Designer, brand consultant and contemporary artist Stanley Wong – known to many in the art world as anothermountainman – is concerned that Hong Kong design has lost its edge
"Within our creative circle I think we've lost the direction – we don't really find the uniqueness, how we stand within the boundary of China or Asia or globally because we are just doing really Westernised, other people's styles," says Wong.
Born in Hong Kong in 1960, he began working in the 1980s and says he was hugely influenced by Japanese design. The 12 "masters" who had the greatest impact on his in his early career – architects, fashion designers, film directors, artists and graphic designers – were all Japanese.
"In the 1980s Japanese design was so strong – stronger than European – and it made us enjoy another kind of Asian style," says Wong who came to international attention with his "red white blue" series, which he presented at the 51 st Venice Biennale in 2005 representing Hong Kong.
The exciting creative projects, he says, are happening across the border where mainland clients are more adventurous.
"Mainland clients will say I picked you because you haven't done this before, they want a different perspective to look at their business. But a Hong Kong client will say, you must have done something similar before. They aren't making any progress at all," says Wong.
But Wong is breaking new ground in Hong Kong. This month he released his first full-length documentary film project, Dance Hong Kong. It follows three veteran dancers – Xing Liang, Mui Cheuk-yin and Yuri Ng – and was filmed with no boundaries, no stage, no form and no audience. "The dancers are my friends and the film is talking about Hong Kong nowadays, how we see Hong Kong," he says.
Photography: Dicky Liu