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a quarterly journal from the hongkong federation of youth groups

December 2012

Volume 4 Number 4


YOUTH HONG KONG published quarterly by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups EDITORIAL BOARD Rosanna Wong Elaine Morgan (Editor) Ada Chau (Assistant Editor) Angela Ngai Lakshmi Jacot William Chung Veronica Pearson CIRCULATION (unaudited) 10,000-12,000 in Hong Kong, throughout the region and overseas VIEWS EXPRESSED are the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher REPRODUCTION OF CONTENTS without written permission from the publisher is prohibited INTERVIEWS & CONTRIBUTIONS (in alphabetical order of surname) Kanika Bali Kevin Chan Ada Chau Raymond Chang William Chung Gary Heilbronn Hsu Siu-man Lakshmi Jacota Edmond Lee Elaine Morgan Chloe Ng Students: HKFYG, CLD Students Yew Chung International School Students Arch Academy Michael Welch-Smith ARTWORK HKFYG e-Services Unit: Andrew Chiu Suki Mak Other artwork from archive, acknowledged as captioned or from public domain. DESIGN, LAYOUT & PRINTING DG3 Asia Ltd ISSN 2071-3193 WEB CORRESPONDENCE to The Editor, Youth Hong Kong, 21/F, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Building, 21 Pak Fuk Road, North Point, Hong Kong TEL 3755 7084, 3755 7108 FAX 3755 7155 EMAIL ADVERTISING enquiries to Ada Chau (3755 7108) THE HONG KONG FEDERATION OF YOUTH GROUPS was founded in 1960 and is one of the citys largest non-profit youth organizations. Its programmes and activities at over 60 locations are attended by 5 million participants every year CORE SERVICES Counselling, Creativity Education & Youth Exchange, e-Services, Education Services, Leadership Training, Leisure, Cultural & Sports Services, Parent-child Mediation, Research & Publications, Services for Youth at Risk, Volunteer Services, Youth Employment, Youth SPOTs,, HYPERLINK "" COVER Design: Suki Mak Concept: E. Morgan Original photo: mzaletel

Hong Kong creative disconnect: creative industry and creative output

Creativity takes courage, said the great artist Henri Matisse. However, creativity does not live in a vacuum and so perhaps management guru, Peter F. Druckers comment that, Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans, provides the critical balance to Matisse. With statistics revealing that the city is slipping down the charts for innovation, there is a sense that some of Hong Kongs creative can-do spirit has been lost. Is this true or has the creative spark just become disconnected and disjointed, as a result of lack of commitment and direction? These are some of issues we explore in this Christmas issue of Youth Hong Kong. Interviews with people involved in the creative arts, the leisure industry and the design world are juxtaposed with discussions and writing on creativity by young people.


Creativity imperative Richard Pontzious Asian Youth Orchestra

HIGHLIGHT 4 Hong Kongs creative disconnect: disquiet about commitment INTERVIEW 6 Richard Pontzious, Asian Youth Orchestra Creative imperative: give it all youve got YOUTH SPEAK 10 Impromptu ideas: the arts to medicine and IT to learning INTERVIEW 14 Allan Zeman, Lan Kwai Fong: Creating value with your own answers GUEST 18 Edmund Lee, Hong Kong Design Centre design + inspiration

Impromptu ideas: a spontaneous discussion

INTERVIEW 22 Phil Benson, Hong Kong Institute of Education and Alice Chik, City University YOUTH WATCH 25 Innovation snapshots Whos a clever country then?

Youth Hong Kong

December 2012 Volume 4 Number 4


Creating value Allan Zeman Lan Kwai Fong

The general outlook is optimistic, though the consensus is that Hong Kong could still dig deeper in its search for creative excellence. We look forward to hearing what you think and how you see creative expression finding an outlet wherever you are and wherever you work. Allow me to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones the blessings of the season from all of us here at Youth Hong Kong! Dr Rosanna Wong, DBE, JP Executive Director, HKFYG


Innovation Snapshots Inventiveness balance of power


Edmund Lee Hong Kong Design Centre

December 2012


At School Youth write Drama In the loop City space Arts and Culture AT SCHOOL 27 Michael Welch-Smith: LEAD 29 Raymond Chang: Early music education YOUTH WRITE 30 Students from Arch Academy and Yew Chung International School DRAMA 35 Making something out of nothing: one act play



