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May 31:  I Dub Thee "Lamma Romeo"

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 Ticketing (www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288) and Fringe Club; benefit for the Kely Support Group. Lara Day writes:

"Phoenixation 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.

Exclusive interview with Lamma Romeo:

[Conducted by 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 since.

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 John's Failure?"

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.

I 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 credit:

"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!

May 30:  Sao Feng, the Lamma Pirate

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 story.

Being 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.


Chow 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 pier.

The pirate captain Sao Feng he's portraying is based on the legendary 19th century Chinese pirate Cheung 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 IMDB pages and this great fan site and blog.

May 29:  A Brand-New & Inconceivably Cool Lamma Band

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 themselves...

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 Truly. 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!

May 28:  A Flock of Migrating Cattle Egrets

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 years already.

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!

May 27:  Sun Setting Over Yung Shue Wan

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 great company...

Today, Sunday, May 27, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 26:  Lamma Forest Tree Planting Day

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 expanding forest.

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 very 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.

one love.

Bobsy Gaia
"Be the change you want to see in the world"

May 21:  Lamma After the Rain

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 Hell
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, click here.

May 20:  Tasting Lamma Hospitality

Pick up a copy of the free, biweekly bc Magazine this week!

It 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 free (more 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 former 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

May 19:  Cannibalism, Incest & Fratricide?

"Do You Want to Have Sex With a Goat?"

This is the intro question to the latest edition of the first of the new-look 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!

"Naughty! Naughty!"

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.

Daniel Clarke, Moment Productions, ph: 9122 2849, www.MomentEye.com

May 18:  Paddle Like @#$%!

Adie Hart - Lamma Dragons Men's Team member and media liaison:

(Photos by Lamma Dragons, except last photo by L-G. Click to enlarge.)

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 after 9am!

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 like @#$%!

 

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 Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival, former Lamma Dragons Men's team member, and one of the masterminds behind the Lamma Cricket Club and several International Cricket Sixes Festivals.

Fifty-five teams to compete in the first
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 filled.

"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 June 10th.

Spectators are welcome to join in the festivities and their entry is free of charge. For further information see the tournament website at www.LammaDragonBoat.com

Men

  1. ABN AMRO Men's Crew 

  2. AIS Southside Massive Urban Gorrilaz Men 

  3. Auxiliary Medical Service

  4. BGC Stormydragons – Men

  5. Castle Peak Power Station DB Team

  6. CLP Eastern Dragon Boat Team 

  7. Dubai Flying Dragons – Men Team

  8. Freudenberg & Vilene Dragon Boat Racing Team

  9. HKUST Alumni Dragon Boat Team 

  10. HKUST Dragon Boat Team

  11. HKUST Rowing Team Alumni 

  12. Hong Kong Freedom Dragon - Men

  13. IPC Men 

  14. Lamma Fishermen

  15. Lamma Dragons – Men 

  16. Liechtenstein Princely Navy 

  17. Lingnan University Men Team 

  18. MTR Corporation Dragon Boat Team 

  19. OUHK Dragon Boat Club 

  20. Royal X-men 

  21. Tai O Happy Dragon Boat

  22. Tong Fuk Sports Club

  23. Thirsty Horse A

  24. Thirsty Horse B

Mixed

  1. Australian Association Jackaroos 

  2. Auxiliary Medical Service

  3. BAT

  4. BGC Stormydragons – Mixed 

  5. Dubai Flying Dragons – A Team 

  6. Dubai Flying Dragons – B Team

  7. Go2Nature 

  8. HKUST MBAAA

  9. Hong Kong Freedom Dragon - Mixed 

  10. Hong Kong Institute of CPAs 

  11. IPC Mixed 

  12. Lamma Dragons Mixed

  13. Lingnan University Old Student Team 

  14. Microsoft Team 

  15. MTR Corporation 

  16. On-and-On 

  17. Prudential

  18. Royal X – Mixed

  19. Seagods 

  20. VIVA Macau Fair Dinkum A 

  21. VIVA Macau Fair Dinkum B

  22. Way Young

Women

  1. AIA Southside Massive Urban Gorrilaz Women 

  2. Australian Association Jullaroos 

  3. BGC Stormy-dragons Women 

  4. Dubai Flying Dragons – Women Team 

  5. ING Lady Buzz 

  6. IPC Women

  7. Lamma Ladies

  8. Lingnan University Women Team 

  9. Royal X-women 

 

May 17:  One-Man Beach Clean-Up, Every Time

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 eco-friendly power?
No scary stuff this time, only skin cancer protection, and all Lamma-based."

How could I resist such an article about some of the Lamma-zine favourite topics? Here it is, see below. (Photos above by LammaDragonBoat.com)

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 patch.

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 gurgled.
"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 informed him.

"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):

May 16:  Eager Hungry Beaks...

by Katie Flowers

May 15:  Bianchino – Lovable Rogue & Two-Timer

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 investigation!

(Text and pictures below by Jay Scott Kanes, courtesy of Cairns Magazine):

Lovable Rogue Two-Times
Families and Villages

Divided loyalties, 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.

Meandering between 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.

To Bianchino's 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.

Piero Paolini 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.

