Introducing the Hong Kong Vanguard of 2020
08 10 12 14 16
Candice Chan Interior Designer Amanda Cheung Philanthropist Lynn Fung Museum Director Veronica Lam Photographic Artist Peter Lampard Designer Norman Ung Designer
entertainment 22 24 26 28 30 32 34
Grace Chan Actress JuJu Chan Actress and Martial Artist Charlene Choi Actress and Singer Pakho Chau Singer and Actor Alex Fong Swimmer and Singer Grace Wong Actress and Singer Jonathan Wong Singer-Songwriter, Dancer-Choreographer and Actor
40 42 44 46 48 50
Philip Chan Hotelier Samuel Chan Educational Consultant Kevin Lau Doctor and Businessman Justin Ma Entrepreneur and Hotelier Vivian Tang Traditional Medicine Entrepreneur Oscar Wang Entrepreneur Rex Wong Intrapreneur
56 58 60 62 64
Tiffany Chan Professional Golfer Nicholas Edward Choi Olympic Fencer Or Chin Chung Badminton Champion Zada Yeung Water Polo Player and Businesswoman Raena Leung Equestrian JoĂŁo Moreira Leading Jockey
70 72 74 76 78 80 82
Victor Chan Fashion Designer Coral Chung Accessories Designer Anson Lau Fashion Stylist and Art Director AnaĂŻs Mak Fashion Designer Eliza Rutson Pang Model Jasmin Pang Fashion Designer Susanna Soo Fashion Designer Kev Yiu Fashion Designer
food & beverage 86
88 90 92 94 96
Jonathan Bui Restaurateur Manesh Chellaram Restaurateur Vicky Cheng Chef Devon Hou Chef Shak Pasha F&B Entrepreneur Malcolm Wood Restaurateur
Publisher’s Letter While we in Hong Kong are certainly fortunate to have so far missed the brunt of the pandemic now resurging in other places, many of us still feel downbeat and confused, wondering if things will ever be the same with our plans and dreams so annoyingly disrupted. Nevertheless, if you put the same question to many of our dynamic Under-40s leaders in the “business of getting things done”, you might be pleasantly surprised by their responses. For the past five years, it has been Prestige magazine’s privilege to pay tribute to 40 of our city’s outstanding individuals under the age of 40 for their achievements in the Arts, Sport, Entrepreneurship, Entertainment, Food & Beverage and Fashion. They are the shinning stars in their respective professions – and though this time around we are sadly unable to honour them by holding our 40 Under 40 Awards Gala at the Upper House, you can rest assured that we will certainly be there in 2021!
We asked: “How has the pandemic affected your operations?” While nearly all truthfully speak of difficulties and even hardship during this most unusual year, across the board the unwavering under-40year-olds regarded the restrictions that followed the outbreak as a chance to recalibrate and improvise to find new ways in which to strive and move forward. That hard work will decidedly pay off is also a given among these inspirational honourees. This is typical of the “Hong Kong Spirit”, of which folks in this city are proud to remind themselves – and which they so often draw on in times of adversity. Such is the invincible Hong Kong I still firmly believe in after being blessed enough to live here during the past two decades. As we move into the festive season, the New Year and beyond, I hope not only that this youthful optimism rubs off on us all, but that wonderful things come true for everyone.
Despite these extraordinary times, as I read through interviews with our awardees, I cannot help but notice a common theme: Sheer Optimism. PRESTIGE HONG KONG
Joanne Ten MANAGING DIRECTOR & PUBLISHER
CHIEF EDITOR Jon Wall EDITOR AT LARGE/STYLE DIRECTOR Jing Zhang JEWLLERY & WATCH DIRECTOR Charlene Co EXECUTIVE EDITOR Christopher Donnolley SENIOR FEATURE WRITER Florence Tsai CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sepfry Ng SENIOR DESIGNER Yeeni Chow CIRCULATION & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Tony Kong PRODUCTION OFFICER Ken Lai
GENERAL MANAGER — SALES & MARKETING Kyo Siu ASSOCIATE SALES DIRECTOR Janet Wong ASSOCIATE SALES DIRECTOR Wendy Cheung PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR Brian Bailey CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER Astor Chan PHOTOGRAPHY Vinci Ng @NUMBER FIVE STUDIO PRODUCER Crystal Yung HAIR Kidd Yuen MAKE-UP Joyce Wong, Candice Li
40 Under 40 is published by Hubert Burda Media Hong Kong Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of Hubert Burda Media Hong Kong Ltd. Opinions expressed in 40 Under 40 are those of the writers and are not necessarily endorsed by Hubert Burda Media Hong Kong Ltd. Rights reserved. Prestige is a trademark of Hubert Burda Singapore Pte Ltd. Hubert Burda Media Hong Kong Ltd accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or other materials lost or damaged in the mail. Address all editorial and business correspondence to: Prestige Hong Kong, Unit 1006, 10/F, Capital Centre, 151 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 3192 7010. Email: email@example.com. 40 Under 40 is printed by C.A. Printing Co. Ltd, 9/F, Cheung Wei Industrial Building, 42 Lee Chung Street, Chai Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2866 8733. For local and overseas subscription information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: (852) 3192 7020.
From visualising the habitats and work spaces of the future to guarding rare treasures from the past, these young men and women are trailblazing the ways in which we live and perceive
CANDICE CHAN | AMANDA CHEUNG | LYNN FUNG VERONICA LAM | PETER LAMPARD | NORMAN UNG 05
“My parents have always been my biggest inspiration — growing up, watching them work, pouring their hearts out into everything they do” 06
CANDICE CHAN INTERIOR DESIGNER
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and majored in interior design at Syracuse University, then moved to New York where I worked for a few years at an architectural firm that specialises in historical and preservation work, which was exactly what I wanted to do. On my first day at work, my advisor asked me to meet her at a Broadway theatre on 48th Street. The whole building was under renovation with scaffolding everywhere and we had to climb up a temporary staircase to get in and take a look. When we got to the top, I realised we’d reached the theatre’s ceiling — there were artists doing amazing paintwork on the theatre's medallions and architectural pieces. It was an incredible experience! Shortly after that, my boyfriend — now husband — decided to move back to Hong Kong and I started J Candice Interior Architects in 2010. Did you always want to be a an interior designer? I did think about being a fashion or shoe designer, but by the age of 13 or 14 I think I had my heart set on interior design, most probably because I was exposed to interior spaces quite often when I was growing up. As my family is in the restaurant business, our Sunday activities consisted of touring our F&B outlets around town and talking to the managers. Whenever my father had time, he’d bring me to these bare-shell construction sites and ask me to imagine the space. I remember each space would become alive with the colours and textures that poured into my mind. I told myself I wanted to do this every day! Whom do you look up to and why? My parents have always been my biggest inspiration. Growing up, watching them work, pouring their hearts out into everything they do. I have to say they’re the most hard-working individuals I’ve known. What does it take to succeed in your line of work? What are the values one needs to “make it”? I’m still in the process of learning. But as a female interior designer, I think we do offer a different angle and a different approach when designing. In general, you have to be an active listener — listen to what our clients need and want. Being an active listener is the first step.
LOCATION MONT ROUGE, KERRY PROPERTIES
What advice would you offer aspiring interior designers? Being an entrepreneur isn’t simply about running a business — it’s also a lifestyle. So you have to like what you’re doing. If you’re determined to make that as your living, go for it! Don’t procrastinate. Don’t try to make everything perfect. If you don’t give it a try, you’ll never get the chance to perfect it. 07
AMANDA CHEUNG PHILANTHROPIST
Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Hong Kong and went off to boarding school in the UK in my early teens. I stayed there for further education and spent time working in France and Singapore before moving back. I always knew that I’d eventually return to Hong Kong because it’s the only place in the world that I consider home and I love constantly being inspired by the city’s diverse and fast-paced nature. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I can be easily bribed by a meal and a good bottle of wine. What made you want to involve yourself with philanthropic work? I was fortunate to always have very good examples of caring people around me. I learned that giving back was very important and a privilege. Of course my mum, Michelle Ong, who founded First Initiative Foundation (FIF) 10 years ago, is a big inspiration.
Tell us about your most rewarding project so far. FIF’s Meet the T Rex exhibition was incredibly rewarding. We brought an authentic, 30-metre-long T-Rex skeleton to Hong Kong and created an associated interactive educational learning trail dotted around IFC mall, which lasted for three weeks and was free of charge for everyone. There were well over 100,000 visitors and I loved seeing the sheer awe and enjoyment on their faces. It felt incredible to be able to give back to the community in such an inclusive and educational way. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? I think finding time for everything I want to do. I try to balance my career with my charitable work and I’ve learned the need to be patient, efficient and accept that sometimes I can’t fit everything into a day. Whom do you look up to and why? I look up to my mum. She’s the most positive person that I know, who always works hard and embodies the can-do spirit. What advice would you offer others who want to go into charitable work? Find a cause that speaks to you, be passionate and get involved at some level. Use your skill sets and strengths to contribute as much as possible. It doesn’t always have to be financial in nature; contributions of your time are also very valuable.
Why is giving back to the community so important? I believe that we need to uplift all those around us, in order to continue to build a better future for Hong Kong, our home. How have the past months been? For me, a positive attitude is most important. Thinking creatively, seeing opportunities and being willing to pivot helped me to find ways to keep things moving forward. Tell us about an exciting project you’ve worked on this year. I’m fortunate to have worked on an exciting exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of Art that features more than 40 Renaissance paintings from the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, including many by the great master Sandro Botticelli. FIF is the educational, community-outreach and publicity partner, and we have many exciting initiatives to benefit people of all ages in Hong Kong. It’s a fantastic charitable project for me to work on for the benefit of our community.
“I try to balance my career with my charitable work and I have learnt the need to be patient, efficient and accept that sometimes I can’t fit everything into a day”
LOCATION MONT ROUGE, KERRY PROPERTIES
LYNN FUNG MUSEUM DIRECTOR
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and didn’t leave the city until I went to university at Northwestern in Chicago, to study a BA in literature. Then I moved to London to get my MA, also in literature, focussing on post-colonialism. After that, I did a degree in culinary arts where I spent a year and a half at the school, and a three-month stage in rural France. It was really back-breaking work, and tough both physically and mentally. I absolutely loved it — a fantastic experience in terms of imparting an extremely strict work ethic, as well as ability and a new appreciation for people who are such perfectionists and have to turn out brilliant, consistent results day after day.
What was your first big break? In 2013, I’d been back in Hong Kong for about five years, working in lifestyle journalism and really enjoying it. I was doing a lot of food writing, which combined two passions (writing and food). But I was also getting to the point where I found myself doing a lot more managing and editing, rather than writing. I was ready for a new challenge and my father was thinking of opening Liang Yi Museum (at that point, it was still to be decided whether it would be a private museum that would be open to the public or more of a friends-only, appreciation society-type clubhouse). He asked if I’d be interested in spearheading the project, and that was how I got involved.
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? That I’m a total eco-warrior (or eco-bore, depending on who you ask): I’m the type of person who gives collapsible coffee cups as presents; I haven’t had bluefin tuna since 2005; and since my daughter left the hospital when she was born, she’s never used a disposable diaper or a baby wipe. It all sounds quite self-congratulatory and boastful, but I believe that if you choose to have children (already not a great choice, environmentally speaking), then you have a responsibility to leave them a world worth living in.
What’s the biggest challenge you've faced? I’m definitely a micro-manager, so without a doubt, it would be delegating and letting other people do their jobs! It’s also been enormously humbling: we’re a small, familyrun private museum who, in our first couple of years, partnered with institutions like the V&A and the Ashmolean in Oxford. To say it was a steep learning curve would be an understatement, but it’s been truly inspiring to meet and work with so many people who are at the top of their fields.
“Dream big, be brave enough to ask and be reciprocal”
Whom do you look up to and why? So many people but, of course, my father would be one. He started the Liang Yi permanent collection of Chinese classical furniture by just wandering up and down Hollywood Road in the 1980s and speaking to the dealers; and from there, it’s become one of the largest and most highly regarded collections of Chinese antique furniture in the world. The amount of curiosity that requires is phenomenal — and the fact that he was able to gain this vast amount of knowledge along the way just by being a good listener and asking the right questions. These are qualities that I aspire to daily. What are you most proud of? I’m proud of how much our museum has achieved in such a short space of time. When we first opened, I had no idea that we’d be doing things like co-hosting an exhibit on British silver with the V&A; or that we’d put together the first-ever Persian decorative arts exhibition in Hong Kong, bringing objects from 12 institutions overseas, including objects that have never been in this part of Asia before. What advice would you offer apiring museum directors? It sounds really cheesy, but dream big. And just ask! I’ve found the museum world to be close-knit and generally helpful. If you don’t ask someone whether you can borrow something for an exhibition, you’ll never know what the answer is. And most of the time, people are happy to collaborate. And, of course, be reciprocal: we mostly agree to loans as we believe that our collection should be seen by as many people as possible.