IN THE LOOP 38 New ideas from YBHK: Teaspoon Ltd 39 PantaRei Design Ltd CITY SPACE 40 Kids Ocean Day: Keeping seas clean ARTS & CULTURE 42 Rethinking Canto-pop Film reviews 44 The Perks of Being a Wallflower 45 Ted HKFYG 46 48 50 51 English Public Speaking Contest Youth Wellness Centre survey on parents who gamble Step Out Award: Youth Employment and Life Banking Factsheet

Innovation + Adaptability Phil Benson Alice Chik

English Public
Speaking Contest Youth Wellness Centre report Step Out Award Scheme Factsheet

Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


Hong Kongs creative disconnect

Disquiet about commitment
If I were a young designer, this is where Id be setting up my pitch. So said world-renowned British designer and restaurateur, Sir Terence Conran.1 That was in 2003. Nine years later, would he still be saying the same thing? Does Hong Kong 2012 still ignite the same level of appreciation? Are Hong Kongs young people recognized, either locally or globally, as being in the vanguard of creative enterprise? What, in fact, is the state of creativity in the city today? If one depended only on government statistics, the response would be positive. With the creative industries adding HK$77.6 billion or 4.6% to Hong Kongs GDP, via 34,000 creative industry-related establishments and more than 180,000 practitioners, one could argue that this is a city rich in innovative ideas and output.2 Yet there is disquiet about Hong Kong lagging behind other cities. There are constant comparisons with Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, even Chiang Mai.3 Why? Is it because Hong Kongs Canto-pop stars have not had the impact of Psy and his Gangnam Style that spilled out from K-pop into the halls of the United Nations, the debating chambers of the Oxford Union and every crevice in between? There is a sense that parents are an obstacle to young people fulfilling creative potential. Results of a survey4 released earlier this year show that over 40% of parents neither appreciated nor supported their childrens creativity. Parents want students to focus on arts subjects only if they are score-focused, not as an outlet for imagination and innovation. DETOUR, HONG KONG With such attitudes, it is not surprising that the nearly 50% of the young respondents did not see parents as role models for creativity and had in fact lost their own creative confidence. This does not bode well for the future. Young people, particularly those at school, need to think of creativity as part of life, and not part of a curriculum. They need to be encouraged to think that imagination and innovation open doors to problem-solving, resilience and self-confidence. The fear of failing would be less traumatic if they were given support to try, and try again, no matter what the outcome. To be creative this has to be the norm, not the exception. In schools, a results-orientated curriculum does not leave much space for creative education. The exam culture, according to technology entrepreneur KaiFu Lee, speaking of China but true of Hong Kong as well prevents innovative, passionate, rebellious and fearless creative entrepreneurs from emerging.5
Photo by erasmusa

Perceived obstacles
Tongue in cheek though this may be, there can be no argument against the perception of falling creative standards. That is very real. Whether in design, architecture or music, where is the next generation of internationally recognized brand names coming from, to follow in the footsteps of Vivienne Tam and Rocco Yim, classical music label Naxos, Douglas Young of G.O.D. and David Tang of Shanghai Tang?

Photo by lhl

There is little strategic investment in the foundation stones of creativity.

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


n a city known for its creative industry, there is disquiet about creative output. Some argue that risk-averse parents are to blame. Others claim that education is too examoriented. Still others argue about a lack of confidence or fear of failure in young people. How does the future look?
by Lakshmi Jacot

Young people need to think of creativity as part of life, and not part of a curriculum.
Arbitrary and unsystematic government policy measures6 are not helpful elther. In spite of great show being made to promote creative industries there is little strategic investment in the foundation stones of creativity and one can see a lack of connection between education, policy and services, especially to young people.7 This is already apparent in statistics such as the Global Innovation Index. In 2010, Hong Kong ranked in the top three and was first in Asia. By 2011, the city ranked fourth behind Singapore. In 2012 it was eighth. It is time to give creative imagination a freer rein. Hong Kong has the resources, the role models, the conducive environment and the opportunities to be a creative society. Bold in its assertions, it is self-conscious about its limitations.

