and west. Could a tranquil paradise like Mo
Tat Wan really represent the end of the earth?
Mo Tat Wan: serene, magical.
One direction leads to "all places".
Court Artist in the Limelight
Sina.com - Story in many Chinese
newspapers last weekend, plus many websites and blogs. Lisa S. seems
to be a somewhat famous fashion model. The "Official Court Artist of
Lamma.com.hk", Andy Maluche, was hired to body-paint her back in the
Festival Walk shopping mall in Kowloon Tong.
(Text and pictures
Sina.com.cn, May 5, automatically translated by the Google
translator programme. Hard to read but you'll understand):
- Fashion Shoot
Sina Entertainment -- May 4, LISA.S attend the
"KISSES OF LOVE" lip corners and to promote different brands of
lipstick, Lisa wearing a large red-hot pace and evening wear,
invited German artist Andy Maluche in Lisa-back lips logo
painted on the human body painting. Finally, recall more at the
request of a reporter Lisa-back kiss for a moment.
Lisa said that the first test of human painting,
said with a smile be her boyfriend in bed with each other these
paintings painting, music increased accordingly.
Andy-back for a little kiss, she did not mind.
When asked whether she would accept a naked body paint? LISA
were used said they did not patient, because the human body
painting to spend six, seven hours of painting. She asked
whether the fear of nudity note leaked? Lisa naked candor is not
a major event, the most important thing is to make a U.S.
To make nudity, would have to ask whether her
boyfriend? Lisa candor would ask her boyfriend Tunpanjie views
to Table respect. Asked her boyfriend, together with the
equivalent occasion as naked, Lisa admits that had thought, hope
left to shoot photographs of their own children, to their
parents before they know how America. TUNGSTAR/text and photos.
Andy back-painting Lisa S.
Andy painting with his lips...
A few shots out of 451 I took yesterday. "Shoot a lot and maybe you'll get
lucky occasionally" is one of my mottos at big events like yesterday. Photo galleries by some
photographers below, after my own snapshots.
Cantonese opera bamboo arena in the Yung Shue Wan Football Pitch
Lion laving the Tin Hau temple after blessing it and the offerings
Confetti canon to announce the stand-off of the lion dancers
Outside the Tin Hau Temple, right after the lion dances
Everything must go... into the oven
Lamma Dragons disembarking on Yung Shue Wan beach after the race
Wow, these guys are really acrobatic!
A day at the races.
(click for SoundByDesign's
Tin Hau 2007 Lamma (click for Donna's photo gallery)
Tin Hau Photos (click for Elizabeth Briel's photo gallery)
(click for Leggova's photo gallery)
Cantonese Opera @ Night
(click for bobby's photo gallery)
Take a day off from work (like Lamma-Por did) and join in the festivities
all day long on Wednesday in Yung Shue Wan: starting at the Tin Hau Temple in the morning,
Dragonboat races at 10am and 2pm, Cantonese opera in the afternoon and
evening, to name just a few of the many events of LAMMA DAY!
Here's the detailed programme of the day, plus some background:
page 2 (see below) - Chinese:
Last night on the Football Pitch, May 8th, the first show of this season
Send me your best pictures of any of the happenings
and I'll publish them in a shared community photo gallery, giving you full credit,
Committing All Seven Deadly Sins
Cartoon by Harry Harrison, donated for the Lamma Dragons fundraiser auction
All Seven Deadly Sins were well-represented at the Lamma Dragons party in
The Island Bar on Sat night, May 5th! Copious sinning has been observed and
a great time was had by all sinners. Sin-busting was banned! Click on photos below (by L-G) to
enlarge them. More photos in this
sinfully comprehensive photo gallery.
Even more photos in this
sinfully comprehensive photo gallery.
Gina Miller -
Lamma Ladies captain,
reporting on the sinful events and fundraising games of the night:
There was the Kinderegg challenge
by the spiky-haired, wrathful but smoochy one above:
see above] It raised $3,100 and was purchased by the lovely
the PRIDE of Lions in the center below:
Games we ran out of time for:
The greed game (boo hoo that was mine!)
The chilli eating contest
raised over $12K in raffle tickets, approximately $3,000 on
the night in various games and jello-shot sales and
fantastic potatoes (with chili and sour cream and chives
want one of those things now, and it's not even 9am!).
had donations from the bar take from
The Island Bar,
and from our long-time wonderful sponsor
which totalled $2,500.
expenses, it all came back to almost
on the nose.