VERONICA LAM PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTIST
Tell us about yourself. I studied statistics at the University of Reading in England. After working in banking for two years, I decided to take a short course in analogue photography at Parsons New York to further my understanding of photography. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? Unlike the social butterfly I appear to be on social media, I actually enjoy being alone, spending time by myself and having my own personal space. Did you always want to be an artist? The one thing I’ve learned about myself over the years was that I enjoy capturing moments. I like to be able to hold on to specific moments and photograph them again, which helps me prolong and hold on to that feeling. I have a short-term memory, so photography helps me to remember my past. Tell us about your first big break. A friend introduced me to a gallery that signed me on as an artist to be featured in art fairs, not only in Hong Kong but my works were also shown in London and Paris. At that time I wanted to create something more than just photography, so I incorporated gold leaf with my blackand-white photographs and they sold out. This inspired me to become more sure of myself and it kick-started my life as a photographic artist.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? Probably that I have way too many ideas, but didn’t push myself hard enough to execute them. Without a deadline from a gallery, I’d never push myself to work on them. I’d always think I had time ... which I never do and then end up stressing out and creating “rushed” work. Rushed works are never satisfying — at least, I don’t like them. Whom do you look up to and why? I look up to people who practise a lot of patience and endurance with their work. There are a lot of emerging artists who are hard-working and have a well-planned daily schedule for themselves, focussing on what they need to do and what they’ve planned to achieve. They end up growing their business so much quicker and attracting more followers. Personally, I just like taking my time and I allow just a few days in a week to focus on creating art, so my work doesn’t feel like “work”. I want to be able to enjoy the process of creating art. What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Personally, I don’t think I've “succeeded” in my line of work. But I do think being humble, being respectful and appreciative of other artist’s work is very important. In the world of “photography”, there’s a wide range of photographers — landscape, portrait, studio, lifestyle, food etc, the list goes on. Appreciating other artists’ ideology about their work is a better attitude than negatively criticising others’ work.
What advice would you offer aspiring artists? Some would say choose a particular style and stick to it, but I don’t like to pigeonhole myself by creating a single style. Each style is unique and different to another and there’s no “right” way in creating and editing a photograph. It's important to take note of each photographer’s style and create something of your own. How has it been during these last few months amid the pandemic? When I began, I'd only been editing work and creating art at home. Earlier this year I decided to lease a space in a factory building, so I could have a bigger area to create bigger artworks. Amid the pandemic, I thought it was a great time to set up a photography studio of my own. It took me more than three months, choosing and ordering backdrops, studio equipment and staging more and more props and chairs for different kinds of studio work. What’s next for you? Aside from taking solo and couples blackand-white portraits, I’ve been taking a lot of maternity shots on the back of the current rise of Covid babies. I’ve also been asked recently to shoot some creative product photos ... you can tell I don’t like being stuck in a mould! These photoshoots should be able to fill up my time until we’re all able to travel again, so I can start taking landscape photographs and creating art!
“I like to be able to hold on to specific moments and photograph them again, which helps me prolong and hold on to that feeling”
PETER LAMPARD DESIGNER
Tell us about your background. I grew up in the US in a military household that moved to a new base every two years, so I got used to making new friends and changing environments quickly. My family finally ended up in Texas where I earned my undergraduate degree in Architecture, from Texas A&M University. Five days after graduating, I moved to Hong Kong and enrolled at HKU for my master of architecture, graduating in 2012. I’ve lived in Hong Kong since 2009, I met my wife here in 2010, and our son was born here in 2017. What's one thing not a lot of people know about you? I enjoy cooking nearly as much as I do designing. I worked as a part-time chef during my undergraduate days, and still cook as often as I can. I’ll typically spend my weekends making homemade corn tamales or grilling fajitas on my rooftop. Cooking is a great stress reliever for me. Did you always want to be an architect? Even though I spent most of my childhood drawing elaborate designs for dream houses and futuristic inventions, I’d always intended to follow in my father’s footsteps in joining the military to become a fighter pilot. But despite him being a pilot, he had a collection of hand-drawn mechanical schematics and industrial designs from his university days as an industrial-design major. I studied these drawings at every opportunity and tried to emulate them in my own ways. When it came time to make
my decision to join the military or study architecture, I visited my future university’s architecture building and saw students building models in their studio. I decided to follow the path that would allow me to build physical, tangible objects and spaces in real life, which is what I’m doing today. Tell us about your first big break. After graduating from HKU and spending the next few years working under William Lim at CL3 Architects, my classmate and good friend Norman Ung and I made a risky move by starting our own design studio, DEFT, when we were both 27 years old and without major institutional clients of our own. At that time, each project we brought in was our biggest break up to that point. We were approached in late 2016 to take on the flagship project of a new co-living start-up called Weave. Working with Sachin Doshi and his team at Weave to design their first property in Hong Kong was an amazing experience, and it gave my team and I a hefty amount of confidence in handling larger projects. We’ve since worked with Weave on two more properties, one of which opened in August and another that will open later this year. What was the biggest challenge you've faced in your career? Starting a company at the age of 27, two years after graduating from university, comes with many challenges and potential pitfalls, and managing a company with staff and facing clients at a relatively young age, while convincing these clients to trust in our
vision and abilities without a lengthy track record or portfolio of our own, seemed like an impossible task at the time. What impact has the pandemic had on your operations? Fortunately, our current work in Hong Kong hasn’t been affected much by the pandemic aside from occasional delays in procuring materials and furniture. In fact, we’ve seen an uptick in project enquiries, specifically regarding office and restaurant/bar design work. The most impactful consequence of the pandemic for us is not being able to visit our Manila office in the past half-year. Fortunately, our persevering team there have pushed through and are still doing a remarkable job. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? We have a few more hospitality projects under construction that will be opening in the next four to six months: a 200-room hotel in Wong Chuk Hang, a boutique hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, and a new living brand from Weave that will be wrapping up towards the end of the year. We’re also working on our first project in India, a 236,000-square-foot, mixed-use development in New Delhi for which we’re providing the branding, architecture and interior design.
NORMAN UNG DESIGNER
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and have been interested interested in doodling and sketching since I was a kid. My interest was cemented and expanded when I studied in the UK from 2002 to 2006. One day I visited the newly renovated Tate Modern, where in a massive industrial atrium space I was confronted by an enormous glowing sun suspended from the ceiling, formed by seamlessly joined mirror panels. It was the famous Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson, and it was a defining moment for me: the first time I’d witnessed the impact of architecture and art. This inspired me to study architecture and spend the next six years doing both my undergraduate and master’s degree at HKU. What else drew you to architecture? When I was 16, my uncle arranged a summer internship for me with Gammon Engineering on the Shenzhen Bay Bridge project. I witnessed the engineers’ obsession with precision and efficiency, and the ensuing satisfaction in seeing things getting built reinforced my interest in architecture. What was your first big break? When Peter Lampard and I co-founded DEFT in 2014, it was a major turning point in our careers. It was also my first step into the realm of start-up companies and entrepreneurship. The biggest challenge I found in the first few years of DEFT was the lack of a boss or senior designer/architect
above you to seek advice from. The final call for what is a good or poor design and correct business decision comes down to you. This taught us pretty quickly how to define our own design approach and run our company. Whom do you look up to and why? I’ve always admired the architect Norman Foster for his ability to apply big ideas to projects and then execute them in the most elegant way possible. The passenger terminal at Hong Kong International Airport is a classic example that changed the way such buildings were designed. Since then, most new airports have followed the same approach of raising the roof high enough to house everything from check-in counters, immigration halls and waiting lounges to shopping and dining areas housed under the same lightweight structure, with light filling the entire space. I admire the ability to solve complex problems with simple yet elegant solutions, which we also aim to achieve with our projects at DEFT. What advice can you give aspiring architects? First, acknowledge that nothing is original, and that everything is a compilation of past experience and knowledge, whether it’s architectural design or design in general. It’s more important to be authentic by believing in your genuine approach in design and by digging deeper into the history and story of everything before you commit to a decision.
How has the pandemic affected your work? We’ve seen a shift in our project enquiries in the past six months. Commercial clients we worked with are taking a more cautious approach to upcoming projects, while new office and residential project enquires have bounced back quickly. We’re also seeing a trend of boutique retail and F&B concepts taking advantage of lower rents in this down time to start projects, and we’re lucky to be working with a few of these exciting new concepts in the coming months. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? During the the past five years we’ve been focussed on delivering the best work we could, but now we feel we can showcase our best, so this year we’re planning our roll-out. We’ll be popping up on your Instagram and other social media more in the coming few months to highlight some very exciting projects.
1. This photo was taken at The Terrace of the Development on 26 July 2019, and has been edited and processed with computerized imaging techniques (color tuning and retouching of external appearance) and is for reference only. This photo may not reflect and show the surrounding environment, buildings and facilities of the Development. The environment, views, facilities, buildings, designs, fittings, finishes, appliances, decorative items, plants, landscape and other objects of the Development may not appear or provide in the Development or its vicinity. The environment, buildings and facilities surrounding the Development may change from time to time. Fittings, finishes and appliances shall be provided according to the terms and conditions of the agreement for sale and purchase. This photo and the content thereof are for reference only and shall not constitute or be construed as constituting any offer, promise, representation or warranty, whether express or implied. “The Terrace” refers to “Platform 2” labeled in the latest approved building plans.
2. This photo was taken at H8 in The Highland of The Development (being a furnished unit) on 16 December 2018, and has been edited and processed with computerized imaging techniques (color tuning and retouching of external appearance) and is for reference only. The design, layout, fittings, finishes, equipment, facilities, appliances, decorative items, displays, furniture, provision, lighting features, decorations, landscaping and other objects shown in this photo are only provided in this furnished unit and will be sold together with this furnished unit on an “as-is” condition and basis (subject to terms and conditions in the agreement for sale and purchase), and are not standard provisions of other specified residential properties of the Development. Please refer to the sales brochure for information about the standard provisions of the fittings, finishes and appliances of specified residential properties of the Development. The vendor reserves the right to change, amend or modify any design, layout, fittings, finishes, equipment, facilities, appliances, decorative items, displays, furniture, provision, lighting features, decorations, landscaping and other objects of and in this furnished unit. This photo and the content thereof are for reference only and shall not constitute or be construed as constituting any offer, promise, representation or warranty, whether express or implied. “The Highland” refers to “Platform 3” labeled in the latest approved building plans.
3&4. Photos were taken at The Indoor Pool and Bloomsway Cafe on 23 March 2018 and 29 June 2018, and have been edited and processed with computerized imaging techniques (color tuning and retouching of external appearance) and is for reference only. These photos may not reflect and show the surrounding environment, buildings and facilities of the Development. The environment, views, facilities, buildings, designs, fittings, finishes, appliances, decorative items, plants, landscape and other objects of the Development may not appear or provide in the Development or its vicinity. The environment, buildings and facilities surrounding the Development may change from time to time. Fittings, finishes and appliances shall be provided according to the terms and conditions of the agreement for sale and purchase. These photos and the content thereof are for reference only and shall not constitute or be construed as constituting any offer, promise, representation or warranty, whether express or implied. The opening hours and the use of the clubhouse and different recreational facilities are subject to the relevant laws, the land grant, the provisions of the deed of mutual covenant and the actual condition. The names of the clubhouse and facilities depicted in this advertisement/promotional material may be different from their actual names when the clubhouse and facilities are available for use. The Vendor reserves the rights to make changes to the clubhouse facilities and the partition, design, layout and use thereof. Fees may be charged for the use of the clubhouse and different recreational facilities. The residential clubhouse plan is for reference only and is subject to the final approval of the relevant governmental departments. The naming "The Apex" and "Club Blossom" are for promotional purposes only, and will not appear in the assignment, building plans or other title or legal documents. The Vendor does not give any offer, representation, undertaking or warranty whatsoever, whether express or implied regarding the views from the Development or any part thereof.
Vendor: Senworld Investment Limited • Holding Companies of the Vendor: Sageman Limited, Goldash Holdings Limited, Kerry Properties (Hong Kong) Limited, Kerry Properties Limited, Kerry Holdings Limited and Kerry Group Limited • Authorized Person for the Development: Mr. Lu Yuen Cheung Ronald • The firm or corporation of which an Authorized Person for the Development is a proprietor, director or employee in his or her professional capacity: Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong) Limited • Building Contractor for the Development: China Overseas Building Construction Limited • Vendor’s Solicitors: Baker & McKenzie, Kao, Lee & Yip, Deacons • Authorized institution that has made a loan, or has undertaken to provide finance, for the construction of the Development: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Hang Seng Bank Limited (Note: The finance undertakings have been cancelled) • Any other person who has made a loan for the construction of the Development: Dragon Fame Limited • This advertisement is published by the Vendor • Prospective purchasers are advised to refer to the sales brochure for any information on the Development • Date of Printing: 6 November 2020
Luxuriate in the exclusivity of your own exquisitely designed house and garden. Adjourn to state-of-the-art Club Blossom, with approx. 32,000 sq. ft. of indoor social spaces, and approx. 450,000 sq. ft. of outdoor landscaping. Let this privileged neighbourhood, shared by a prestigious international school and near the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge linking with the Greater Bay Area, be your gateway to a bright and promising future.
