DMatters September 2020 Issue
Many people find it hard to make sense of fashion, especially avant-garde fashion. Behind the bold, edgy and sometimes eccentric aesthetics, the experimental approach to fashion is all about worldmaking — just as writers create fictional worlds with texts, fashion designers materialise their exciting imaginary worlds through fashion and its power to express identity, culture and ideology.
Design District Hong Kong (#ddHK) channels designers’ unique worldmaking talent to creative placemaking in its upcoming immersive experience festival Heart of Cyberpunk to be held from 17 - 25 October. Taking fashion as a starting point, local creatives seek to reinterpret Sham Shui Po’s action-charged cityscape and communities. Through the lens of cyberpunk, they co-create a futuristic world beyond imagination.
With popular programmes that created a huge following in its first two years, creative tourism project #ddHK takes “transFORM” as its theme in the 3rd year to expand its design-led placemaking approach. Sam Lam, Director of Business Development and Projects, Hong Kong Design Centre and Chief Curator and Project Director of #ddHK, said, “We are extremely excited to be hosting Heart of Cyberpunk, an event that sheds light on Sham Shui Po’s roots, as well as the embedded cultures this district encompasses. This reveals a brand-new blueprint of Sham Shui Po that I hope would impress those who visit.”
We are extremely excited to be hosting Heart of Cyberpunk, an event that sheds light on Sham Shui Po’s roots, as well as the embedded cultures this district encompasses. This reveals a brand-new blueprint of Sham Shui Po that I hope would impress those who visit.
The streetscapes of Sham Shui Po, while ordinary to most of us, have inspired an entire generation of sci-fi filmmakers and animators. The unique mix of neon-drenched streets, jam-packed high-rises, buzzing markets and traffics, and broad-ranging communities have powered the futuristic aesthetics of classic cyberpunk films from Blade Runner (1982) to Ghost in the Shell (1995/2017). In reality, the evolution of Sham Shui Po is no less fascinating. It developed from an industrial and commercial centre in the sixties into today’s cultural and creative hub. Sham Shui Po is now home to myriad craft, fashion and electronic suppliers and hipster businesses.
This year, #ddHK has invited Eugene Leung, Creative Visionary and founder of fashion label INJURY as the fashion event’s curator and creative director of Heart of Cyberpunk. “We have dedicated our efforts to re-create Tung Chau Street Temporary Market, showcasing our idea of Heart of Cyberpunk. A host of different performing arts, set designs, exhibitions and tours have been arranged, as well as activities involving nearby shops and communities to create a mini cyber city, inviting guests on a futuristic yet surreal cinematic journey of the sci-fi world.”
Designed by The World is Your Oyster
Designed by KA WA KEY
Heart of Cyberpunk’s visionary city comes to life through the fashion collections created by 10 budding home-bred fashion and accessories brands. “These spectacular designs reveal the characters in our story, the story of searching for ‘the Heart of Cyberpunk’. Renowned illustrator Chris Skinner’s event poster acts as a teaser for our story,” said Eugene. The cyberpunk vision takes the imagination of the participating designers to a whole new level. The World is Your Oyster’s Calvin Chan and Joyce Kun re-explore the era-defining The Matrix trilogy and recreate the outfits of the film’s characters using metallic materials and hardware sourced from the district. Key Chow and Jarno Leppanen from KA WA KEY base their collection on an LGBTQ-inspired story, whose characters include a transgender politician, a humanoid sex robot and an alien assassin.
A host of different performing arts, set designs, exhibitions and tours have been arranged, as well as activities involving nearby shops and communities to create a mini cyber city, inviting guests on a futuristic yet surreal cinematic journey of the sci-fi world.
While the designers get their inspirations and supplies from Sham Shui Po, their creative outputs show an incredible diversity of ideas and styles. Some of them revisit their personal Sham Shui Po experiences; others delve into the blurring reality-virtuality boundary, express a dystopian worldview, picture the aftermath of the climate crisis, and fuse minority folk aesthetics and cyberpunk together, among other creative concepts. While the designs are not for sale, 10 of them are selected and made into limited edition figurines which will be exclusively released at the festival. Locally designed, crafted and produced, these one-of-a-kind fashion figurines are not to be missed by collectors and fashion lovers!
Eugene envisions an immersive experience that goes beyond typical fashion events. “Inspired by fashion, the event tells the story using a multi-disciplinary design medium, crossing over different areas of design including illustrations, photography, comic books, exhibitions, mural arts, installations, immersive fashion performances and 3D figurines, to bring the story to life.” With fashion performances, exhibition shops, cybermarkets, mural arts, exhibitions, workshops, talks, guided tours and more, the 9-day programme is curated to refresh our Sham Shui Po experience and bring exciting surprises to fashionistas, design lovers, tourists and the public.
Other Programme Highlights
In this issue, we will introduce “Fashion Asia Digital Series”, an all-new podcast and video series gathering insightful contents from fashion experts and practitioners. You will also get an advanced peek at this year’s BODW CityProg, and the quintessence of “Unleash! Design Thinking e-Forum 2020” in July, as we look at 5 ways we can use design thinking to overcome crises.
Click here to read the full issue of DMatters September 2020.
More about Heart of Cyberpunk
How ‘Blade Runner’ Cyberpunk-ed Hong Kong
*Due to the current pandemic, the event organiser has the right to cancel or postpone the event to a later date with no prior notice. We apologise for any inconvenience. Stay informed via our #ddHK social media platforms for the latest updates.