The men's and women's team take $10K each. This is ideal,
since it costs $10,000 exactly to enter the Stanley Race
per crew! I bring this up so that people don't ever get the
impression we piss this money away: we need every dime!
In any case, it was a brilliant and successful evening, and
we thank everyone on Lamma (and our HKG-based friends) for
also very happy to say that the part-owner of the Waterfront
a major local landlord, but a real all-round nice guy],
won the main prize of the weekend for two at the Mandarin
Oriental in Macau with ferry tickets and expenses valued
at almost $5,000. I think he was surprised! (Mainly cause we
woke him up at 12am to tell him!).
prize was donated by
(her company.) [Editor: Enough name-dropping already! But
many thanks to all the great sponsors anyway!].
Fares, Farewells, Festivities, and Fleas!
Official Court Moderator of
All Chinese Forums:
Update of the Chinese forum from Chin. New
Year - April 2007.
(Photos below by e)
Chinese Forum Summary Update - April 2007
HKKF Fares Hike
After 16 months of talk, the inevitable 7%
ferry fares hike was announced, meeting with hostile
response from fellow Lammaites! To make matters worse, you'll need a lot
of loose change when the new fares come into effect on May
ticket at $531; weekday fares from Yung Shue Wan to Central
at $11.8 for slow ferries and $16.8 for fast ferries!
Another Old Friend
Sampan and Fountain Head have become noticeably quieter in
recent weeks, as Chu Lui, the cute-and-cuddly yet clearly
audible pet dog, has left the building. This is the second
departure of such local icons in two months, leaving the
Main Street somewhat empty. We hope Robert and Chu Lui are
enjoying their new existence, just like old times!
The Tin Hau Festival just around the corner,
Lamma is gearing up for another great year of Chinese Opera
by the Hing Fung Ming troupe at the football pitch. The
Official Court Moderator of All Chinese Forums seems very
excited about this annual event! (And he just can't hide
Rock the Boat
And of course, Tin Hau Festival just
wouldn't be the same without the dragon boat race! While the
photo-fanatic Wingman wishes to help take photos at the
race, feline-loving e stole the thunder with a close up shot
of a dragon!
It all started when nicole_kam traded a new
oven for a second hand television with ziao333. Now, this
topic has become an online flea market, with Chinese forum
members swapping roller blades, camping gears, second hand
bottles of red wine!
A Golden Fan
To furnish her gorgeous home with an
additional touch of chic, Cloudy Blue is seeking a replica
of antique golden fan for her gorgeous home in Wang Long.
The only suggestion so far was to look through shops in
Wanchai. Has another got better ideas?
In addition to the four free-to-air
channels, many Lammaites have installed satellite dishes to
maximize the variety of home entertainment. The Chinese
forum has this comprehensive listing of various channels
available with the Philippines and Thai satellite services!
Trip to Po Toi Island
Drum on the Beach
Island Love for Sale
Jay Scott Kanes -
Official Court Interviewer of the Lamma-zine
pictures below by Jay Scott Kanes, courtesy of
OzArt is a
Lamma-zine advertiser and Jay is doing some PR for
Visiting Artist Visualises Lamma Series
of Lamma Island and its people soon may emerge from
a leading art studio near Melbourne, Australia.
Derek Erskine, a
34-year-old Australian artist, actor and film
director, and his girlfriend Michelle Page have
lived on Lamma while he participated in OzArt 2007,
an unusual exhibition of Australian art from April
25 to May 9 at the Fringe Club in Central.
world from the city. It's terrific," Erskine said.
Even before arriving,
he created Lamma Island Love, a painting (priced at
HK$7,500) to convey his joy and anticipation at
exploring this outlying island. Now he plans to do
dozens more inspired by Lamma and other places in
"I'll do a series of
20 paintings about Hong Kong nightlife, a series of
cityscapes and another series depicting Lamma, its
alleyways, boats and ferries, all in my abstract
style," he said. "We're talking significant
paintings of four metres by three metres, not little
ones. I'll also express my feelings about Hong Kong
and its people in a series of scroll paintings."
A global market
waits. "One thing I realize now about Hong Kong is
that most people don't have a lot of wall space,"
Erskine said. "Even the public buildings don't have
much art. In Melbourne, paintings hang in nearly
every building. Hong Kong's more about food,
lifestyle and work. It's very efficient, but less
focused on aesthetics and art."
shares the spotlight at OzArt 2007 with two other
artists: the aboriginal David Dryden and the
flamboyant David Conolan.
