Sustainable Future, Hong Kong Tales
David BOYCE: From Sailing to Sampan

55 years-old
Opened a studio in Wong Chuk Hang two and a half years ago

“I’m from New Zealand.  I’ve been living in Hong Kong for about 11 years now.  I work here with two other artists, Kurt Tong and Joshua Thomson.   My relationship with Aberdeen dated to shortly after I came to Hong Kong.  I used to sail on some racing yachts as a crew member.  So in my early days in Hong Kong, I came to Aberdeen quite often because of those weekend sailing. 

It is interesting to watch how Hong Kong changes.  Industrial areas such as Wong Chuk Hang changes into what people call “creative spaces”, galleries and artist studios.  Several friends of mine have studios in the area, which is nice.  I can visit them easily.  

I live in Happy Valley.  So it is great to work in somewhere near where I live, but also has a little bit of distance.  I like being here.  I am able to walk down to Aberdeen, where I can get things I need for work.  It has everything you need, from hardware and stationeries, to frying pans and iron boards.  I can always find something to eat in Aberdeen. I can stroll along the waterfront, or visit the waterfall behind the technical school, escape for a while. 

Even though I walk there very often, the sampan ladies still try to get me to their sampan tour.  They see me as a tourist.  “Come come come, sampan sampan,” they say.  Then I would say “Aiya, look at me”.  Then they would say “You know Cantonese”.  They are tough ladies.

Sometime ago, we went to Lamma with my wife’s colleague from the American office.  We missed the boat back to Central, so we took a sampan from the seafood restaurant to Aberdeen.  There was an 80-year-old lady, standing there, steering the boat with her foot. My wife’s colleague was from the mid-west. Her only experience of being on water was being on a small lake.   She didn’t see the sea until she came to HK.  It must have been quite an experience.  When we got off, she said, “I really thought we’re going to drown.”

Issue: #026 - 15 July 2016
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