scores of artists and design groups. Former public spaces like the Wanchai Police Station and the Former Married Police Quarters in Central are other examples now used for the annual three-week Hong Kong Ambassadors of Designs DETOUR programme. However, there is a real, sharp disconnect between innovation and creative risks taking place on the ground and the attitudes perceived in parents, education and policy. To prevent this gap from widening, there must be a resolute effort to promote creativity as part of everyday life, not only as an arts subject or a pastime. The government must implement policies not in piece-meal fashion, but deliberately, with clear focus. Only then will a positive mindset towards creativity emerge that is patient even with failure. This could help maximize Hong Kongs potential and affirm its goal of becoming the creative hub of Asia. And then who knows, Hong Kong style might be rocking the airwaves and YouTube and Terence Conran might well be speaking of 2013 and beyond. What Hong Kong needs now is genuine commitment.

Hong Kong style

There are exceptional creative education programmes, like the Odyssey of the Mind Programme, LEAD or FLL Robotics.8 There is also the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei, an 110,000 square foot decommissioned factory that is home to
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Terence Conran at Business Week Hong Kong organized by the HK Trade and Development Council, quoted in World stage set to showcase HK design.TDC Trader, 2 May 2008, http://www.hktrader. net/200805/lead/lead-CreativeHK200805.htm and A Study on Creative Index, 2004, Home Affairs Bureau ; Policy Address 2005, paragraphs 83-89,; CreateHK, 2009 Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, service_createsmart.htm; Policy Address 2009-2010, paragraph 41,; A Review Study on Cultural Audit: the Landscape of Hong Kongs Cultural Infrastructure, 2011, Central Policy Unit,

Photo by dichromatic winson

7. 8.

Cultural%20Audit.pdf Odyssey of the Mind Programme, LEAD (Learning through Engineering, Art & Design) and FLL Robotics are internationally recognized creative education programmes operated in Hong Kong by HKFYG

Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


Creativity imperative

maestro says give it all youve got

ichard Pontzious, Founder & Artistic Director of the Hong Kong-grown Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO), talks about musical talent and creative spark. As a long-term resident who now lives in Tung Chung, he doesnt think of himself as an expat and says that releasing creativity in the city is about removing obstacles and changing attitudes, not only supplying resources.

Too many in our society dont really care enough to inspire young people.

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


We have to release them, let their imaginations go, let them paint splashes on the wall.
Its a timely moment to talk about creativity. There are many, very creative young people in Hong Kong, but their road is often blocked. We need to inspire them, to energise them, to give them opportunities to use their talent. Providing an education that leads them to act rather than react are key factors in this process. At the AYO, which turned 22 years old this year, the process involves high expectations. Young musicians are told, You should be focused. We expect you to give all youve got. Giving everything youve got is something people in Hong Kong generally dont do, according to Mr Pontzious. Hongkongers like to achieve just so much and then become satisfied with what is just good enough.

Many young people in Hong Kong grow up as self-conscious adolescents, timid about letting it all out, understandably unwilling to reveal their inner selves, perhaps because they feel expectations are too high and they cannot match them. It seems to me that too many in our society dont really care enough to inspire them. At weekend yum cha you see parents reading the papers while the youngsters thumb their smartphones. When you do see children so thrilled to be out with Father, you know it wouldnt be like that if it happened every day. In Hong Kong we, our society, tend not to get involved with our children. Instead, we pass the baby to the helper.

Nurturing talent or smothering it

Rote learning in our society also plays a part and may have implications beyond education. In school, young people look for mentors, but busy teachers give them the syllabus and help get them through exams. They are in school to learn how to pass. Nonetheless, there can be amazing results from seemingly innocuous agendas. A few years ago every secondary school in Hong Kong was given money to buy musical instruments to set up a school orchestra. If you give out a thousand musical instruments young people are going to start picking them up. However, some schools now have entry requirements which include playing three different instruments, and there are tutorial schools which make the most of it. This can create a peculiar attitude to music. It results in a person who does not ask if he or she can play the violin but whether they have achieved Grade 8. But what for?

