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The future of our Harbour – HK partnering with Barcelona

In China, Hong Kong, Infrastructure on July 18, 2012 by KSA Asia Tagged: , , , ,

July 17 launched the joint Barcelona/Hong Kong Think Tank on Sustainable Urbanism – a new vehicle for thought, reflection and action in the areas of planning, urban design and sustainable development.

A fun installation inside the Energizing Kowloon East Office which also had informative panel boards telling the story of Kowloon East.

While the venue was difficult to find, the search was worth it (thanks for the Cava, Juan!)…. Kudos to the government for creating a creative space which addressed both form and function. More fascinating was the chat about the harbour, planning, sustainability and the roadmap which is needed for anything this scale. This is the first time Hong Kong has partnered together with a city on this specific issue.

Left to Right: Sr. Willy Müller, General Director, Barcelona Regional, Mr. Antoni Vives (Deputy Mayor of Barcelona), Mr. Xavier Trias (Mayor of Barcelona), Prof. Bernard V. Lim (President, Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design), Dr. Peter Cookson-Smith (President, Hong Kong Institute of Planners ), Ir. Conrad T C Wong (President, The Hong Kong *Green Building Council*)

“Operating as a Non-Profit organization, the objective of the Think Tank is to strive for the highest possible standards of urban environment, design and sustainability to improve the quality of life for citizens of Hong Kong, Barcelona and other cities,” says the press release. “The intention is to utilize the knowledge and findings acquired by the Think Tank to ensure far-sighted implementation by both public and private sectors.”

The launching ceremony was followed by a seminar co-organised by the Barcelona Regional and the EKEO where Barcelona’s recent development experience was shared with over 200 Hong Kong professionals.

Lovely to see old industry clients and many notable faces including Mr. C. S. Wai, Permanent Secretary (Works), Development Bureau, Nicolas Brooke, Chairman, Harbourfront Commission and Mr. Rocco Yim, Executive Director, Rocco Design Architects Ltd.

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Thank you Langham! We love the book!

In Corporate Publishing - Books, Travel & Food, Uncategorized on July 17, 2012 by KSA Asia Tagged: , ,

A big congrats to Langham Hospitality Group’s Sherona, Floria and Fiona on a lovely book which celebrates the 147th anniversary of the Langham London. We enjoyed the read – as well as the modern fonts and sleek illustrations! Great job to the team and what a fun way to celebrate tradition with a modern twist. KSA raises a cup of ‘afternoon tea’ to you!

Did you know that the Langham London was the first grand hotel in history to serve afternoon tea?

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Sailing the Fragrant Harbour on aqualuna

In Travel & Food, Uncategorized, WOM on July 12, 2012 by KSA Asia Tagged: , , , , ,

Starting July 3rd, Aqua Group launched their aqualuna traditional Chinese junk boat “Harbour Discovery Tour” which KSA was privileged to give a go on a perfect blue sky day.

From 12pm to 5pm each Tuesday and Friday, guests are welcome to board the iconic boat in Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Wanchai and Hunghom — all for a day pass rate of HK$100.

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aqualuna in all its glory with the HKCEC in the background, which also happens to be where the next stop on the “Harbour Discovery Tour” is at the tip, where visitors can visit Bauhinia Square…

Here is some background information about the iconic boat:

“Aqualuna was meticulously hand built over an 18 month period by a veteran shipbuilder using the most traditional of Chinese boat building methods – all handcrafted using wood. The result is a beautiful 28-metre traditional red mast junk which offers its guests 1,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor entertainment space split over two finely crafted wooden decks.

“Aqualuna’s name (Cheung Po Tsai) is after the famous Cheung Chau island pirate who terrorised the waters of the South China Sea at the turn of the century, adds to the legendary link with the area.”

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A sampan in the water – traditional transportation still used to this day to link up the hundreds of boats and island surrounding the territory.

Braving the heat, about 15 journalists enjoyed the tour while sipping lovely cooling drinks. While on the boat, the author of the “Harbour Discovery Tour” guidebook provided running commentary on historical tidbits together with the must see sights about town.

While the trip was very peaceful and tranquil — so why not top that off with some afternoon tea? It was only a hop and a skip before we ended up at the award winning boutique hotel, Hullet House in their lovely mural room. The selection of teas was diverse – try out the rose tea. What was very apparent was that love and care the pastry chef put into making the delectable creations! Yummy!

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Divine inspiration! Gorgeous cakes for all paired with beautiful tea. Hitting the spot after sailing through Hong Kong’s iconic Fragrant Harbour!

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Visiting the Central Government Offices – and taking in the gorgeous view!

In Corporate Publishing - Books, Interview on April 25, 2012 by KSA Asia

Wandering around the government headquarters is quite a privilege. KSA Asia were set for a meeting with our friends at the Joint Venture to discuss the upcoming book – excited! Amazing to see the hustle and bustle of the public corridor during lunch hour!

KSA Asia also wandered into the Tamar corner display before heading up to see the wonderful wooden art feature piece. It also lights up to show the connection of the complex with the rest of the city. Looking great and loved the black and white photos – as well as the special commemorative ‘stamps’ which were released earlier this year!

View from on high – the temporary offices for the Gammon-Hip Hing Joint Venture for the last three months – before they head back into the basement for the fifth office move! It always astounds us how flexible and humble the hard-working team is. Great job all around!

