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Hong kong 香港故事

Artists, café owners and shopkeepers are ensuring a traditional and tranquil life endures on the island of Cheung Chau

Serene scene 小島風情

長洲的藝術家、咖啡店及精品店東主,均致力保留 島上的傳統文化及閒適恬靜的生活面貌

TEXT/撰文 MaTHeW ScoTT

M Photos. Nitti Gritti: Gary Mak. Cheung Chau: Au Yuen Yam

easuring just 2.5 square kilometres,

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the tiny island of Cheung Chau has always been a spot to escape to, especially for the notorious pirate Cheung Po-tsai, who called the place home and used its caves to stash the bounty from his raids across the South China Sea in the late 18th century. The pirate’s treasure long gone, city dwellers now come in search of another kind of bounty: the slower pace, the scenic walks and the island’s vibrant traditions. The most popular day to visit is during the annual Bun Festival, which falls on 17 May this year, when steamed buns are offered to the deity Pak Tai in thanks for his protection. After a day of parades comes one of the festival’s highlights: competitors clamber up a tall tower of buns, bagging as many as they can. “Hong Kong has moved at such a fast pace that a lot of the city’s culture has disappeared too,” explains Cheung Chau resident Gill Wong. “But here you’ll find people have kept their culture alive and we wanted to be part of that – to celebrate and continue the traditions that make the island special.”

積 僅 約 2.5 平方公里的長洲, 從古到今都是人們避世隱逸的 小島;在18世紀末,即使是惡名 昭彰的海盜張保仔亦以長洲為 據點,還將在南中國海搶掠的 贓物藏在長洲的洞穴中。 海盜的寶藏早已不知所蹤,城市人現時來 到長洲,卻是為了追尋另類的「寶藏」— —享 受島上悠閒的生活步伐、景色優美的步行徑 和島上活力澎湃的傳統節慶活動。每年農曆 四月初八(今年公曆5月17日)舉行的「太平清 醮」便是最受歡迎的節慶。島民在當天迎請北 帝神像,供奉平安素包,並在日間舉行飄色巡 遊後,於晚上進行「搶包山」;參賽健兒攀上 高高的包山,爭取搶得最多的平安包。 長洲居民黃知敏表示:「香港的生活節奏太 快,日新月異,不少傳統文化因此失傳。但長洲 居民都很努力保留傳統,而且積極參與其中,盡 力傳承及宣揚長洲獨一無二的傳統文化。」 小島的傳統氛圍和安逸閒適吸引了不少遊 客到訪。由港島到長洲只需乘搭短程渡輪,乘 客登岸後即可以將都市的繁囂拋諸腦後。

The owner of Nitti Gritti (left) was inspired by crafts markets in Australia; Cheung Chau (above) has been a fishing community for centuries

nitti gritti(左圖)店主在 澳洲留學時逛藝墟 的見聞,啟發她 開設這間精品店; 長洲(上圖)數百年 來均以捕漁業為主

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Hong kong 香港故事

開設nitti gritti的阿欣 表示其「Mr」和「Mrs」 座墊系列最為暢銷

Rainbow Café displays postcards showing Cheung Chau's past and present

rainbow café的明信片 展現長洲的今昔面貌 42 silkroad may 2013

黃知敏與拍檔杜煥是長洲新興藝術社群的 一份子,他們經營平安店已超過三年,店舖位 於新興後街,鄰近長洲中央廣場。這些醉心 藝術及文化的人士認為在商業主義掛帥下, 城市發展過於急速,令香港島的文化魅力逐 漸消失,因此選擇到長洲開設精品店和藝術 主題咖啡店。 黃知敏與杜煥設計了多款以長洲為主題的 T 恤,如印上中文字「平安」的款式,便是取 材自太平清醮祭神用的「平安」素包。平安店 延續這個主題,還推出了各式布袋,上面印有 太平清醮的飄色圖像。 每逢周末,杜煥還會以麥芽糖捏出各種動 物造型,讓到訪的顧客一嚐傳統甜點。他說: 「香港的小販愈來愈少,我希望能將這門手 藝傳承下去,讓小朋友們能吃到麥芽糖,同時 認識這種別具特色的傳統小食。」 在長洲成長的阿欣在島上開設精品店Nitti Gritti,原因是她於澳洲墨爾本留學時,便 喜歡在課餘時間逛藝墟,搜購價廉物美的精 品。她說:「那時候我總能找到很多新奇漂亮 的精品,希望自己的店子也能給人這種感覺。 生活在香港這個城市有很多壓力,長洲卻是 個遠離喧鬧的世外桃源,因此最宜在此開店。 我希望大家到店裡來都會有尋寶的感覺。」

Rainbow Café (left) is a meeting point for local artists. Bands perform at the MyArts crafts market (right)

rainbow café(左圖)成為 本地藝術家的聚腳地;樂隊 在「長洲賣藝」舉辦的藝墟 表演(右圖)

阿欣的小店在去年7月開幕,店內最暢銷的 「Mr」和「Mrs」座墊系列便出自她的手筆。 此外,店裡還寄賣多位香港年輕設計師的作 品。她說:「遊客通常會到長洲來見識太平清 醮等傳統活動,但我們希望能吸引新一代的 遊客,讓喜歡趣緻精品的訪客滿載而歸。」 長洲碼頭至今依然泊滿大小漁船,見證多 個世紀以來作為長洲經濟命脈的捕漁業。從 Rainbow Café可飽覽長洲碼頭的風光,店內 牆上掛滿明信片,展示長洲今昔的面貌。 在長洲土生土長的蔡燕娟表示,咖啡店在 去年開業,旨在方便當地藝術家聚會,並展出 當地年輕攝影師的創作,牆上的明信片正是他 們拍攝的作品。她說:「這間獨一無二的咖啡 店開業後,我們成功創造了一個介紹小島迷人