For Enquiry: 2618 7898 www.bloomsway.com.hk
Opening Hours: 11am to 6pm (Monday to Sunday) District: Tuen Mun • Street Name and Street Number: 18, 28 and 29 Tsing Ying Road • The photographs, images, drawings or sketches shown in this advertisement / promotional material represent an artist’s impression of the development concerned only. They are not drawn to scale and/or may have been edited and processed with computerized imaging techniques. Prospective purchasers should make reference to the sales brochure for details of the development. The vendor also advises prospective purchasers to conduct an on-site visit for a better understanding of the development site, its surrounding environment and the public facilities nearby. The address of the website designated by the vendor for the development for the purposes of Part 2 of the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance: www.bloomsway.com.hk
A gifted new generation of leading men and ladies takes the stage, making us laugh and cry, and sing and dance, and brightening our lives with their charm, talent and versatility
GRACE CHAN | JUJU CHAN | CHARLENE CHOI | PAKHO CHAU ALEX FONG | GRACE WONG | JONATHAN WONG 21
“When I first appeared on screen, I received so much criticism of my acting that I felt like the whole world was against me — it was defeating. Fortunately I had encouraging friends and found a great support system in my family so I carried on”
GRACE CHAN ACTRESS
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I have a twin brother named Derek and he’s an amazing and wonderful human being. We’re fraternal twins — we don’t really look alike and we don’t know what each other is thinking, despite the common belief that twins do. However, I feel like he’s the one person who’ll always have my back, understand my emotions and, no matter what, motivate me to stay true to who I am. Did you always want to be an actress? I never knew I’d end up being where I am today. Growing up, I imagined myself being a teacher, a journalist and even a flight attendant ... but actress? No way! But when you allow life to take its course, you might achieve something bigger than you ever dreamed of. What was your first big break? Entering the Miss Hong Kong pageant was probably one of my most terrifying, yet most rewarding, experiences. As a kid, I grew up watching the pageant, so for me to participate in it was completely surreal. I’m really happy I went with my gut and did it, otherwise I’d end up spending the rest of my life wondering “what if”?
What was the biggest challenge in your career? In the beginning, when I appeared on screen I received so much criticism about my acting — or overacting — and felt like the whole world was against me. It was very defeating ... I can’t even count the number of times I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. Fortunately, I had some very encouraging friends who told me to push through, as well as having the most unbelievable support system in my family. Even though there’s still much to learn and improve on, I’m happy I soldiered on. Who inspires you and why? This is such a cliché, but I look up to my mum first and foremost. She’s probably the most loving person I’ll ever meet. I can’t recall a time when she wasn’t there for me. Aside from believing in me, my mum doesn’t offer “blind” support, but rather wants me to grow and learn through trials and experiences in my life. She’s made me who I am today, which I hope is a humble, genuine and kind person.
What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Humility, first and foremost. It’s our responsibility to try our best at being good at what we do, so when we succeed, our first reaction shouldn’t be overconfidence or conceit, but to be humble. It’s also our responsibility to set a good example to those around us. Wouldn’t the workplace be a much kinder and more forgiving place if we were all modest, gentle and doing our best in every way possible? What are you most proud of? Creating two beautiful human beings! But definitely being a mother is something I’m constantly working on improving. What’s your advice for aspiring actresses? Acting is a miraculous thing. There are so many ways one can choose to act and react to certain characters, situations, scenes, roles and so forth. So never stop being creative and exploring the choices you can take. Another important thing is never to let yourself stop observing the world around you.
JUJU CHAN ACTRESS AND MARTIAL ARTIST
Did you always want to be an actress? For a long time I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. It really wasn’t until I went to university that I seriously began to consider being an entertainer, but I was thinking more towards the music side — singing and dancing. Only when I went to NYU did I consider becoming an actor. Tell us about your first big break? It’s funny how the definition of a big break can vary at different periods of your career. Looking back, there were many important “breaks” that led me to where I am now. If I were to choose one defining break, I’d say it was probably when I signed with a major agent in Hollywood. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? Early on, it was difficult trying to stand out from the many other new people in the industry. I was lucky to get some very good advice that led me to concentrate on my love of martial arts. It was counter-intuitive, as there weren’t any young actresses known for martial arts at the time, and I was already getting jobs in many other areas of entertainment. But I dropped everything else and just trained myself to prepare for martial-arts competitions instead. I’m happy that I went through all of that, as it prepared me for the next challenge — proving my ability to the fight choreographers
and stuntmen with whom I had to work. I think that because most actors need stunt doubles to do their action for them, they weren't convinced I could do my own. Nowadays, of course, I’m given the benefit of the doubt and I even get to choreograph some of my own fights. Whom do you look up to and why? There are too many people to name. On the action side there's Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen, to name a few, then on the acting side there's Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Helena Bonham Carter among others. I don't believe that success comes from talent alone. All these people reached great heights in their art forms through hard work and dedication. What does it take to succeed in your line of work? I hate to say it, but luck does play a big part. I say this because I know actors without any skill or experience who win roles because their looks alone. Meanwhile, I’ve worked with some amazingly talented and hardworking actors who are complete unknowns and rarely find work in the industry. That being said, the people who do get hired more often tend to be extremely hardworking professionals. These are the ones who paid their dues, went through long periods of drought and know how lucky they are to be paid to do something
they love. So to get there you have to be an eternal optimist, very hard working, understanding of others, and able to adapt to different situations as they come up. How have you managed during the pandemic? I was supposed to do two films this year and attend the premiere of a film I completed last year. The premiere has been cancelled and the films pushed back until next year. So in the meantime I’ve been training martial arts every day. More recently I’ve started hosting an English-language reality TV show in Hong Kong, and I’ve been doing some casting for other films. In fact, I’m super busy right now! What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? Well this month, the film I starred in with Nicolas Cage, Jiu Jitsu, releases internationally. Depending on the state of the pandemic, it’s supposed to have a theatrical release in the US. Early next year, I’m due to start filming the next chapter of Wu Assassins, so hopefully that will be released on Netflix before the end of 2021.
PHOTO SHELDON SHWARTZ @ MAD MINDS HK
“To succeed you have to be an eternal optimist, very hard working, understanding of others, and able to adapt to different situations as they come up”
PHOTO BY KAON | HAIR BY HEIBIEMOK HAIR CULTURE MAKEUP BY YANNES LEE @NDNCO.CO | STYLING BY PIPA CREATIVE
CHARLENE CHOI ACTRESS AND SINGER
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I’m actually very sentimental — hey, I’m a Scorpio. I hate to be a burden to anyone. We all have our own issues to deal with but deep down, maybe we all occasionally need a shoulder to cry on. Did you always wanted to be a singer and actress? I’ve enjoyed singing, performing, acting and dancing from an early age. My mum told me I always jumped onto the stage at the Jumbo floating restaurant every time we went there. At high school I was in the choir and an eager participant in the talent and singing contests. I became a freelance model at 15 and I took on a small acting role at 17. Believe it or not, it never crossed my mind that I’d become a singer or an actress professionally. I’m grateful today that my childhood hobby became my career. I’d encourage everyone to pursue what they love — and trying is the only way to find out. What was your first big break? When I learned and understood what acting really is, and how a movie is made. In 1999, two of my classmates recruited the whole class to be the background actors in a film by Francis Ng, a prominent Hong Kong filmmaker. Half the class joined in, and our role was playing the students in the film.
The shooting schedule was tight — we had to arrive on the set very early in the morning. No matter whether they needed us or not, we still had to be available for up to 12 hours. Almost all of my classmates decided to back out. Eventually, there were only four of us who stayed until the end. I was also fascinated to see some real actors at last, how the camera captured their expressions, how the lighting contributed and how all the crew members worked really hard to finish the movie. That experience was a great introduction to the art of moviemaking. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? I like challenging myself, and don’t like to repeat what I’ve done before. It’s more fun do different things every time, whether it’s a movie or a song. Do you have a role model? My grandmother! She’s a gem — kindhearted, enterprising, selfless, helpful and easy-going. She’s a traditional Chinese woman who always puts her family before herself. She raised her children to the best of her capability in the face of financial difficulties.
What are you most proud of? Everything in my life, whether it turned out well or not. C’est la vie! As long as you don’t hurt anyone, do what you love. Be kind to everyone, spread love, work hard and have faith. But also — have fun! What advice would you offer aspiring artists? You have to build your audience, or else there’s no demand. You first must have an audience listening to you or watching you, so they know how talented you are. I think the most important thing is to discover audiences who empathise with you. Never compare yourself with others or follow the crowd, because everyone is unique. How has it been during these last few months? I did a lot of things that I didn’t have time for before, such as baking, painting, looking after animals, watching countless dramas and soap operas, and filming some skits and clips on social-media platforms. During the lockdown, I learnt how to manage my own skincare business.
What does it take to succeed? Discipline, organisation and luck. The most important consideration is luck. I’m lucky and blessed to have a lot of talented people who’ve helped me in my career. I believe in hard work, determination and karma.
PAKHO CHAU SINGER/ACTOR
Tell us about your background. I’m a father, husband, singer, actor and brand owner. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I’m a very romantic person. I like to enjoy and create romance. Just ask my family, friends and work partners. Did you always want to be a singer and actor? It’a been my dream since I was a little boy. What was your first big break? The first Red Hall concert in 2014 was full, and everything exceeded my expectations. What‘s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? Simply having only 24 hours in a day, which is really not enough! Many times I’ve had to sacrifice sleep time for work, when I might not even sleep for a few days. But I actually enjoy a busy life. In this epidemic, my only hope is that I stay healthy and safe, especially psychologically.
What does it take to succeed in your career? Punctuality, persistence, innovation, and the courage to try — the same as any other industry, really. Be humble with others and yourself, and leave room for improvement. What are you most proud of? I’ve always had fans and audiences who supported me, and the team behind the scenes walks side by side with me. I’m very proud of that. What advice would you offer aspiring singers or actors? Don’t give up an opportunity to chase your dreams. How has the pandemic affected your work? During this period, it was actually good fate for me to stay at home and look after my new-born daughter. After becoming a dad, I think I’ve matured somewhat. My latest job is to make my daughter happy! What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? There’ll more film and television productions released, in addition to more music that’s already been produced, so thank you for your support.
â€œIf you do things just for the result, you may sell yourself and your potential short. Building basic skills and having a solid foundation is most importantâ€?
ALEX FONG SWIMMER AND SINGER
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I was set to go to school in the US, but since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, I got a chance to try my hand at the entertainment industry so I stayed in Hong Kong. I was 15 when I broke the Hong Kong record and two other records — the 200-metre backstroke and the 400-metre relay — at Sydney 2000. I still hold these two records. What’s something that not a lot of people know about you? A lot of people know I swim, I’m an actor and I’m heavily involved in philanthropy. My family is also involved in art — my father has a gallery and I collect art myself. However, a lot of people don’t know that I also like to collect famous people’s signatures. In the States, there’s a strong market for this. I collect celebrity memorabilia, mostly from Michael Jordan, like the things he wore during games or practice. I also collect a stuff from Kobe Bryant — whom I met in person — Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali and others. Did you always want to be a swimmer? Actually my parents introduced me to swimming but I liked it and didn’t resist so that’s how I became a swimmer. Parents have a strong role to play in nurturing their children’s talents.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? Covid-19. I opened a swimming school recently and now all pools are closed, so this time is quite difficult for me. However, it’s a global problem everyone is facing, so we just have to stay positive. Whom do you look up to and why? My parents have had the biggest influence on me. When I was young, dad would always take me to swimming practice and watch my competitions and mom always made sure that I was well taken care of at home. Their care has been instrumental to my growth. My parents spent a lot of time with us at home when we were growing up and I really appreciate that. What are the key factors for success? Find your passion. The best case is when that passion is also something you’re good at. Having a good attitude is also very important. Don’t be afraid of failure. No successful person has never failed before. Being humble and polite are also extremely important. No one can do everything by themselves, so cultivate an attitude that encourpeople will want to interact with you, as well as help you.
What are you most proud of? Swimming around Hong Kong island to raise more than HK$10.5 million for A Drop of Life charity to help more than a million people get access to safe water. What advice would you offer to aspiring athletes? Don’t be afraid of hard work. For example, a lot of people will choose sprint swimming over long-distance swimming because the training isn’t as hard and it’s easier to win medals. However, if you do things just for the result, you may sell yourself and your potential short. Building basic skills and having a solid foundation are most important. How has the pandemic affected your work? I’ve been doing more digital and online jobs. Despite not being able to host swimming lessons, we’ve still been doing Zoom classes and I’ve also been focusing on my YouTube channel to host classes, such as how to swim or exercise, and even how to interact with your kids. Because I have more time on my hands, I’ve also been doing a lot more interviews in hopes of spreading positivity to inspire others.
GRACE WONG ACTRESS
Tell us about yourself. I was born in Hong Kong but grew up in New York from the age of four. I remember when I was young I dreamed of the Hong Kong skyline, almost as if I knew I’d return one day. I was a very independent child; because my mom worked a lot, I’d make most decisions myself. Dance was a huge part of my life. I was chosen as one of the two students in my elementary school to join the National Dance Institute (NDI). Dancing deﬁnitely helped me meet more kids and learn more about their cultures. What was your ﬁrst big break? I think it was my role as Fa Man in the TV series A Fist Within Four Walls — it was my ﬁrst martial-arts role, and very challenging physically and emotionally. To get the body that I wanted, I did corset training for one to two months before we started shooting, as well as throughout the shoot. I also had extensive Baji Quan and gym training. The drama and my role won multiple awards that year in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. This brought my own name to a wider audience, not just the name of my character.
What’s the biggest challenge you faced in your career? There were many times when I doubted myself, whether it was acting, singing or even dancing. This industry has a way of comparing you to every person that has any connection with you — whether it’s your friends or your co-stars, or even the Miss Hong Kong from your year and every year before and after you. It’s a very comparative and judgemental industry: we must remember that we’re all walking different paths, even though parts of our path may coincide. At the end of the day, I need to ask myself: can I ﬁnish my own race strong? This is very important. Who inspires you and why? I look up to people like Sammi Cheng and Sheren Tang. They’re very strong and devoted Christians who’re very successful in their ﬁelds but are still humble and down to earth. They really give hope to aspiring actresses or singers who have a strong faith in Jesus.