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Congrats to our friends at the Legislative Council

In Corporate Publishing - Books on April 18, 2012 by KSA Asia

We recently received a copy of the book: Legislative Council Then and Now: A Journey to the New Complex. KSA Asia wants to extend our thanks to Secretariat General, Pauline Ng, for thinking of us. We love the book!

And a huge pat on the back to the book production team in putting in the time to write and produce this seminal book. Great pictures, moving story and of course, lovely complex! KSA Asia looks forward to sharing our soon-to-come book for Gammon Construction & Hip Hing Construction, The Art of Construction: Designing and building Tamar.

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CityU Presents: Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang

In China, Travel & Food on April 12, 2012 by KSA Asia

Grottoes? Hong Kong? A journey and revisit for Kit Sinclair, Director, KSA Asia.

A few days ago, I went to a fantastic visual animation of the Dun Huang grottoes that I saw in 1982 in Sinjiang. The City University has a new Creative Media Centre and worked with DunHuang Academy and a Hong Kong group called Friends of DunHuang to create an interactive 360 degree visualization of Cave 220 using virtual reality technology.

I felt like I was in the cave. I didn’t need all the animation stuff they did but actually it was really useful in telling the story of the cave and explains the detail that we would otherwise miss.  I wore 3-D glasses for the 40 minute show and talk and had my own interpreter as the show was in Cantonese. They allowed only 20 people into the show at a time (It was in a room about 20 feet in diameter) and you could only book for yourself…so I went on my own.

Apparently a number of people went who had been to the caves 20 and 30 years ago.  I found my diary that records that Jennifer and I visited caves 16 and 17 where manuscripts were found and a few other caves which I didn’t identify. Apparently we had the briefing after we’d been to the caves so were only told in hindsight what we’d seen. Seems to me we wondered in the desert and admired a couple of gorgeous carpenters sawing logs into boards….anyway, that is an aside.

The tour guide used a pointer to enlarge certain aspects of the paintings and told the story. The animation was done by bringing forward details like the musical instruments or the canopies over the Buddha’s head or the dancing divas across the bottom.

Best thing I have seen in ages, so innovative. And I have only just been the the Imperial Palace Museum in Taipei with all those wonderful treasures from China which the Kuomingtang took with them…and that was pretty spectacular. There is always more to see!

Pure Land - Inside the Mogoa Grottoes at Dunhuang
Credit: Friends of Dunhuang Hong Kong and City University

The followng text is from the pamphlet. A big thanks to City University of Hong Kong and Dunhuang Academy for sharing this wonderful exhibit with the people of Hong Kong.

“The Grottoes brings to life the story painted as a single composition on the north wall of the Cave 220, known as Bhaisajyaguru’s Eastern Paradise. The detailed mural depicts the paradise Eastern Pure Land of the Medicine Buddha, Bhaisajyaguru. It shows the seven forms or emanations that Bhaisajyaguru can assume as a healer.

“They stand in a row on lotus platforms with a lotus pool below and, as in the painting opposite, a group of musicians accompanying dancers. The Bhaisajyaguru sutra tells of the twelve great vows of the Buddha, relating to the provision of food, drink, clothing, medicine, and spiritual aids. Devotees were encouraged to light lamps in worship and this is depicted in this painting to either side of the musicians and in the altar with lamps between the dancers.

Pure Land: Inside the Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang Pure Land immerses visitors in the quintessential heritage of hundreds of Buddhist grotto temples, an art treasury abounding with murals, statues and architectural monuments. This UNESCO World Heritage site, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas is located at Dunhuang a small town in northwestern China, an oasis in the Gobi desert. It was a gateway to and from China on the ancient Silk Road, which carried trade between China, western Asia and India from the 2nd century BC until the 14th century AD for over 1000 years.

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How do you Publish a Corporate Book?

In Corporate Publishing - Books on January 31, 2012 by KSA Asia

This is a common question we get asked. The short answer: simple – ask KSA to project-manage it for you. The inception of a high-end customized book to target potential clients for business development and marketing of MNCs around the world requires organization.

Here are some key points for total solutions book publishing.

1)      Time: To complete a project of this size, it normally takes the same amount of ‘gestation time’ as a baby in its mother’s womb so be prepared when time comes close to commemorative anniversaries and plan accordingly!

2)      Audience: Who do you want to target and why? This will indicate numbers of books and also the direction, size and focus of the book.

3)      Strategy: While the book may be the ‘goose, ham or turkey of the Christmas feast’, there are also other ‘side dishes’ which are must-haves in the leadup to launch day. These include digital marketing initiatives which would be valuable to engage your audience such as facebook, specialised websites, and twitter. How about community & education enhancements such as portable photo exhibitions, local talks from senior executives about the trends of the industry, or CSR through support of local charities pertaining to said industry.

The second most asked question: How do you know what to write about?

The inception of the idea is often from the creative mind of the corporation’s CEO. These people are impressively perceptive and have detailed five, 10, 20 year plans for their corporations. Our job is to interpret their aims through analysing trends in regional and global perspectives. By unravelling the corporation’s ethos in this changing environment, a unique framework for their book comes to life.

Sounds simple enough? Check out our website at www.ksa-asia.com to see books written for our various clients including Aedas, Gammon Construction, Kerry Properties, MTR and SCMP.