FaST FacTS 實用資訊 HoW To geT THere From 4:15am: Fast (35 minutes) or ordinary (50 minutes) ferries to Cheung Chau leave Central Pier 5 every 30 minutes, till 1:30am

WHere To go Photos. Cafe: Gary Mak. Band: Adi Li

Yan Hui says her "Mr" and "Mrs" cushions are bestsellers at Nitti Gritti

people looking for some fun things to take home with them,” she says. Overlooking Cheung Chau harbour, still home to the fishing fleet that has for centuries been the mainstay of the local economy, the Rainbow Café’s walls are lined with postcards that provide a mix of images of the island as it was in days gone by and as it is today. Ivy Tsoi grew up on the island and says the café, which opened last year, is designed to be a meeting point for local artists and a place to showcase the work of young local photographers whose shots are featured on the postcards. “By having a unique coffee shop, we can open a window to introduce visitors to this beautiful island,” she says. “It was a kind of mission in our minds and, through the art of the photographers, we can display to visitors

Photos. Rainbow Café and Nitti Gritti: Gary Mak

This sense of tradition and tranquillity is what draws visitors to the island. Cheung Chau is just a short ferry trip away from Hong Kong Island and, once you disembark, the big city quickly becomes a distant memory. Wong and her partner, Louis To Wun, have for the past three years operated the My Ping On store on Sun Hing Back Street, just off Cheung Chau’s main square. They are part of a growing artistic community that has opened boutiques and art-themed cafés on an island they believe is safe from the rapid development and rampant commercialisation that has eroded Hong Kong Island’s cultural charms. Wong and To produce T-shirts with unique Cheung Chau-themed motifs, such as the Chinese characters “ping on” – which mean “safety” and are stamped on the island’s buns during its annual festival – as well as hessian cloth carry bags displaying images of the parades that help mark each Bun Festival. To also treats customers most weekends with traditional maltose candy which he shapes into animals. “It is a practice I wanted to keep alive, as there are fewer and fewer street vendors in Hong Kong now,” he says. “It’s like we are giving the kids a sweet and a little piece of history.” Yan Hui grew up on Cheung Chau but found the inspiration for her store Nitti Gritti while studying in Melbourne, Australia, where spare time was spent seeking bargains in the city’s arts-and-crafts markets. “I could find many weird and beautiful things there, and I wanted to do the same with my own shop,” she says. “Hong Kong is a place where there is a lot of pressure, and Cheung Chau is a world away from that stress, so it’s perfect. I want people to think that coming here is like coming on a treasure hunt.” Hui’s store opened in July last year and features her own creations – such as the “Mr” and “Mrs” cushions she says are her bestsellers – as well as the work of other young Hong Kong designers. “People will always come to Cheung Chau for its traditions such as the Bun Festival, but we are also looking for a new generation of tourist –

Rainbow Café

如何前往長洲

網站

63 San Hing Praya Street +852 6938 4433

從中環5號碼頭乘搭高速船(35

長洲足跡

分鐘)或普通渡輪(50分鐘)前 往長洲,每30分鐘一班,至凌晨

WeBSiTeS

1時30分

Footprint of Cheung Chau

店舖位置

www.facebook.com/ FootprintOfCheungChau

新興後街147號

www.facebook.com/ FootprintOfCheungChau 點點長洲

www.dimdimcheungchau.hk

平安店 長洲賣藝

+852 3488 0325

myartscc.wordpress.com

My Ping On

Dim Dim Cheung Chau

147 Sun Hing Back Street +852 3488 0325

www.dimdimcheungchau.hk

nitti gritti

糖人

新興後街105號地下

www.sugarman.hk

MyArts CC

+852 3689 1242

Nitti Gritti

myartscc.wordpress.com

G/F 105 Sun Hing Back Street +852 3689 1242

Maltose candy www.sugarman.hk

rainbow café 新興海傍街63號

+852 6938 4433

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Hong kong 香港故事 Bags at My Ping On (right) with the Chinese characters for "safety"; maltose candy (below) is sculpted into intricate shapes 平安店製作的布袋(右圖) 均加有「平安」的中文字樣; 造型精美的麥芽糖(下圖)

Photos. Bags: Gary Mak

the living culture, the history and the beautiful corner scenes of Cheung Chau.” The island’s artistic community has established itself in the virtual world as well. The websites Footprints of Cheung Chau and Dim Dim Cheung Chau show photos from daily life, while MyArts CC helps promote art events. MyArts CC was created by local residents Joy Lee and Adi Li, who until this past Christmas had held an artsand-crafts market in an empty lot on San Hing Praya Street. “It was outdoors and last year there were too many typhoons,” Lee says. “So we will move indoors by the end of the year and keep using the website to let people know what’s going on. People seemed to love coming here and looking for things they can show their friends back home.” 風貌的平台,這是當初我們開店的願景;透過攝影作品,我們向 遊客介紹長洲的生活文化和歷史,及每個角落的迷人風光。」 長洲的藝術社群亦在互聯網上發光發亮。「長洲足跡」和 「點點長洲」這兩個網站讓攝影師自由分享鏡頭下的旖旎長 洲,而「長洲賣藝」則主力推廣當地舉辦的藝術活動。 「長洲賣藝」由島上居民李嘉雯和李宏傑創立,直至去年 聖誕節之前,他們一直在新興海傍街的空地舉辦藝墟。李嘉 雯笑說:「藝墟是露天的,可是去年太多颱風了,因此我們打算 在今年底移到室內舉行,同時會繼續在網站更新消息。大家好 像很喜歡到此搜購精品,回去後可以與朋友分享。」

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SilkRoad nitti-gritti