“If you’re lucky enough to get a big break, don’t expect to keep going up. Don’t take short cuts, work hard, be honest and be respectful to the people around you”
LOCATION MONT ROUGE, KERRY PROPERTIES
What does it take to succeed in your line of work? In terms of personalities, it’s really a free for all. There are many interesting personalities in this industry and I think we should keep it this way. As for values, they include a capacity for hard work, often for very long and tough hours. Sometimes you need to be a jack of all trades, knowing how to act but also how to sing, dance and host variety shows at the same time. What are you most proud of? I’m proud that I haven’t given up. I’m proud that I have strong sisters in this industry whom I can pray with and help lift each other’s spirits. I’m proud that I never took short cuts to fame and I’m known as someone who works hard and gives my all in every project. What advice would you give aspiring actresses/singers? It isn’t an easy industry, so be ready to work very hard and possibly for a long, long period of time. If you’re lucky enough to get a big break, don’t expect to keep going up. Don’t take short cuts, work hard, be honest and be respectful to the people around you, whether it’s the director, your make-up artist or the guy who’s making the props. Take classes in any spare time you have, whether it’s acting or dancing or driving, or martial arts. You never know what your next role will be.
â€œPeople tend to hire me to do sensible things, which is great, but it would be cool to play around with my fun side, tooâ€?
JONATHAN WONG SINGER-SONGWRITER, DANCER-CHOREOGRAPHER AND ACTOR
Tell us about yourself. I was born in San Francisco but moved to Hong Kong before my ﬁrst birthday. It was here that I picked up music and I began to play the piano and violin at the age of six. I returned to the US for university and graduated with a double major in psychology and modern dance from Cornell University in 2008, before making my musical debut in Hong Kong a year later. What’s one thing people might not know about you? I’m a giant man child. I like toys and comic books, and I like to crack jokes when it’s totally appropriate. People tend to hire me to do sensible things, which is great, but it would be cool to play around with my fun side, too. Which of your accomplishments are you particularly proud of? I’ve competed in a major singer-songwriter competition alongside Taiwanese R&B artist David Tao, and composed songs for pop divas Karen Mok and Sammi Cheng, and the Mainland Chinese boy band X Nine. I’ve had the good fortune to have received more than 50 major awards in various categories. In 2019 I had the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event, and since then I’ve been giving talks in schools and universities. This has given me access to an a wider audience, through webinars for example, which have allowed me to communicate and touch base with my fans, even during the pandemic.
What was it like starting off in this business? As an indie artist, I struggled to ﬁnd ﬁnance. Unlike other artists with labels, I worked alone. I soon realised that I couldn’t afford to make it just by doing music, so I switched gears into acting as well. Now, having worked on a number of television dramas, movies, theatrical musicals and talk shows, I’ve dabbled in screenwriting too. What exciting things can we expect from you? I’ve started to develop TV and ﬁlm projects in Los Angeles. There’s something to be said about Asians in Hollywood, or Western ﬁlm culture. You can’t expect people to write the stories you want to be told. And if you wait, it may never happen. So I thought, why don’t I start doing that? I’ve also launched an e-shop concept YRMS — or Your Rhythm, My Soul — where I collaborate with Hong Kong artists across all platforms to create products inspired by my music, which are sold online. What advice would you give to aspiring artists? You need to be hard working and serious — but not too serious — and, above all, be tough enough to fail and embrace failure.
LOCATION MONT ROUGE, KERRY PROPERTIES
They’ve got what it takes to make it. Whether it’s a startup, running their own business or building on their family’s legacy, grit, hard work and passion course through their veins
PHILIP CHAN | SAMUEL CHAN | KEVIN LAU JUSTIN MA | VIVIAN TANG | OSCAR WANG | REX WONG 37
PHILIP CHAN HOTELIER
Tell us about yourself. I attended Rugby School then studied computer science at King’s College London and real-estate investment at Cass Business School. What’s something not a lot of people know about you? I do all the photography for Page Hotels. I also skateboard. Did you always want to be a hotelier? I’ve always been involved in photography, and travel is an important component of that. I’ve also been blessed to be able to travel around the world, and to visit places I could never have imagined. So through travel, I was able to experience different types of hotels, which piqued my interest in the industry. What was your ﬁrst big break? Most probably the opening of Page Common coffee house and Page148, as this is where I realised that my ideas and concepts could become business realities. Covid has been a “big break” of sorts, with staycations and coffee playing a big part in the Hong Kong community during this difﬁcult period, so we were very lucky to be one step ahead. We’re among the ﬁrst hotels in Hong Kong to have an artisinal coffee shop.
What’s been your greatest challenge? Deﬁnitely Covid-19.
What are you most proud of? Friends and family.
Who inspires you? Quite a few people. My parents are high up on the list, as it was they who taught me my morals and life perspective. Sir Gordon Wu — his philosophy of building bridges is to connect people and make it easier to experience other places. Bringing people closer is what Facebook and Whatsapp do with modern technology. Finally there’s Jeremy Jauncey, founder of the wildly successful Beautiful Destinations Instagram page. His perspective of the world is unique and, for me, he created the travel community. He’s one of the best storytellers in the world.
What advice do have for aspiring hoteliers? Be curious.
What are the keys to success in your work? I’d say a combination of curiosity and experience. You need both in large measure to know what’s out there. Without curiosity, it’s difﬁcult have experiences. Without experiences, it’s difﬁcult to be knowledgeable. Without knowledge, it’s very difﬁcult to be persuasive.
How difﬁcult has it been during the pandemic? It’s been an extremely difﬁcult last few months for the hospitality industry. We’re all trying our best, but we’re all looking forward to being able to travel once again. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? I hope I’ll be able to look into a few more communities, and create products or experiences in line with our overall brand philosophy. We’ll launch a Hong Kong City Guide and a Hong Kong Coffee Guide very soon. It’s something I’m extremely proud of and can’t wait to show the world. I hope this can inspire people to travel more and see the different parts of our city.
LOCATION MONT ROUGE, KERRY PROPERTIES
SAMUEL CHAN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT
Tell us about yourself. My parents were fishermen and I went to a local primary school in Hong Kong. I was unhappy, struggling at school every day and getting no help from my teachers, whom I felt considered me a failure. Then my parents sent me to a summer camp in England. I loved every minute of it and begged to stay behind. (In hindsight, that could have been my parents’ plan all along.) I ended up staying on for more than a decade, first at boarding school and eventually completeing a master’s degree at the University of Warwick. Did you always want to be an entrepreneur? I’d be lying to you if I said I even knew the what the word “entrepreneur” meant when I was a kid. But I guess I’ve always had a yearning to be a boss, since I defied orders from parents more than I took them. But now I know that anyone can become a boss, but not everyone can be a leader. What was your first big break? It was when we became the first UKiset centre in Hong Kong. We were very small at the time — just three people in a 400-square-foot office. We had 200 agencies in our sector, but we did it!
What was the biggest challenge in your career? Definitely the Covid-19 pandemic. Flights were cancelled, schools were shut down and camps were cancelled. We could have lost millions overnight. Whom do you look up to and why? There are many people I look up to but there isn’t quite anyone like Chip Tsao, for whom I have such admiration. He has all the qualities I aspire to, or that a gentleman should possess — charm, wit and knowledge. From history to politics, Western literature to Chinese philosophy, the finest wine in Bordeaux to the most exquisite paintings in the Louvre, he just knows it all, and so deeply and so well. I’d be so proud of myself if I could acquire one-tenth of the taste and vision he has for life. How would you define success in your profession? Our consultants are all very knowledgeable about UK boarding schools. Being knowledgeable is great, but very often the person with the most abundant knowledge isn’t the one to succeed in our business. When you know a lot you tend to speak a lot. And when you speak too much you fail to listen. If we don’t listen then there’s no way we can give parents, students and schools what they really need. Listen, understand, deliver. That’s how we succeed.
What are you most proud of? That the company I’ve built attracts such a lovely bunch of people who are full of joy, energy and talent. What impact has Covid had on your business? It’s been horrible. We lost $10 million overnight. However, we managed to cover the loss by offering online products and signing new sponsorship deals. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? I’m very excited about our new project, Portman Ventures. It’s always been my dream to ensure we can provide top UK education in Asia. We’re making a lot of progress and partnering with some very reputable organisations. There’s going to be a big leap forward in the next 12 months and I’m very excited about that.
LOCATION MONT ROUGE, KERRY PROPERTIES
KEVIN LAU DOCTOR AND BUSINESSMAN
Tell us about yourself. I was born in Hong Kong and educated here and in Canada. I’m a doctor, specifically a radiologist, and I also have masters degrees in public health and public administration. I worked at Kwong Wah Hospital from 2005 to 2016, when I entered private practice. I established Trinity Medical Imaging Centre and Trinity Medical Centre and am currently the founder and medical director. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? When people hear I’m a doctor, they may also be surprised to know I also have roles in NGOs and public service. Did you always want to be a doctor? I didn’t grow up thinking I was destined to be a doctor. But in the summer before my last year in high school, my mother suggested that I become a volunteer at the Queen Mary Hospital. Until then, I’d rarely interacted with doctors and hardly at all with patients, so this gave me an entirely new outlook on life. One patient that I became particularly close to was suffering from end-stage renal failure and was on constant dialysis. It was an eyeopener to talk to someone with such a severe illness, to witness their emotions and to come to understand their needs. It made me realise that being a doctor wasn’t just about prescribing medicine or specifying treatment. Instead, it was about making very real human connections and demonstrating the kind of empathy that can make a world of difference. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career? Covid-19 brought about unprecedented challenges, and has had a significant
impact on my business. But it’s also propelled me to think more creatively about meeting the health needs of our community. In times of challenge and difficulty, we can choose to learn, develop and grow from them and with positivity and a supportive team, we can overcome anything that comes our way. Whom do you look up to and why? My faith is very important to me and God strengthens my spirit and encourages me when I’m down. He enables me to stay positive when I’m facing challenges and often gives me the guidance I need to weather storms. I’m also fortunate to have many wonderful uncles and aunties who share their experiences with me and give me valuable advice. Having a strong marriage has also been my anchor, as my wife, Christine, is also a partner and runs different companies in the group. What are the main attributes for success in your profession? If I had to highlight a few, I’d say passion, dedication and empathy. To be successful in anything we must be passionate about it and feel so strongly about it that it drives us forward. Passion might be what triggers us to do something but it’s dedication that take us through the journey. Lastly, I think empathy is core to success in life because life is about connecting with people, and especially in my line of work where it’s all about understanding and serving the needs of other people.
many, I’ve been able to bounce back to turn my setbacks into opportunities to grow in other areas and keep a positive mindset through tough times. What advice would you offer aspiring doctors? To ask themselves why they want to enter the profession and what their mission is in being a doctor. I hope their purpose in choosing this profession is clear and that they then become doctors who serve patients altruistically, empathetically and tirelessly. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? With the world being and evolving the way it is now, it’s sometimes hard to know what will happen next week or next month. However, I’m someone who always has new ideas and I love exploring different ways to grow my business, serve the community and help charities, so I’m open to opportunities that will be created or arise and would say that anything is possible in the next 12 months!
“Empathy is core to success in life, because life is about connecting with people, and especially in my line of work”
What are you most proud of? I think most people are proud of their successes but for me, I’m most proud of how I’ve responded to my failures, of which I have had my fair share. I’m proud of how, with the support and encouragement of
JUSTIN MA ENTREPRENEUR AND HOTELIER
Tell us about yourself. I attended Millfield School in the United Kingdom and the University of San Francisco, where I studied business administration, majoring in hospitality management. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I might not look the part, but I also have an artistic side. I love art and design. Did you always want to be a hotelier? I grew up wanting to be an architect or interior designer. So I’m having lots of fun upgrading and adding value and finding out the best uses for some of our older properties with our hospitality brand, the Yulan Group. What was your first big break? I grew up in a very entrepreneurial environment in San Francisco for a few years, then worked from a co-working space when I returned Hong Kong, so it became natural for me to look for new projects and meet new people. A friend and I made trips to China to find new ideas, when we came across shared power-bank start-ups that have been a huge hit in the mainland due to its massive mobile phone usage. We wanted to work with these
brands from China, but found it difficult to form partnerships. Coincidentally, I met a team that had just started bringing the concept to Hong Kong, and with them we brought ChargeSpot to market in 2017 in Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, China. I’ve been very lucky with ChargeSpot, meeting a team of great entrepreneurs and having modest success (I wouldn’t say we’ve had the big break yet!). But the company is steadily growing and I’ve moved on to focus more on my family’s business. In 2019 I formed a new hospitality brand, Yulan Group, part of Tai Sang Land Development. We just launched our newest hotel concept, the Figo. Yulan group’s vision is to create unique destinations that are not only restricted to hotels, so anything hospitalityrelated is on our radar, such as serviced apartments, F&B and work spaces, among others. Senior living is definitely on the list of what we want to do next. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? Great businesses come down to one thing: people. So I’d say the toughest challenge for me is people management, as I’ve always been a quiet guy. Learning how to lead talented people around me is what I’m still learning today.
“Great businesses come down to one thing: people. So I’d say the toughest challenge for me is people management” 44
Whom do you look up to and why? Even though this might be a cheesy answer, my dad is the first person that comes to mind. Just about anyone can start a business, but sustaining it is the hard part. He’s been able to do that while always upholding strong family values, both for our company and as a father. Now I realise that’s not easy to do at all! What does it take to succeed in hospitality? Hospitality also means empathy and caring, no matter if I’m wearing my hotelier hat and caring for our hotel guests, my entrepreneur/investor’s hat on helping a businesses grow, or internally with my staff, helping them achieve what needs to be done to push the company forward. That’s what I’ve always been looking to achieve. What advice would you offer aspiring hoteliers/entrepreneurs? Know what you don’t know.
