The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 12 May 2018

Arts

Image: Herzog & De Meuron

If you build it...

Hong Kong is perhaps known more for its art deals than its artistic output but residents hope a new venue will see homegrown talent thrive.

After more than a decade of construction, the opening date for Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Art has been set. On 29 May, Hongkongers will finally be able to visit the police-compound-turned-arts-complex, which has seen Herzog & de Meuron restore 16 historic buildings (some 150 years old) and erect two hyper-modern structures. The development – which has cost HK$3.8bn (€405m) – is backed by The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s charities. It will open with an exhibition by Hong Kong artist Wing Po So and a group show, “Dismantling the Scaffold”, featuring the work of international and homegrown talents. Locals are excited: Tai Kwun is seen by many as a chance for Hong Kong to prove its mettle as an art city – not just an art-dealing city.

Architecture

Back to nature

A new book about architect Jim Olson takes readers on a journey to the great outdoors.

Many architects throughout the ages have been highly influenced by nature, but none perhaps as much as Jim Olson with his practice Olson Kundig. Now a book, appropriately titled Jim Olson: Building, Nature, Art, takes readers through a finely photographed survey of the Seattle-based architect’s work in the four corners of the world. Olson’s passion for building came, he explains, from a childlike appreciation of nature: “As a kid I spent a lot of time outdoors. I built forts, I loved to build things.” This passion has followed him throughout his career and many of his projects have contained themes relating to the great outdoors: from his Longbranch Cabin to the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Tune in to M24s Monocle On Design on Tuesday for an exclusive interview with Jim Olson.

Society

Image: Getty Images

Sing a rainbow

Today’s Pride event in Beirut will add weight to the liberal voices who are already speaking out in Lebanon.

The second edition of Beirut Pride kicks off today and will run until next Sunday. The first and only gay pride event in the Arab world, this year’s edition will feature a series of talks, discussions, performances, workshops and parties. There will also be a gender-neutral fashion show and, in a country where homosexual acts remain illegal, a workshop to equip law students on how to defend people prosecuted under the Lebanese penal code. The festival comes barely a week after Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, the first in nearly a decade. Although it was a clear victory for traditional parties and establishment elites, civil-society candidates are making their voices heard and events such as Beirut Pride can only strengthen them.

Media

Image: Alamy

Charity work

One newspaper, a victim of Canada’s troubled print industry, has decided to become a charity.

One of Canada’s most storied newspapers, the French-language daily La Presse, which was founded in Quebec in 1884, has announced it will become a charity. It is the first of the country’s major news publications to announce such a move and follows several high-profile initiatives from the government and the private sector aimed at bolstering the country’s troubled print-media sector. What is perhaps most worrying is that La Presse was heralded as having marshalled the digital world successfully (in terms of revenues and circulation) but still decided to shutter its print operation in December 2017 following a major rebrand. The fact that it, therefore, does not see its future in purely commercial terms should cause concern for other newspapers across the country that are seeking to adapt to a challenging newsprint environment.

From Monocle 24

Goods

The Entrepreneurs

Kasper Hostrup is the founder of Goods, a Copenhagen menswear shop that has garnered loyal clients worldwide thanks to its service, pared-back style and carefully thought-through collections. Goods opened as the global financial crisis hit but Hostrup weathered the storm and now the business is thriving. In this week’s episode, he speaks about what it takes to run a premium menswear store.

From Monocle Films

Monocle preview: The Drinking & Dining Directory

What will it be madam, sir? Certainly not the usual when it comes to our brand-new publication: The Monocle Drinking & Dining Directory. A drop of Tasmanian gin? A return to the buffet in Hong Kong? A liberal sprinkling of Monocle Restaurant Awards around the world? Come and sate your appetite.

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