On May 5 and 6, OzArt
expands to the Bridge Room at the Aberdeen Boat Club
at 20 Shum Wan Road in Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong.
There it opens to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
passion for both paintings and movies makes him
unusual in the art world. "Acting's more emotional,
film-making's more intellectual and art's more from
the heart. That's how I see it," he said.
"The art's my soul,
my heart. It's about love and beauty. My films are
darker and more political. In art, I use my hands to
create things people may like. Yet somehow, it's all
one creative enterprise using different mediums and
With simple forms and
precise execution, Erskine captures diverse moods,
often in charcoal or acrylic abstracts. He describes
his style, with its abstract shapes and big impact,
as "free expressionism". It liberates him from
conceptual, intellectual or philosophical
"My work represents
love, devotion and inspiration," Erskine said. "I'm
inspired by life in itself, its fun, its simplicity.
I'm guided by an unbiased, free energy. It's about
color and balance, art for beauty's sake and for the
people. Art should never be elitist. The idea is to
capture inner feelings, not external ones, to bring
alive something from within, not to copy from the
stays busy and works hard. "I aspire to new things
all the time," he said. He stars in four
feature-length films and many stage productions. His
movie credits include: Space Pimp, a futuristic tale
of crime and drug abuse; The Cyclamen Man, a Viking
war epic set in the 9th century; A Small World, a US
production; and Learning to Live With Nothing, about
an alcoholic gambler. He's busy on a new movie, one
he wrote, The Man at the End of the World, about a
Scotland, Erskine moved to Tasmania and later to
Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges, about 45 minutes
from downtown Melbourne. He began to paint as a
drama student at the University of Tasmania. Despite
poor grades, he earned the school's prestigious
Mount Nelson Award for his art, acting and
contribution to university life.
artwork has appeared across Australia, plus in
Barcelona, Berlin, Istanbul, Lisbon, Miami, New
York, Vancouver and elsewhere.
"I've done a range of
paintings about funky world cities, like Amsterdam,
Tokyo, San Francisco and London," he said. Next up,
it's Lamma Island.
Visitors are welcome
at the OzArt exhibition. Admission is free.
Erskine confers with Australian consul-general Murray
Cobban (right) at the OzArt exhibition.
Artistic humor: Erskine (left) shares a joke with fellow
artist David Conolan (right) and with David's wife Deb.
At The Fringe Club Gallery, Erskine highlights one of
OzArt organizer Elsie Edenhall-Ip (left) recruited
Erskine to visit Hong Kong.
Erskine displays Lamma Island Love.
Lamma Island Love for sale the image conveys Erskine's
eagerness to visit Lamma.
Dover Mama - Mother of former Lamma Artist of the Month Tamara
Norris (text & pictures by Port Dover Mama. Click to
I had a very hard time leaving Lamma again!! Seeing
my kids, David and Tamara, again was just great!
The first week, I arrived I helped Tamara (www.VividVibrations.com)
with her "Build a Drum Jam" event on the beach. Watching the kids
was so much fun.
So nice to see that not much has changed: Nick the
Book, Ken's coffee shop, friendly people and such cleanliness
everywhere! For the best service on the Island, go say hi to Becky
at the Deli Lamma.
Lamma just cannot be beat for scenery, hospitality
or fresh food. It is unique unto itself, so let's not spread the
word too far. When I come back, I hope to find that not much has
changed. I LOVE it just the way it is. The month passed so fast, I
had a hard time leaving again. Hi to all!
Big Tamasha? No Shouting Shouting?
Quick, name all of the Seven Deadly Sins! No peeping
Most people can remember "Lust", but why is it a sin and what about the
other six Deadly Sins? If you fail to name all seven, have the Lamma Dragons
teach you this Saturday in The Island Bar. According to their promotional
email, you're strongly encouraged to come dressed as a sin or a sin-buster
(ideally those people will be thrown in the harbour).
You might even get to practice some of the Seven Deadly Sins... if you're lucky!
Free entry! Free sinning (except gluttony - drinks & food need to be paid
Miller - Lamma Ladies captain, from her
(pictures courtesy of
the Lamma Ladies)
No More Big Tamasha? No
nine or ten days have gone by since the Lamma Ladies were chastised
for their vulgar ways in the public
forum. [Apr 19: 'Enticing
lustful, opiatic-like, sodden dreams on warm, balmy nights']
then, there has been some confusion over the activities of the Lamma
Ladies, as we have been away racing (as we are wont to do), and
Lamma-Ladies-spotters have mistaken the fishermen's night training
for the usual riotous Pink Ladies. Nkarraker mourned what
she believed was a silent Lamma ladies crew:
Well, you all have done it
now. We were eating in one of the seaview restaurants tonight
after dark and on the horizon we saw a dragonboat with its tiny
lights coming into the harbor, I am certain, from another part
of the South China Sea. In utter silence. No boom, boom, boom.