How has it been for you during in the last months? It’s been tough for everyone in the last few months. Unfortunately the pandemic isn’t something we have control over. I think that this is going to be cyclical until an effective vaccine is found. So until then, we can only adapt and try to make things work with our current business. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? Yulan Group’s flagship hotel, the Arca in Wong Chuk Hang, will be launched in 2021 and I’m also working on an exciting project with Norman Ung and Peter Lampard at DEFT that will be coming to market soon.
LOCATION MONT ROUGE, KERRY PROPERTIES
VIVIAN TANG TRADITIONAL MEDICINE ENTREPRENEUR
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong, attended boarding school in England and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? Discovering new medicinal products has given me so many life experiences I’ll never forget. During the inception of our ginseng product line, I travelled to Korea and worked with the local government, entering the heavily guarded Demilitarised Zone in search of the best ginseng. There, I discovered first-hand the wonders of this prized herb, seeing farmers cultivate ginseng in one of the world’s most secretive terrains. To this day, Wai Yuen Tong’s Ginseng line remains one of our top sellers, from our immune-boosting six-yearold Korean Red Ginseng to our Ginseng Energy Plus+ wellness drink, which is popular with our younger clientele. Did you always want to be an entrepreneur? I was always passionate about popularising traditional Chinese medicine among the younger generation and, more recently, our furry friends too! I’m a big believer in finding holistic, natural ways of treating ailments. That is, targeting the root of every health problem with natural ingredients, sourced from the best origins and free of side effects. To date, we have 57 Chinese medicine practitioners (CMPs) across all of our Wai Yuen Tong outlets, one of the largest CMP teams in Hong Kong. It’s our combined passion that drives us and satisfies our customers every time.
What was your first big break? My first big break would be launching our new pet brand, ProVet. Foraying into the pet market, my vision was to revitalise and harness the heritage of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for dogs and cats. Our Cordyceps Cs-4, for example, was very popular among our human customers and we wanted to replicate that for our four-legged clients. Disrupting the market is what ProVet aims to do. One of the only TCM pet product lines out there, our natural pet supplements have been formulated by a professional veterinary team with more than 11 years of expertise. Customers truly appreciate our products being tailor-made to specific health needs and ages, whether it’s Bones & Joints for dogs or Anti-Aging for cats. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? This year, which has been a challenging one. It’s been tough continuing our daily operations during this time. But on the bright side, we’ve also seen a huge interest in the wellness industry, as consumers turn their attention to keeping healthy and maintaining their wellbeing, whether it’s for themselves or their pets! Whom do you look up to and why? My role models are my parents, who remind me to work hard, stay humble, stay grounded and never forget the importance of family.
What are the values one needs to “make it”? Devotion, dedication and determination. I think these three words really sum up the true values for one to succeed. What are you most proud of? As a new mother, I’m proud of myself for trying to maintain a work-life balance. I’m grateful for having a supportive husband, family and a wonderful team at work. What advice would you offer aspiring entrepreneurs? Don’t expect to get it right the first time — that’s probably the best piece of advice I’ve received from my mum. She reminded me that it’s OK to make mistakes — we should learn from them and see them as a way of improving. How has it been for you during the past months? The pandemic took a toll on our retail business, but our team was quick to shift to a digital strategy that’s proven to be successful. What’s next for you? As a major sponsor and partner of the SPCA, we’re working on several upcoming animal welfare projects. We’re excited to be launching our 2021 pet superstar calendar soon in support of the SPCA, which features the pets of Hong Kong’s favourite celebrities and socialites.
OSCAR WANG ENTREPRENEUR
Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Hong Kong and studied fine art, sculpture and interior design at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. I’m currently based in Shanghai, where I’ve been for six years. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I work out at least four times a week. Whether it’s playing tennis, boxing or swimming, I think everyone should try to be healthier and work towards being stronger. Did you always want to be an entrepreneur? I knew I always wanted to do something that would positively impact people. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small group of people or on a larger scale, so I guess the answer is yes. What was your first big break? I’m not sure if I’ve had my first “big break” yet, but I worked with six other designers — including Silvia Venturini Fendi herself — to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Peekaboo bag. I was very honoured and happy that I was starting to get recognised for my creative ideas.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? Probably facing people who are disloyal. It’s difficult to deal with people who don’t have the best intentions. Whom do you look up to and why? My mom. We’re really close and she taught me how to love and how important love is, even outside of just the family dynamic. I also look up to my peers around me. A lot of the time, people think they need to look up to someone who’s already walked the path that they’re currently following, but in this day and age things change so fast. It’s important to share experiences with peers — there’s a lot to learn from people of the same age or even younger, who can help widen your perspective. What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Be humble and open minded, and understand that there can always be room to be better. As I said before, things are always changing. Have discussions with people and get an idea of what others think. What are you most proud of? Probably my first project with Fendi in Chengdu, where we created a 10-foot-tall Fendidi installation at the Chengdu IFS. It was a very proud moment for me and
my whole team — we stayed up all night, working alongside the construction team. After hours of hard work, and with the streets starting to fill with commuters, we were finally done. That moment was one to remember. What advice would you offer aspiring entrepreneurs? Talk to people, talk to your peers, your friends, your family and even strangers. Get an idea of what everyone thinks. Step out of your circle and engage with people from all walks of life. How has it been for you during in the last months? It’s been hard for everyone, but I think we’ve been blessed here in Shanghai. Everything is pretty much back to normal, and for my businesses it seems everything is definitely back on track. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? I have something cooking — I’m looking to create my own brand. I’m going to keep it a little more mysterious for now, but be on the lookout.
REX WONG INTRAPRENEUR
Tell us about your background. I’m an architect who was educated and qualified in the United States. I attended Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University and am registered in Florida. Currently, I’m CEO of Kum Shing Construction.
to be effective at work. It’s particularly challenging for younger leaders such as myself to earn a high level of trust and respect from my colleagues. It requires constant effort and making the most of every platform and opportunity to demonstrate one’s quality and vision.
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? Since my time working as an intern for a design studio in Madrid, I can’t resist a game of foosball.
Whom do you look up to and why? I was close to my grandfather, whom I respected for his ability to overcome challenges in creative ways. He always shared stories from the past about how he was able to solve problems that educated and qualified professionals weren’t able to. What I learned from him is that flexibility, open-mindedness and uncompromising perseverance are crucial.
Did you always want to be an intrapreneur? I founded several new ventures since joining the urban infrastructure business, including some in real-estate development, investment and technology application. While I’ve always had the drive to do something new, such as working abroad, these efforts partly fulfil my hunger for creativity and innovation. What was your first big break? The first property development project that I led from inception to sales was an urban renewal project in Guangdong offering nearly 200 residential units. I’m proud to have introduced quite a few design and marketing ideas that were foreign to the local market at the time, such as turning the sales centre into an art gallery. Fortunately the project turned out to be a huge success, with units being sold out almost instantly when launched. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? Within our industry, seniority and track record are crucial in establishing a positive personal reputation, which can help tremendously for an individual
What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Mutual trust and understanding are the most important qualities that can truly help to deliver work successfully. To earn the trust of others, one must always deliver on promises and be able to communicate effectively when challenges arise. What are you most proud of? Not remaining in my comfort zone but always seeking to grow and improve. On the company level, some years ago one of our strategic goals was to expand the business footprint beyond Hong Kong. Today we’ve established our presence across the border in Guangdong through property development activities, as well as in Macau and Bangkok, with our infrastructure advisory services for the local asset owners. On the individual level, I started out in the company as a project manager and was eventually promoted to chief executive after serving in almost every department and business unit.
What advice would you offer aspiring intrapreneurs? Having a strong sense of timing is key. In business, no matter whether it’s an established firm or a start-up, it’s important to remain competitive by being agile. But what I’ve also learned is that it’s also important to be patient with results and to understand that some things take time and can’t be forced. How has it been for you during the last months? Like other firms, we’ve taken advantage of the pandemic situation to seek to go further down the road of digital transformation. Adopting technology typically involves a change in management style but the various social-distancing measures, such as moving some meetings to Zoom and co-creating shared meeting notes, did not face much resistance. With the downturn of the economy, every industry is facing new challenges and we’re no different. However, as in the past we expect that the government will launch additional infrastructure projects as one of the ways to drive economic recovery. We’ll position ourselves to prepare for these opportunities. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? I will be speaking at a number of conferences in the coming months about application of technology in a smart city. My firm is also actively positioning ourselves to take on the various new opportunities in telecommunication and environmental infrastructure to contribute to Hong Kong being a more connected and sustainable city.
Whether they were born with it or they had to work at it, there’s no denying the talent and will to win of these gifted young athletes
TIFFANY CHAN | NICHOLAS EDWARD CHOI | OR CHIN CHUNG RAENA LEUNG | JOÃO MOREIRA | ZADA YEUNG 53
TIFFANY CHAN PROFESSIONAL GOLFER
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and attended the Diocesan Girls’ School. When I was 17, I got a full scholarship to play college golf and study at the University of Southern California. I began to play golf with my Dad when I was six or seven years old and then gradually I got into the Hong Kong golf team. It was a hobby that ended up getting me a scholarship to college. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? The path that I took was pretty smooth but before I got into USC I had a rough two or three years in the States getting my tertiary education started: I was supposed to go a state university but couldn’t meet some requirements, so at 19 years old and on my own I ended up at a community college in Oklahoma – and then the head coach at the school got fired! It was quite a difficult journey for me until I made it to USC. Nothing is easy and no one can count on reaching where they want to be at the beginning. Did you always want to be an athlete? I’ve always wanted to be an athlete from childhood. I played basketball and table tennis, and I swam and I loved cycling and running. But once I picked up a golf club, I just really liked it and my hand-eye coordination was really good. I live in Tuen Mun near the only public driving range in Hong Kong, so I just found myself doing it more and more. What was your first big break? It was probably getting into USC with a full scholarship and playing golf with the number-one women’s team in the country. This gave me a lot of confidence going forward.
What’s the biggest challenge in your career? The schools I went through during my university career. It was really tough, because I was there by myself and I didn’t know much about the US, and my coach left and I had to transfer by myself to Florida. After two years I had to transfer myself back to LA — and all these changes were really difficult for me. I could have just skipped school and turned pro and given up my university degree but I ended up going through it, so although it was a huge challenge it was also very rewarding. Whom do you look up to and why? Annika Sörenstam, because she’s the best female golfer alive. She’s achieved so much and she’s such a great person — she’d actually remember who you are and email you even if you’ve only chatted to her. It’s rare that a professional golfer will make time time for younger-generation golfers and give them advice. She has a great personality, she always smiles and her golf game is just amazing. What are you most proud of? I’m most proud of being alone in the States. I have no relatives or family here. Being an athlete is really tough because you have to make your own schedule. You basically rule and do everything on your own. You need to set your own time amid lots of distractions, but I’m pretty proud that I get my work done on time and I set my own schedule and I’m very disciplined as a person in general.
What advice would you offer aspiring athletes? Be honest with yourself. You know how much work you put in. Don’t ever lie to yourself, because you’re the one who knows what you need and what to do to get there. If you didn’t work, then let the results go because you know you didn’t work, but if you worked and the results didn’t come, you just have to put more time in. Nothing comes for free. How has it been for you during in the last months? It’s been really tough, because as athletes we have to keep our bodies moving, we need to keep competing and we need to be outdoors. During the pandemic, though, we’ve been stuck at home, we can’t compete, we can’t travel and this is totally abnormal for athletes. Studies show that if we don’t work out constantly, we start to lose our muscle percentage; during the pandemic I’ve tried as much as I could, but over four months it’s been really tough to do what I need to do so I’m still trying to catch up on what I lost. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? Our season lasts from January to December so I’m just going to work hard and make a plan with check boxes to prepare. I need to set up a plan with goals for the next 12 months and achieve it. It’s a process!
NICHOLAS EDWARD CHOI OLYMPIC FENCER
Tell us about yourself. I’m quarter Korean, quarter Chinese and half Filipino, born and raised in Hong Kong. I began fencing when I was in primary school, aged nine, and that was how my athletic career started. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? A lot of people might think I’m a cool person who’s very unapproachable, but I’m actually fun and super easy going! Did you always want to be an athlete? Only after I started fencing classes in primary school. I wanted to represent Hong Kong in different competitions and, of course, at the Olympics. What was your first big break? When I qualified for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. It was my first major games, and it was also the first Olympic Games for junior athletes. It remains my favourite competition and the most memorable one. What was the biggest challenge in your career? I have a habit of overthinking about different situations, which creates a lot of unnecessary stress for myself. But it’s also a big factor that pushes me to work even harder, because of the expectations I set for myself. Whom do you look up to? Working as an influencer, I’ve always looked up to Irene Kim, a Korean American fashion and lifestyle influencer. She’s been a role model of mine, in terms of her content, work ethic and personality. She spread such positivity through social media, so I’d love to be as influential as her in future.
What are you most proud of? Representing Hong Kong in the 2012 London Olympics was one of the happiest moments of my life. It wouldn’t have happened without the support of my family and friends and, of course, my coaches and teammates, so I’m very proud of them all. What advice would you offer aspiring athletes? This might sound like a cliché, but being able to enjoy what you’re doing is the most important part of being an athlete. Enjoy every part of the journey, including the pain and sweat, the stress and nervousness, and, of course, the happy moments of achieving your goal. Sometimes I look back and regret I didn’t enjoy that as much as I should have. Has the pandemic affected your career? I’ve been working as a fashion and lifestyle influencer since I stopped fencing as a full-time athlete so, yes, the pandemic has had a huge impact on my career. There are almost no social events and gatherings, which are vital to an influencer’s livelihood. Content can still be created anywhere, but we have to be extra creative now with fewer opportunities. We just have to make the best out of what we have. Where do you see yourself in 12 months? It’s hard to make big plans at the moment, but I’d really love to expand my work in the fashion industry. However, travelling to different cities for fashion weeks will be out of the question for some time. For now, I hope to start coaching fencing to youngsters again — even though I’ve retired as a professional athlete, I still have duty to help the next generation and promote the sport.