"Bianchino's special. I respect his personality," Sonia said. "He's very clever. When we speak to him, he understands some Italian."

Seeking their 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 main street.

"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.

"The Chinese owners are happy that we look after him," Piero said.

"In Sok Kwu Wan, everyone knows and loves Bianchino too," Sonia said.

Bianchino first 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."

With his 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 much."

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."

Lamma Islanders 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 Lamma dog...

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 villages.

Bianchino and a pal assess human traffic along the trail.

Hastily, Bianchino trots past discriminatory signs at Hung Shing Yeh Beach.

At the beach, Bianchino surveys a sandy expanse.

A face everyone loves: Bianchino, the two-timer.

May 14HK Copy News Gets Informatationalised!

News about HK Copy News from Daniel MomentEye:

"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 down:
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:

May 13Can Sumo & 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 their mind.

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.

Keren Goldman - Owner of Sumo & Peggy, landscaping artist:
Tel: 9010 7970, E-mail.

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 brought in.

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.

Peggy 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 slaughterhouse.

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 with them.

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).

May 12Mo Tat 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 Cairns Magazine):

Magical 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".

May 11Official 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 below from Sina.com.cn, May 5, automatically translated by the Google translator programme. Hard to read but you'll understand):

Lisa S - Fashion Shoot
Back Painting

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...

May 10Best of LAMMA  DAY

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 fine Lamma 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 photo gallery)

Tin Hau 2007 Lamma  (click for Donna's photo gallery)

Tin Hau Photos  (click for Elizabeth Briel's photo gallery)

Tin Hau  (click for Leggova's photo gallery)

Cantonese Opera @ Night  (click for bobby's photo gallery)

May 9LAMMA  DAY  Today!

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:

English: page1, page 2 (see below) - Chinese: page 1, page 2.

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, of course.

May 8 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:

The games:

·         There was the Kinderegg challenge

·         Jello shots eating contest [Editor: won by the spiky-haired, wrathful but smoochy one above: Amanda Levin]

·         Auction for Harry Harrison's drawing [Editor: see above] It raised $3,100 and was purchased by the lovely Claudia Tarr!

·         Best costume: Karen, 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

We raised over $12K in raffle tickets, approximately $3,000 on the night in various games and jello-shot sales and Lisa's fantastic potatoes (with chili and sour cream and chives… I want one of those things now, and it's not even 9am!).

We also had donations from the bar take from The Island Bar, and from our long-time wonderful sponsor Peter Berry, which totalled $2,500.

After expenses, it all came back to almost $20,000 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 their support.

I am also very happy to say that the part-owner of the Waterfront Restaurant [Editor: Chow Hung-Kee, 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!). 

That prize was donated by Dawn Roughsedge and Clerical Medical (her company.) [Editor: Enough name-dropping already! But many thanks to all the great sponsors anyway!].

May 7Fans, Fares, Farewells, Festivities, and Fleas!

Samson - 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

  1. HKKF Fares Hike 2007

    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 13: monthly ticket at $531; weekday fares from Yung Shue Wan to Central at $11.8 for slow ferries and $16.8 for fast ferries!  Read more...

  2. Farewell to 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!  Read more...
  3. Tin Hau festivities!

    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 it!)  Read more...

  4. 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!  Read more...

  5. Online Flea Market

    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 bikes and… bottles of red wine!
    Read more...

  6. 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?  Read more...

  7. Satellite TV Lamma

    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!  Read more...

May 6Junk Trip to Po Toi Island

in progress...

May 5Build a Drum on the Beach

in progress...

May 4Lamma Island Love for Sale

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Interviewer of the Lamma-zine

(Text and pictures below by Jay Scott Kanes, courtesy of Cairns Magazine.

OzArt is a Lamma-zine advertiser and Jay is doing some PR for them):

Visiting Artist Visualises Lamma Series

Abstract depictions 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.

"Lamma's another 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 Hong Kong.

"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."

Erskine 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.

Erskine's 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 subjects."

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 constraints.

"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 outside."

Erskine 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 brainwashed assassin.

Originally from 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.

Erskine's 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 his creations.

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.

May 3Port Dover Mama's 2. Lamma Visit

Port Dover Mama - Mother of former Lamma Artist of the Month Tamara Norris  (text & pictures by Port Dover Mama. Click to enlarge pictures):

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!

May 2No More Big Tamasha? No Shouting Shouting?

Quick, name all of the Seven Deadly Sins!  No peeping below!

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 for!)

Gina Miller - Lamma Ladies captain, from her very entertaining blog:

(pictures courtesy of the Lamma Ladies)

No More Big Tamasha?  No Shouting Shouting?

Some nine or ten days have gone by since the Lamma Ladies were chastised for their vulgar ways in the public Lamma.com.hk forum.  [Apr 19: 'Enticing lustful, opiatic-like, sodden dreams on warm, balmy nights']

Since 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?

Back 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 harder!

How 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!]

Lamma 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: INT'L DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

·         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:  'Creative 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!

OzArt 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 Cairns Magazine.

OzArt is a Lamma-zine advertiser and Jay is doing some PR for them):

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, mate."

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 progress.

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...

 

Lamma-zine Blog started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything vaguely related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events or photos.

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