No big tamasha. No shouting, shouting. No intricate rhythms on
the drum. Like so many faceless seagoers paddling on a quiet
communal rowing machine.
I hope you are happy now.
We would hasten to assure Nkarraker that
nothing shuts the Lamma Ladies up.
Those were, in fact, the
Lamma Fishermen, who - we are delighted to say - won a spectacular
traditional fishermen's race in Cheung Chau on Sunday, April 29th!
Those fishermen's boats are FAST! So the Yung Shue Wan, Lamma North
Fishermen were superfast! And victorious. And fantastic.
And did we mention that they are the greatest?
to the Lamma Ladies... [click for Lamma Ladies blog]
We are pleased to announce that the Beast Master
(known to laymen as the "drummer"), has taken on a new nickname:
Big Tamasha. She seems to like it.
In any case, we are very
happy to say that our second-place medals give us greater incentive
to make Big Tamashas in the harbour, scream louder, and paddler
time just flies between those races.
[Editor: The Lamma
Ladies won silver in Cheung Chau on Sunday, Apr 29, and
silver in Shatin on Sunday, Apr 21.
Congratulations from the Lamma-zine! But make that Gold next time,
ladies! Only the very best is good enough for the Lamma Dragons!
By the way, no info of any kind is available yet
from the men's team, despite repeated enquiries. No idea if, where
and when they've already been racing this season (perhaps), if they've won
something or when they'll be racing again. Anyway, all the best of
success to all Lamma Dragonboat teams!]
Ladies Dragonboating Races:
· Wednesday - May 9 Tin Hau Festival:
LAMMA DAY, Yung Shue Wan
· Sunday - May 13 Deep Water Bay (500m)
· Sunday - May 20 Shatin Championships (500m)
· Sunday - June 10 LAMMA ISLAND:
· Sunday - June 17 Cheung Chau (300m)
· Tuesday - June 19 Stanley
· June 23-24 HK International Races
· June 30-31 Singapore International Races
And here we are, making faces and cheering over our first silver medal
of the season in Shatin!
May 1 - Labour Day:
Joys & Lofty Aims'
We've got a double feature for the monthly Lamma Artist of the Month
spot, May 2007. Two artists for the price of one! Double the creative fun
for the same price... free! Buy one, get another one free... and the first
one's free as well!
is in town, exhibiting Australian art in two locations. Two of the Aussie artists
are visiting Hong Kong right now, staying on Lamma with their families during most of the exhibitions. You might
see them in Main Street these days! Here's the first artist, David Edward
Conolan, who's truly taking flamboyance to a new level.
Photos from four photographers about a junk trip to Po Toi island with David
and his family will follow later this week in the Lamma-zine.
Also later this week, an interview with the second
OzArt artist visiting Lamma right now, Derek Erskine. It will also
conducted by our newly appointed Official Court Interviewer who's doing
double duty at double pay (2*0=0) as the Official Court Pet Correspondent:
Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court
Interviewer of the Lamma-zine
(Text and pictures
below by Jay Scott Kanes, courtesy of
OzArt is a Lamma-zine advertiser and Jay is doing some PR for
Creative Joys, Lofty Aims
Drive Giving Artist
Conolan Places Extra
Precious in Paintings
Not every day do you meet someone who plans to
become "the biggest contemporary artist of all time". Abstract
expressionist David Edward Conolan, from Broome, Australia, has
made substantial progress at building an art-world empire from
which he devotes much of the revenue to humanitarian projects.
Only an ultra-innovative artist can create
precious objects of a sort rarely seen. Yet 39-year-old Conolan,
who leads Conolan Art Proprietary Ltd (www.conolanart.com.au),
does so routinely, mainly by using gemstones, pearls and
valuable metals in unique paintings. "I wanted to do something
never done before," he said.
Vibrant and ambitious, he operates galleries in
Australia, Germany and Fiji. Many of his works carry six-figure
US-dollar prices. Since first painting nearly eight years ago,
he has staged 80 solo exhibitions and sold about 2,000 artworks.