OR CHIN CHUNG BADMINTON CHAMPION
Tell us about your background. I’m 26 years old and studied at St Paul’s College. I’m currently completing an undergraduate degree in health education at the Education University of Hong Kong. I started playing badminton at a very young age and I’m a badminton athlete representing Hong Kong. Did you always want to be an athlete? Since primary four, I’ve wanted to play badminton professionally. What was your first big break? In May 2016, my teammate and I won the world championship and in April 2017 I competed against the badminton athletes who won the silver medal at the Olympics. What’s the biggest challenge you've faced? One of the biggest challenges was having to split up my badminton partnership with Tang Chun Man in the men's double. I achieved a lot during our partnership, and I’m at the peak of my career in the sport. I was quite upset for some time and even questioned whether I should continue to represent Hong Kong. Whom do you look up to and why? Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia. He’s an excellent badminton player, and shows true sportsmanship. I really respect his positivity and personality.
What does it take to succeed as a badminton player? Self-discipline is crucial. In sport, if you don’t work hard you’ll fall behind really quickly. Another important element is to aim high and keep challenging yourself by, say, doing things that you find challenging, difficult or even scary. This helps you improve by learning from your failures. Giving back to society when you’re able to is also another important value. I’d like to become a professional badminton instructor, especially for children, and contribute to Hong Kong by promoting the sport. How has the pandemic affected your profession? The Hong Kong Sports Institute is closed, but during this period I’ve done some extra training to improve myself and to prepare for the upcoming competitions next year. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? I hope the pandemic ends soon, so I can compete again and become an even stronger badminton player, and that the audience can continue supporting Team Hong Kong.
RAENA LEUNG EQUESTRIAN
Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Hong Kong and started to ride at the age of six. After graduating from the Chinese International School in 2006, I studied as an undergraduate at University College London and then got a master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology at London’s Brunel University in 2011. I’ve been based in Europe ever since and ride full time as a show jumper. Among my career highlights was being the first rider to represent Hong Kong at the World Cup Finals in 2013, and at the World Championships in 2014. I also competed at the Asian Games in 2014 and 2018 and, most recently, the Asian Championships at the end of 2019. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I make a great guacamole! Did you always want to be an equestrian? Always. Obviously while growing up I never knew if I had the talent to make it, and thought maybe I should choose a more practical career, but my mom was extremely supportive of my desire to follow my dreams. I also got lucky, in that opportunities always popped up along the way that allowed me to continue in my sport.
What was your first big break? Winning the 2012 China World Cup League and qualifying for the 2013 World Cup Finals. I’d just started training with my current trainer, Mike Patrick Leichle, and things really started to fall into place. Shortly after, I also qualified for the World Championships and that was also a big turning point in my career as the Hong Kong Jockey Club stepped in and offered me sponsorship to ride in its equestrian team. What’s your biggest career challenge? Being based away from home has been — and still is — one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face in my career. Hong Kong will always be home for me as my family and friends all live here, but to compete at the highest level of the sport, I have to live and train overseas for the access and advantages. The constant travelling has its perks, but every so often I struggle with a dilemma of balancing a career and a social life. What are the keys to success in showjumping? Patience, grit and empathy are definitely important traits. There’s a core foundation of riding skills, but every horse is different and you have to learn to adapt and apply different riding styles to bond with them and build a strong partnership. Good management skills are also important: riding and competing is only one aspect of the sport — there’s also a lot of stable management and responsibility involved in caring for and maintaining a sport horse.
What are you most proud of? Definitely my horse, Orphée du Granit. He really brought me up the ranks in the sport and got me to a level I never imagined I could reach. I’m most proud of our achievement at the 2019 Asian Championships because he really fought for me and didn’t make a single mistake over five rounds of competition and ended up with team gold and individual bronze. How has the pandemic affected you? I actually took a long break and spent time in Hong Kong. I’m really glad I did it, as I’m usually travelling non-stop for competitions, and it gave me a great opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. I made sure to stay active, though, by hiking or playing tennis and I was training at a newly opened gym. We riders always put our horses’ well-being first and we can forget to look after ourselves. What do you look forward to in the coming 12 months? I’m back in Europe to gain my qualification to next summer’s Tokyo Olympics as Hong Kong can send one representative as an individual to the games — so I hope it all goes to plan. It will be bittersweet as my teammates and I have to fight for the spot, but regardless it will be great to see Hong Kong being represented in the showjumping arena.
JOÃO MOREIRA LEADING JOCKEY
Tell us about yourself. I was born in Curitiba, the biggest city in southern Brazil. I grew up in a tough place where kids between 10 to 20 were exposed to all the wrong things and are very likely to lose themselves along the way. Mine was a very humble family, where all eight of us had to work hard to make it in life. But I’m very proud of my family. I finished high school and qualified for university, but I decided to focus on my career as jockey, and also do a two-year English course, which was essential for my international career, which started in Singapore in 2009. I moved to Hong Kong in 2013.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? Without doubt it’s having to deal with people — they always create problems in all different ways. Dealing with horses, on the other hand, is incredibly good and enjoyable. Also, as I didn’t have a father to guide me I always had to rely on other people for advice. They may all have seemed genuine, but not everyone was.
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I love the wild more than any other environment.
What does it take to succeed as a jockey? As with any other job, you have to be committed, work hard, be willing to get out of bed by 4am or earlier, be skilful and, the most important thing, do it with love.
What did you always want to be? A footballer, but I wasn’t good enough. My second pick was to be jockey, which I don’t regret at all. It’s been an amazing journey. Horses are in my blood, going through my veins to my heart. What was your first big break? My biggest breakthrough was when I won the 2006 Gran Premio Nacional — the Argentina Derby — on a Brazilian horse. It was pretty much my first international win at grade-one level.
Whom do you look up to and why? I could make a list of many jockeys from all around the world, but the British-based Italian jockey Frankie Dettori’s record speaks for itself. He’s the best ever.
What are you most proud of? Having come from where I came from, and been able to achieve what I’ve achieved in my career. What advice would you offer others seeking success? We all have a time window in which we have to choose what we’ll do for a living. Your choice is crucial for your entire life, so make sure you choose something you really love. Otherwise you won’t do it as well as those who truly love it.
ZADA YEUNG WATER POLO PLAYER, BUSINESSWOMAN
Tell us about your background. I’m 26 years old and a retired team athlete. I now work at a start-up called Ritual as strategic partnership manager. I used to swim with the Hong Kong Water Polo Women’s National team, and competed at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. I attended Maryknoll Convent School and studied Marketing and Management at HKUST. What’s something not many people know about you? I’m also a grade-five piano player and a licensed tour escort. Did you always want to be an athlete? Yes, being an athlete was always one of my dreams. I started swimming at age six. What was your first big break? When I first represented Hong Kong an international swimming competition at the age of 11. Although the event wasn’t as big as the Asian Games, it was a milestone in my life that helped me pursue my dream. What was your greatest career challenge? The toughest moment in my work and athletic life came in 2018. In 2016 I’d just graduated and started my first full-time job; at the same time I also started to do regular water-polo training. Although it’s hard to strike a balance between work and training, I began to increase my training frequency from three times a week to six. In 2018, I changed my field position from goalkeeper to field player, only to realise that I’d have to improve my swimming performance if I hoped to participate in 2018 Asian Games. So I quit my full-time job so I could train in the mornings too. Since being an athlete
isn’t regarded as a “normal” occupation in Hong Kong, not a lot people supported my decision. It was quite stressful at the time as I could have sacrificed my job for nothing. But fortunately, thanks to the help of my coach, teammates and family, I was able to fulfil my dream. Whom do you look up to and why? My mum. She’s so caring, kind and smart. She greatly influenced my attitude towards work and taught me the importance of perseverance. She makes me believe in myself. What are you most proud of? Representing Hong Kong in the Asian Games. I’m also proud of my transition from athlete to model and businesswomen for now. A smooth and successful change is never easy without effort and the help of family and friends. What advice would you offer aspiring athletes? Success doesn’t just come to you. No matter if you want to be an athlete or a businesswomen, you must dream big and work hard. Talent might be a gift, but no one is born to be a champion. How has the pandemic affected your life? I’ve had to work from home, and gyms have been closed. In August I joined a yoga teachers’ class and I’ve gained a lot of new sports knowledge in recent months.
Never mere followers of global trends, these fearlessly individual creators of style share a beautiful home-grown vision
VICTOR CHAN | CORAL CHUNG | ANSON LAU | ANAĂ?S MAK ELIZA RUTSON PANG | JASMIN PANG | SUSANNA SOO | KEV YIU 67
VICTOR CHAN FASHION DESIGNER
Tell us about yourself. I hold a master’s degree from Kingston University London and after years working in the industry, I started my own brand, Victor Chan Studio, in 2019. The brand embeds a strong passion in modern-day womenswear with a sophisticated image and a focus on craftsmanship, details and timeless style, designing ready-to-wear, made-to-order and custom-made couture pieces.
Whom do you look up to and why? I always look up to my fellow designers or working partners, such as photographers, make-up artists and stylists. Every one of them has their own path and story to tell, I often learn so much from them, whether on business or personal growth. It takes courage and determination to run an individual business; we learn from each other, support each other, and that’s exactly how we grow in the business world.
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I secretly enjoy doing candid photography. Nothing fancy, just with my cell phone, capturing moments without anyone noticing, especially during photoshoots. Often I get my inspiration from these photos.
What are you most proud of? I’m proud of myself for being able to achieve my dream and remain committed to my career path. Having my own brand is a plan that I set for myself years ago. There were hesitation and worries along the way but I’m so glad that I was dedicated enough to bypass all that and make it happen. I always believe doors would open up along the journey as long as I opened the first main door.
Did you always want to be a fashion designer? I’ve loved drawing since I was young and I’d draw figures wearing dresses, outfits with shoes and bags — I even put price tags on them. I enjoy expressing myself this way and that’s how I knew this was what I wanted to do in the future. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? I’d say that finding the balance between creativity and the reality of business is challenging. Ultimately you want to be as creative as you can with your designs, but connecting with your clients and potential audience is also very important. That’s led me on a very interesting learning path.
What advice would you offer aspiring fashion designers? Be prepared to learn everything that comes along your way, be curious, be focused and, most importantly, be passionate with what you do. Passion is the difference between having a job or having a career. How have the past months been for you? We’re living during such a difficult time but we’re also trying our best to keep up. It’s been an eye-opening experience connecting with different vendors and partners in the past few months. We get together and get creative, trying our best to create photoshoot collaborations, enhancing our individual brand portfolios and being experimental as a team.
â€œBe prepared to learn everything that comes along your way, be curious, be focussed and, most importantly, be passionate with what you doâ€?
CORAL CHUNG ACCESSORIES DESIGNER
Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Southern California, did my undergraduate degree at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and got my MBA from Stanford University. My first job after college was actually working for Bain & Company in Hong Kong. I’ve got lots of fond memories of those days. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? Most people don’t know that I’m an introvert and actually pretty shy. Being an entrepreneur has made me a lot more outspoken, but by nature, I’m very reserved. Some people find me intimidating when I’m quiet, but actually it’s because I’m more of a thinker than someone who talks out loud. Did you always want to be a designer? I wanted to start a luxury brand when I was in my teens, after I got my first Prada bag as a birthday present from my father. It was a dream come true for me to launch Senreve four years ago.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? Working in many male-dominated fields has always been something that I’ve had to grapple with. Whether it was being the only woman in my associate-consultant cohort of 10 at Bain & Company, or one of the few female entrepreneurs to have raised significant venture-capital funding, I’ve found overcoming these challenges to break the glass ceiling highly motivating. Whom do you look up to and why? I love leaders and women who’ve paved the way for other women. I was saddened by the recent death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was so inspirational for not only charting her own course and breaking so many barriers, but also constantly fighting for equality for women throughout her life. What are you most proud of? I’m really proud of bringing to life the vision I had for Senreve just four years ago. We’ve become a global brand, with an elegant and strong community of women — tens of thousands of women — using our products daily.
What advice would you offer aspiring designers? If you have an idea or a burst of inspiration, it’s important to not talk yourself out of it with little voices of self-doubt. Instead, look at some of the key factors that will determine success, like the overall size and growth of the market. It’s always a balance of art and science, and don’t let any negative self-talk get in the way. How have the past months been for you? 2020 has been a turbulent year. Covid-19 hit a lot of regions very hard, including Italy, where our factory is. It closed for two-and-a-half months, and I was anxious about whether it would reopen. Fortunately, we’ve overcome many of these challenges and are still growing 100 percent year-on-year, which really speaks to our brand’s resilience. What’s next for you? Senreve is expanding globally, with a big focus on Asia; Hong Kong continues to be a major global hub for us. We’ll likely have one or two more pop-ups, after the successful opening of our first at Pacific Place in the summer. I hope I’ll also be able to travel again soon, as I miss being in Hong Kong and Asia, as well as Italy, very much!