His biggest commissions call for hundreds of works for hotels in
Australia and the United Arab Emirates.
Conolan, wife Deb (a "traditional" artist) and
teenage son Paddy (who does an occasional painting) have taken
up residence on Lamma Island in Hong Kong during
OzArt 2007, an
unusual exhibition of Australian art until May 9 at the Fringe
Club Gallery in the city's Central Business District.
OzArt 2007 also features aboriginal artist David
Dryden and free expressionist Derek Erskine. On May 5 and 6, the
event expands to the Bridge Room at the Aberdeen Boat Club on
Hong Kong Island.
"I want to establish a presence in Hong Kong,"
Conolan said. "I like the place. There's an unusual busy-ness, a
rare energy. It's different from Australia, where everything's
vast with desert and rocks. My gallery in Broome is 700
kilometers from the next town. People fly in to buy paintings."
Conolan heightens Australia's reputation for its
intriguing, unusual and eccentric people: "I'm one of them,
In past collections, he placed 27,000 South Sea
pearls, hundreds of diamonds, a kilo of pure silver, plenty of
gold and hundreds of gemstones. On "pearl paintings" of dragons,
he sometimes added Chinese script.
"We've received 100 sheets of 24-carat fine gold
from Germany," he said. "Each year I like to do something
different. Now I'm using gold and silver-leaf in paintings. I've
brought my first collection of gold-leaf paintings to Hong Kong
two dozen pieces just dry. I'm known for abstract-flower
paintings. I brought some of those, plus cockatoos and fish,
even one of my jam-packed pieces containing 400 diamonds and
5,000 carats of emeralds, sapphires and rubies. That one costs a
bit to buy."
Earlier, his Outback Collection had barbed wire,
fence posts and broken glass. Sometimes he works on race-cars,
reborn as "art vehicles".
"I try to have fun, and that's when my art
flows," Conolan said. "I paint only when I want, and then
everything's fresh, new and impulsive."
Each painting takes about a week. "But I can't
work on just one at a time," he said. "I need 10 to 30 on the go
to keep me interested."
What lures the buyers? "Happiness," Conolan
said. "Some buy for my name, but most want a painting because
they love it. They need to find something that touches them in
each piece of art they buy."
Conolan dropped a clothing-design career for "a
journey of pure visual delight". He and Deb devoted several
years to "self-funded humanitarian work", usually holding events
for seriously ill children. Then he needed "something to give me
the power, money and influence to continue with humanitarian
work. So I started the art."
This unusual artist stages special auctions and
contributes the proceeds to TLC For Kids (in Melbourne), New
Hope (a leper colony in India) and other charitable
organizations. "I love doing humanitarian work," he said. "As I
give out blessings, more come back they all flow around."
With Deb expecting another child soon, Conolan
stresses that art nicely supports his family too. "You need to
fill your own cup as well," he said.
How does the artist describe his success so far?
"It's been pretty awesome. No other Australian artist has sold
so much early in a career. I always try to do things that are
really out there'. I'm never afraid to have a go'.
"A lot of artists are scared. They're afraid of
criticism, but that's the world. Some people hate my work, but I
don't care. My advice to anyone starting to be an artist is
always to get the work out there into restaurants, hotels,
anywhere. Down the track, I'd like to open a series of galleries
for artists who aren't represented."
As a boy, Conolan showed no artistic talent. "I
hated art," he recalled. "Being a rough kid in Melbourne, I
spent my time fighting. But once I touched my first canvas (in
1999), a bolt of lightning hit' and I knew I'd found an
important gift. I realized that if I could love art, then I
could make anyone love it."
He keeps his first paintings abstracts using
fabrics left from his clothing-industry days.
"At first, I struggled to buy paint. Now I get
to use precious metals in my paintings. I love it." That's
Surveying new turf, Conolan ponders prospects in Hong Kong.
The artist displays a pearl painting.
Artist David Conolan and wife Deb 'feel at home' in Hong Kong.
Works like these by David Edward Conolan appear at galleries in
Australia and overseas.
Conolan feels Hong Kong's energy, even on serene Lamma Island.
"Art of Horsepower car",
the amazing BMW 318i.
Newly arrived in Hong Kong, David Conolan plans to climb ever-higher
in the art world.
The 2004 Dragon Suite, with Clipper Pearls.
For Conolan, art has become a means to fund good causes.
"Precious". Encrusted with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, topaz,
opals, pearls, silver and gold, it's on offer at HK$5.4 million.
Read last month's stories...