ANSON LAU FASHION STYLIST AND ART DIRECTOR
Tell us about your background. During high school, I never imagined that I’d make a career in art or fashion. Whenever I took an art lesson, my efforts were so bad my classmates laughed out loud. One time, the art lesson involved a competition to design a poster for the school’s sports day. When I handed in my homework it was past the deadline. The teacher scolded me then suddenly asked me: “Have you been studying? One day, if you’re interested, you can study design.” That conversation was a game changer. I read some design books in the library, and one was about Vivienne Westwood. Her thoughts and style continue to inspire me. After I graduated from high school I studied fashion design; I started work as a designer a year after finishing my design course. But I felt that working for a Hong Kong brand wasn’t for me. I quit my job and became a freelance stylist. The first few years were tough, but I didn’t give up.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? As a creative director, you always start with plenty of ideas for a project. The big challenge is keeping your creativity fresh and interesting.
Did you always want to be a stylist? No, I wanted to be a nurse when I was young.
What advice would you offer to aspiring creative people? Don’t be afraid to try. The more you do, the more you experience and that will help you achieve success.
What was your first big break? When I was chosen to work on the album of Hong Kong artist Aga Kong. The job involved creative direction, set design, shooting style, and designing the album. This was the first time I used skills other than fashion editorial or commercial.
Whom do you look up to and why? I have so many idols in the business: Björk, Madonna, Utada Hikaru, Lady Gaga. I love artists who always push the boundaries. That’s how my mind works — I never stick to one style; I want to let people know this is me. No matter if I do vintage, classic, edgy or girly styles — you can see this is Anson Lau’s style. What are you most proud of? I was so lazy and timid when I was young, but now I’ve sort of come out from my shell. My mum always worried about me. I’m proud that I can look after her now and pursue my career.
PHOTO MAX CHAN
ANAÏS MAK FASHION DESIGNER
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and moved to Paris to study fashion design at Studio Berçot. I founded Jourden in 2012 after I graduated — the beginning of a tale of two cities (Hong Kong and Paris) since then. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? That I was born under a full moon — I’m a quiet lunatic! Did you always want to be a fashion designer? I’ve always found clothes to be one of the most expressive things for me. Growing up, I aspired to a lot of legendary moments and personalities from the fashion world, and it was a very exciting quest for me to find my own ways to participate. I started out as a writer before I went to Paris, and I still remember how it felt as a teenager, working on my first 11-page cover story with Scott Schuman for City Magazine. What was your first big break? Meeting Sarah Andelman from Colette Paris in 2015 and launching the Colette Arcade app together was a dream come true.
“I was born under a full moon – I’m a quiet lunatic”
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? It was a critical step up when we had the opportunity to stage our debut runway show on the Paris Fashion Week calendar in 2017. Creatively, we were an intimate team of two pulling off the collection in the special work conditions during Chinese New Year, while working on venue scouting, casting, beauty, choreography, sound and lighting — mostly remotely — within a month for the very first time. The industry feeds you with these impossible dreams and pursuits, and it takes so many other crazy friends along the journey to make it happen together. Whom do you look up to and why? Miuccia Prada, for being one of the most progressive minds in fashion when she’s in her seventies. Fictionally, I worship Jen Yu from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for her disruptive fearlessness, and virtual protagonist from the game Kentucky Route Zero is a muse too. The list goes on! What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Curiosity and drive. Wifi and water. What are you most proud of? Being able to check off my to-do lists with lots of movers and shakers I admire and to have such a spirit of pride working with the talented friends around me.
ELIZA RUTSON PANG MODEL
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong, then I moved to Los Angeles to finish high school and now I’m studying at Central Saint Martins in London. Did you always want to be a model? No, I don’t think so. I think I just really wanted to be doing something where I’d always be surrounded by creative people. What was your first big break? This season my big break was being able to walk for Chanel for the first time — it was insane! What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? I think just mentally preparing myself to be judged and remembering that it’s not personal. Who do you look up to and why? My parents. They’re both very strongminded people, which is something I hope I’ve inherited from them.
What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Be smart, be kind to everyone, and show your personality and humour. What are you most proud of? I’d say being able to do amazing jobs as a model and getting into Central Saint Martins. What advice would you offer aspiring models? Just take it day by day with whatever you want to do. There are always steps that will get you there. How did you manage to carry on amid the pandemic? I did the best I could to stay safe — I washed my hands whenever I got a chance, wore a mask as much as possible and played it safe. What’s next for you? I have no clue. I wish I could see what’s coming but I guess we’ll find out in the next 12 months.
â€œJust take it day by day with whatever you want to do. There are always steps that will get you thereâ€?
JASMIN PANG FASHION DESIGNER
Tell us about yourself. I studied mathematics at University College London, followed by an actuarial science master’s degree at Cass Business School. It’s quite the opposite from the usual expectation of what a fashion designer’s background should be, but thanks to this, I’m proud of my strength in logical thinking, in addition to my creative side as a designer. In spite of being unable to pursue a fashion-design degree, because of my traditional family background, while studying for my mathematics degree I did a part-time foundation course at Central Saint Martins and held a number of mini fashion shows at the time to showcase my designs. After graduating from university, I spent 10 years working in the insurance industry, during which time I uncovered a gap in the market for well-fitted made-to-measure shirts for modern-day women, and that was how JSMP’s journey began. Did you always want to be a fashion designer? I’ve always loved art and spent hours creating pretty crafts when I was a child. At high school, I discovered fashion as a way of expressing my love for shapes and structures. Noticing my passion, my childhood friend Nicholas Ho began encouraging me to enter fashion-design competitions. That’s when I began to dream of becoming a fashion designer, and now Nicholas has become an investor in JSMP too.
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I’m a very visual person. I love observing people and their movements; I love watching light and its interaction with nature; I can sit still for hours, watching, feeling and imagining. So I’d like to communicate the visuals I see through my lens to the customers via my designs. Whom do you look up to and why? I really look up to my boss Robert Burr, whom I’ve followed and worked with on and off for six years now in my corporate job. He’s a visionary, the best storyteller and a leader who brings the best out of his people. He created an environment in which it’s OK to build a life outside of work. To me, JSMP fuels the passion for my corporate job, and vice versa. What does it takes to succeed in your line of work? To have an artistic eye, a unique vision and abundant passion to begin with. Building on that, grit, persistence and optimism to bring ideas to life. I believe some people are born with the first set of qualities and the latter ones can be trained.
What are you most proud of? I’m most proud of the team of in-house local craftsmen I’ve built at JSMP. They started their careers in the garment industry during the golden era of tailoring in Hong Kong and acquired the finest craftsmanship through years of experience. It’s sad to see that tailoring is becoming a dying art in Hong Kong, I admire this craft immensely and it’s my wish to preserve it. Most importantly, I’m grateful I can count on my team to deliver the best quality to my customers time after time. What advice do you have for someone starting in fashion design? Find the true purpose for what and whom you’re designing — then the inspiration will come. A lot of designers make beautiful clothes that they love, but I think a true designer addresses other people’s needs. Thinking about the end customer should be the starting point of all design. This is why, for JSMP, I always have a muse in mind to design for.
LOCATION MONT ROUGE, KERRY PROPERTIES
SUSANNA SOO FASHION DESIGNER
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I’m an introvert and I’ve always been combating anxiety and depression. That’s also why I’ve begun to incorporate a lot about holistic wellness and mental awareness in S.Nine. Did you always want to be a fashion designer? No, but since primary school I’ve always loved the magical feeling of transformation when putting on a great piece. I just didn’t connect this love to an actual career, but when I was working in New York, it suddenly clicked. What was your first big break? Looking back, I didn’t have a business plan or a certain path when I was building S.Nine. It was through many opportunities and decisions, putting many, many hats on, striving through the obstacle course without looking back. And I think sometimes it’s great timing with the right decision that makes a big difference. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? As with many entrepreneurs, there are challenges every day. I think the biggest challenge is staying mentally strong — people who are mentally strong turn challenges into opportunities to do something much greater. Who do you look up to and why? I look up to my mom. She’s an inspiration to me; she’s someone who has great integrity. She always chooses to act based on value rather than personal gain.
What does it take to succeed in your line of work? My definition of success for S.Nine is to build a brand that brings purpose together with sustainability. Integrity is the most important value. What are you most proud of? Bringing a sense of joy and confidence to people through my work. What advice would you offer aspiring designers? Always remember your value, and know your why. How has it been for you during the past months? It’s been a time for slowing down and rethinking how to do things better, and it’s such a great opportunity for improvement. We’re creating more and more wellness and fashion content to build a stronger sense of community, redesigning processes and communications with our production team, and creating seasonless collections, virtual fittings and chat shops to produce a new retail experience. What’s next for you? Business-wise, I’ll be busy working on the efforts mentioned above. Personally, I’m taking a meditation-instructor course and thinking of further polishing my Japanese. And, who knows, if there’s still no travelling 12 months from now, I might take up a serious cookery course.
KEV YIU FASHION DESIGNER
What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? People think I am a quiet and calm person, fitting the stereotype of a gown designer, but when I’m not in a suit for shows and events I’m actually a bit of a joker. Although some might think I have to maintain a mature image, I also feel that feeding your inner child is important for creativity.
but with her strong mind and beautiful performances she overcame everything and achieved her goals. Likewise, in Hong Kong we fashion designers might not have as much support as designers in other countries, but as long as we have faith in ourselves and make sure every piece we create is our best, good things might happen when the opportunity arrives.
Did you always want to be a fashion designer? Being a gown designer was always one of my dreams. Having a little sister to model my paper dresses and having mini fashion shows at home are some of my fondest childhood memories.
What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Self-belief and embracing your own aesthetic. We should accept our individuality and let it develop, rather than wanting to be someone else.
What was your first big break? When I quit my day job and started as a one-man brand, where I did everything from design to production. I worked for six months non-stop but finally got all the products delivered to the consignment stores. And my creations were well received by local celebrities. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career? Managing a business can be challenging. Striking a balance between creative freedom and what the market demands can be very difficult at times. Whom do you look up to and why? Anna Bessonova has always been my idol. She’s a rhythmic gymnast from Ukraine who competed for over 10 years and eventually broke Russian’s domination of the sport, earning herself a world championship title. Ukraine didn’t have either the facilities or financial support,
What are you most proud of? My persistence. When I set a goal I’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it. I understand this can be an obstacle to my career but without this personality I wouldn’t be where I am now. We only live once, so why not try our best as long as it doesn’t harm others? What advice would you offer aspiring designers? Just be yourself and always remind yourself why you wanted to be a fashion designer.
“WE SHOULD ACCEPT OUR INDIVIDUALITY AND LET IT DEVELOP, RATHER THAN WANTING TO BE SOMEONE ELSE”
Six talented tastemakers who are re-shaping the drinking and dining landscapes in Asiaâ€™s most fastidious foodie city
food & beverage
JONATHAN BUI | MANESH CHELLARAM | VICKY CHENG DEVON HOU | SHAK PASHA | MALCOLM WOOD 85
JONATHAN BUI F&B ENTREPRENEUR
Tell us about yourself. My family is from Chiu Chow, but I was born in Toronto and grew up in Hong Kong. When I moved back to Toronto, I studied kinesiology and health science at York University and was on my way to become a physiotherapist. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? My goofiness. Did you always want to be in F&B? No, although I had planned a career physiotherapy, my first understanding of food and beverage developed from an early age watching my grandfather and parents manage their business — Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant. At university, I worked part-time for pocket money at a catering company and I really enjoyed the good feedback I received for friendly service. It was all quite theatrical and it was great making customers feel positive about their experience. What was your first big break? Mrs Pound. My partners and I decided to create something unique, quirky and fun. We had planned it for more than a year; testing combinations of flavours and finally curated a food and drinks menu that we thought everyone would enjoy. We were all about the love stories, the bold flavours and the culinary journey the shop would take our customers on. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? Covid-19. However, we’ll overcome it with a positive attitude, perseverance and strategic planning.
Whom do you look up to and why? My parents taught me how to create a good balance of work and life. Their extensive experience in managing and expanding has led me to have a broader perspective of how to endure and to be patient. What’s the key to success in your work? Staying focused and having a positive attitude. There are always hidden opportunities that may not appear at the time and it’s OK to reach out to people to get a different perspective. What are you most proud of? Being the third generation to expand our family business. I hope that one day Chiu Chow cuisine can be recognised internationally and that more people can get to know our culture. What piece of advice would you offer hopeful restaurateurs out there. Delegate work to the right people and have trust in your team! How has it been for you during in the last months? It’s important to have strong communication with your teams, as what we’re facing is a global pandemic, so we must stick together. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? We’ll be right back on our feet and ready for more adventures!
MANESH CHELLARAM RESTAURATEUR
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong. My parents were keen for me to study business, given our entrepreneurial background, but I decided to follow my passion for art through the Canterbury School of Architecture in the UK. I’m the seventh generation of a family trading business that started in 1860. We were among the pioneers of Indian international trade and are featured in the book The Global World of Indian Merchants, 17501947 by Claude Markovits. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? One of my hobbies is sketching with coloured pencils. I have a series of renderings of Hong Kong urban landscapes that I hope to exhibit someday. Did you always want to be a restaurateur? Food & Beverage has been in my blood since the family business brought the Wimpy fast-food restaurant to Hong Kong in the late 1960s. I’ve been lucky to work on various restaurant and hotel projects while practicing as an architect in Hong Kong and London, which gave me a true appreciation for the design element. My exposure to the industry, appreciation for design, passion for food and wanting to share my experiences to enhance Hong Kong’s dining experiences led to me cofound the 8 creATEive collective. What has been the biggest challenge in your career? Challenges are a way of life that make you stronger to face the future. The Coronavirus epidemic would be the greatest challenge I’ve seen in the F&B industry. I’ve never witnessed times such as these where the entire world is almost at a standstill and people are going through such hardship.
Whom do you look up to and why? I admire and look up to Mahatma Gandhi who taught and preached “Satyagraha” the peaceful but righteous movement that gave India its freedom in 1947. It would be a dream come true if people worldwide could follow his example today. What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Patience and open communication. At any given time you’re dealing with multiple people with various backgrounds and personalities so it’s important to be grounded and deal with each situation and person in a peaceful and polite manner. What are you most proud of? I’m proud of our team working extremely hard through the pandemic and doing their best to create a pleasant and enjoyable dining experience for our customers. One of our restaurants, Amalfitana, has also received multiple awards which is always encouraging to see our hard work being recognised. What advice would offer aspiring restaurateurs? Treat staff like family; if they’re happy this will reflect in the customer experience and ultimately lead to success. Additionally, you must always embrace your critics and be open to improvement. You need to be dedicated, hardworking and have a clear vision; you also have to prepare for adversity and have a contingency plan ready. My father taught me that the customer is always right — it doesn’t matter whether a customer is big or small, a customer is a customer.
How has the pandemic impacted your businesses? It’s been a very challenging time and the recent beach closures largely reduced the footfall at our southside venues, for example, at The Pulse. However, it’s important to maintain a positive outlook and clear mindset to see how you can best achieve results in these circumstances. Personally, throughout the pandemic I made sure to stick to my workout regime that includes 10,000 steps a day, jogging on Bowen road and resistance training (I also created a home gym when the restrictions were in place). Professionally, during this time, increased our online presence and visibility and tailored our offerings for deliveries and takeaway. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? Together with my brother Manoj and partners, we are always looking for new opportunities to grow our business and share more of what we are passionate about. The pandemic hit the F&B industry hard, but we are optimistic in working with landlords who can now view the relationship as a partnership to navigate these challenging times together instead of separate entities, which can benefit both in the long run.
“You’re dealing with multiple people with various backgrounds and personalities, so it’s important to be grounded and deal with each situation and person in a peaceful and polite manner”
VICKY CHENG CHEF
Tell us about yourself. I was born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, where I started to cook professionally, then moved to New York to continue my career. Ten years ago I moved back here and five years ago I opened VEA Restaurant. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? There’s something that I secretly love to eat but it’s really bad for you. I’m also a neat freak – I want everything to be neat, tidy and in place all the time. Did you always want to be a chef? Yes, always. It’s been a 20-year career now, and I’ve never thought about going on to another career path. In the beginning, it was kind of my only option to pursue in the culinary industry, and as I didn’t have a second option or was good at anything else, I was able to stay focussed on this role, which I had to work hard at. What was your first big break? About five years ago, I decided to do Chinese x French cuisine, and one year after that we got our first Michelin star. That was when my career really took off, when we decided to do a cuisine that’s very unique to us, and I think that was what’s driven me and pushed me and made me feel as if this is absolutely the right decision.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? My biggest challenge would have been when I first came back to Hong Kong, when I made the career transition from a chef de partie of a three-star restaurant in New York to immediately jumping into the shoes of an executive chef of a group that was managing three restaurants in a foreign city. Without any managment skills or experience, I had to learn everything from scratch in a totally different working environment and culture. Whom do you look up to and why? My mom, as she’s a strong and incredible woman, who also started her own business from scratch and went through failure, then became a successful woman running her own business and, as a single parent, raising me and my sister. What does it take to succeed in your line of work? Determination, dedication and hard work. You have to be very determined, focussed and not easily distracted. Don’t try to do too much — instead, focus on what you’re good at. Not only should you never stop learning, but never stop in your desire to learn. Never settle for second best within your goals, because “best” has a broad definition.
What advice would you offer aspiring chefs? Success never comes without hard work, but hard work is hard unless you’re interested in it. You can only really focus on something if you’re very much into it, so at the youngest age possible you need to work out exactly if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. How has it been for you during the past months? We’ve had great support from our regular guests, so we’re fortunate that the effects of government restrictions in seating and capacity have been limited. We’ve kept ourselves busy, utilising this time to research and develop new dishes. I’ve spent more time than I’ve ever had since opening the restaurant, physically inside the restaurant every day yet being able to spend time with my family. I’ve always said that every problem comes with an opportunity to rise; it depends if you’re a person who’s quick enough to think of solutions that make the situation better. What’s next for you? You can look forward — at last! — to a second restaurant of mine with a brand new concept.
What are you most proud of? I’m most proud of the cuisine that we’ve created, and being able to express Chinese ingredients through the lens of Western cooking. To build a bridge connecting both cultures, amplify and explore different options in the use of Chinese ingredient and French cooking techniques.
DEVON HOU CHEF
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and studied hotel management after I finished high school. This gave me a good introduction to the food & beverage industry and helped me develop further my strong passion for cooking. As I began to explore, I enrolled in a local culinary school to discover more about this fascinating career. After graduating from cooking school I was taken on as a junior chef at Amber Restaurant at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental. My three-year tenure provided me with most of my basic culinary skills, which set me on my career path at other leading kitchens such as L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Tate Dining Room among others. During 16 years as a professional chef, I’ve worked at a number of Michelin-star restaurants, the most memorable being The Goring Hotel in London. Working away from home allowed me to fully invest my time to explore the depths of a foreign kitchen, which helped me develop not only as a chef but also a leader within the kitchen. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I wasn’t an adventurous child at the dining table — I was very fussy about what I ate. This reluctance made trying new ingredients both interesting and difficult at times, but it does motivate me to explore things out of the ordinary. Did you always want to be a chef? My high-school home economics teacher was first to pique my interest in food. She helped me develop a passion for cooking which eventually led me to culinary school.
Tell us about your first big break? That would have to be the opportunity I had to travel and work in London. I had a lot of fun and gained tremendous experience through new surroundings and the different cultural backgrounds of the colleagues and friends I made there, which really set the path for what I am doing today.
What are you most proud of? Right now I’m most proud of joining Cobo House, where I work with my long-term friend Chef Ray Choi, along with many former and new colleagues. The strong teamwork ethic has transformed Cobo House into one of Hong Kong’s must-visit restaurants.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? I’d say that would be finding my place in the kitchen as a female chef at the beginning of my career, back when it was an industry dominated by male chefs. If your intentions to learn were not verbally made known you’d be invisible. Luckily I didn’t have to experience that at Vicky Lau’s Tate Dining Room.
What advice can you offer aspiring chefs? Inspiration comes in many forms, so seek it wherever you can. Continue to learn and explore, look beyond and break limits. Be passionate in what you do and, above all, enjoy the process.
Whom do you look up to and why? Vicky Lau, chef of the one-Michelin-star Tate Dining Room, who was named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2015 and is my mentor, life coach and friend. I joined Tate in 2012 as a member of the opening kitchen team. Her creativity, passion and knowledge of food have provided invaluable lessons and helped me along my own culinary journey tremendously. What does it take to succeed as a chef? Certain skillsets are essential — an eye for creativity, a passion for cooking, knowledge of ingredients to name a few. Mentally and physically it can get tiring at points of your career. What matters most is that you enjoy what you do and that will give you the satisfaction to continuously progress.
How have you managed your career during the pandemic? During the pandemic, I made a careerchanging decision to join Cobo House as one of the executive chefs, along with Ray Choi. The move has allowed me to let my creativity flow, break through tradition and help build an amazing team. While it has been a difficult time for the F&B industry, our goals to create concepts and bring novel ideas to the culinary world remain unchanged. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? Our “unspoken” menu, The Knife and Spoon Series, has been very successful. Every chapter is focused on a topic abstractly suggesting ingredients for the entire menu, which changes every six weeks, allowing our diners to continuously venture into unexpected culinary journeys at Cobo House.
â€œInspiration comes in many forms, so continue to learn and explore, look beyond and break limitsâ€?
SHAK PASHA F&B ENTREPRENEUR
Tell us about yourself. I was born in Bangladesh but grew up in Hong Kong. I went to Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and graduated with a specialisation in leadership. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I love traveling to music festivals, and try to make it a goal to visit at least 10 festivals around the world each year. My favourite is Fuji Rock! Did you always want to be in F&B? I’ve always wanted to work in a field that combined my interest in food, design, and music. Before I got involved in the industry I enjoyed eating out at restaurants and was amazed at how well-run restaurants created such memorable experiences. As soon as I got a taste of the industry I knew straight away it’s where I belonged; I love the fast-paced nature of the scene and the requirements to multitask and work as a team to accomplish goals. What was your first big break? Our first big break came when we opened Mrs Pound. We decided not to not hire a PR company and did little to no marketing
because as a speakeasy it would be counterintuitive to broadcast we were open. With an adventurous menu and a robust spirit programme, we were confident people who dined with us would spread the word about our unique little spot — a diner disguised as a stamp shop tucked away in a Sheung Wan lane. The first few days had us slightly concerned that many customers who accidentally walked in thought we were a genuine stamp shop! A month into our operation, we were even more concerned that we’d have no customers, as we still hadn’t received our liquor licence and our team was pushing us to start opening the doors so people would know a restaurant existed inside. However, our patience paid off, with many positive reviews — including a five-star rating — bringing a wave of customers to our shop and cementing us as the go-to spot in our neighbourhood.
Whom do you look up to? I don’t have a mentor but I do read and listen to podcasts for inspiration and advice. I’m currently following David Chang’s Opening Diaries podcast series where he describes the ups and downs of opening his most recent venture. The singular focus of “does this taste good?” permeates through every decision-making process from furniture design to the plating.
What have been your biggest challenges? The combination of social unrest followed by the pandemic. The restaurants I like to create are experience-focused and the magic truly happens within the four walls of the venues. Now, we’ve been forced to think outside the box — literally — to offer things like delivery and takeaway lunch boxes to adjust to the current environment. We’ve always aimed to create a community environment and develop talent within our team, so it was very difficult for us to close some bars and restaurants.
What are you most proud of? There’s so much still left to accomplish. I’m very focused on upcoming projects so I hope that my proudest moment is yet to come.
How do you define success in your work? A strong vision and direction is the key to success in this industry, but at the end of the day of all you really need is sheer determination. You end up wearing many hats in this field of work (and not just a food taster). which can bog someone down, but as long as you’re determined to get things done then this is the right line of work for you.
â€œI was exposed from an early age to many international cuisines as we moved around the worldâ€?
MALCOLM WOOD RESTAURATEUR
Tell us about yourself. I grew up all over the world — I’m halfChinese, half-English, was born in Taipei and lived in 18 countries before my mid 20s. Food has always played a significant part of my life. Living abroad and moving around the world meant limited time with family, so the concept of sharing a family meal was really important when we could be together — these are some of my fondest memories. I also grew up spending time with both my Chinese and English grandparents and was heavily inspired by both. What’s one thing not a lot of people know about you? I was terrified of heights as a kid, so I turned to vertical sports to confront my fears. Did you always want to be a restaurateur? I was exposed to lots of international cuisines by moving around the world from a young age. My grandmother, who lived next door to my school in Taiwan, was an excellent cook and would always be at home cooking wonderful Taiwanese food. My granddad, who was British, introduced me to classic Western cooking and also educated me about sourcing and the importance of knowing where your food came from. So, even if I didn’t intend to become a restaurateur, my family imparted on me a great deal of knowledge about food and nature, so I think this is where my passion came from.
What was your first big break? I met my lifelong business partner Matt Reid at university in England — we’ve been best friends and business partners for more than 20 years and I still think it’s remarkable that we haven’t had one fight in the whole time. We were opening restaurants around the world gaining experience but the business really took off when we made Hong Kong the home base for our activities and we founded Maximal Concepts. I think the biggest break however was when we opened Mott 32, which is now an international franchise and the first luxury Chinese restaurant to be franchised from East to West. What have been the biggest challenges in your career? Obviously, this year of difficulties created by Covid-19 has been one of the biggest challenges of my career. All business owners — certainly restaurateurs — have been faced with problems they never expected to face. It’s been incredibly tough to contend with, and we’ve had to make difficult decisions to weather the storm. Who do you look up to and why? My mother and father. My dad was a physicist, so precision in details was paramount and it’s become key to how I handle my businesses around the world. Along with my grandmother and grandfather, my Mother is the reason I became interested in food, not only because she’s a fantastic cook but she also taught me her incredible work ethic and how to be a successful businessman. She won a businesswoman of the year award in the 1970s, when it was very difficult for women to be recognised in that realm and she’s one of the best entrepreneurs I know.
What does it take to succeed in this line of work? Any business, but especially in restaurant sector, is a hundred moving parts coming together. I think to be truly a good entrepreneur you have to be a good marketer, accountant, lawyer and manager — in short, a good all-rounder. the highest stakes. What are you most proud of? My kids are what I’m most proud o,f but professionally, sustainability and more recently climate change awareness has always been a great passion of mine and we’ve tried our hardest to push this message across our businesses. Last year, I received the honour of being named one of UN Environment’s Mountain Heroes as a para-alpinist, entrepreneur and filmmaker, as part of a global campaign involving six top athletes around the world who are advocates for climate change & sustainability. This came from the work that I’ve done in the restaurant and film space around driving awareness in Asia for both topics and my recent project, The Last Glaciers. An environmental documentary that we’re releasing soon, it will be the most comprehensive film shot on climate change in the mountains and glaciers. What can we look forward to from you in the next 12 months? Besides the exciting line-up of new Mott 32 venues opening across the world, we’re also working hard on our next Hong Kong project, which will be in partnership with Mandarin Oriental. We’ll be opening a latenight, eccentric Japanese izakaya on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong called The Aubrey, early year.
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