Not enough encouragement for excellence

Who decides what is enough? This is a question that must be asked. To compete in the outside world, there is never any question of enough. Instead of setting such limits we need to remove them. We really have to encourage young people to let it all out. Then I think they will be experiencing something very rare. This year, the concertmaster in some of AYOs performances was an 18 year-old from Shanghai. She gave so much that she broke down and cried on stage after a magnificent concert. She had given her all. Would we see such raw emotion exposed in a Hong Kong person, Mr Pontzious asks, though the reaction was natural in one so young, in a role of responsibility, in front of a large audience. She had lost herself in the music, putting her all into it. Afterwards, coming back to earth, she was overcome.

Some have to be drilled. But given an opportunity, creativity can be released.

Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


Innate talent hampered by rote

Hong Kong people, like people everywhere, are innately talented. If those with natural talent work hard it will bring good results. They have discipline and pride but some are more gifted than others and rote learning can be a disadvantage. Some will catch on. Some have to be drilled. But given an opportunity, creativity can be released. Mr Pontzious told a story about the AYOs summer rehearsal camp where 100 young musicians from around the region, selected from 900 applicants, were asked to play a piece they had practiced. All were perfect. Then came a piece they had not learned by rote. None of them could play it. They have to be taught everything. They needed to be told how. This is frustratingly true throughout Asia. In that sense I think they are different from youngsters in the western world.

National stereotypes
Without going overboard, national stereotypes do emerge, he says. The Koreans certainly have fire in their belly but are less interactive with the other nationalities in the orchestra. Partly it is because of language. Partly it is because they like to be soloists, playing passionately in the spotlight rather being one of the members of the orchestra. Reluctance to innovate is more common in the young Japanese, he says. They play by the rules. In this respect I think Hong Kong has a more enterprising culture. Where the Japanese rarely ask questions, waiting patiently for instructions, some musicians from Hong Kong will come up after a performance and ask the conductor what he thought of their performance and how they might improve. We appreciate that. It takes nerve, and enough self-confidence to be comfortable about who you are and what you can do. Those who stand out have not necessarily had an overseas education. Some come back after studying music overseas for a few years and we find they have actually slipped down the ladder when they re-audition compared to their peers.

Hong Kong often fails to encourage excellence at thehighest level.

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


Faith in Hong Kong, and its talent

First, we have to release them, let their imaginations go, let them paint splashes on the wall. But for young Hong Kong musicians we also need more jobs in Hong Kong orchestras. How is it that a young oboist or violinist who isnt good enough for the Hong Kong Phil can get a job with the San Francisco Symphony? Sometimes it may be because of lack of faith in Hong Kong, the belief that training and a career in music will be better elsewhere. Sometimes it is because talented musicians can earn more spoon-feeding pupils at tutorial classes than they can in one of our orchestras. For a strong believer in our city such as Mr Pontzious it comes down to a lack of inspiration. Hong Kong often fails to encourage excellence at thehighest level. As a society we dont inspire ouryoungsters to aim high or torealize that if they dont, there will always be others nipping at their heels.We are not even inspiring them to stay in Hong Kong. We are not inspiring themto try hard enough, tosee that they have talent, and to know that they can achieveexcellence right here.

Responding creatively
At grass roots, schools need active programmes and strong motivation from teachers. The kids should be involved in every aspect of putting on a performance from management and direction to ticketing and promotion. Seeking small venues where they can perform make use of youthful ingenuity. There are corners of shopping malls and open air venues where proprietors would love to offer entertainment. Young people have the energy to go and look, and the opportunity to discover. None of this costs money. There are lessons to be learned which range from finding out what pleases consumers to how listeners respond to presenters, and then responding creatively to the questions about what can work, innovatively in the Hong Kong environment.

Every year, the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) brings together in Hong Kong many of Asias most talented instrumentalists. In 2012 they came from mainland China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, to join youth in our city, the youngest of whom was 14 years old. Many meet for the first time at the beginning of an intense three weeks of training, with Master classes led by musicians from famous orchestras around the world. A tour of major Asian concert halls follows when many bridges are created between countries, young performers and audiences. This innovative approach is the dream child of Richard Pontzious, co-founder of the AYO with the celebrated violinist, Yehudi Menuhin. More information at
Richard Pontzious

Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

Youth speak

Jonathan Chi Him

Arting Charlene

tu p om as pr de Im i
our young people talk spontaneously, about creativity and innovation, giving examples from their own experience that range from the creative arts to medicine, and from IT to learning.
Jonathan was at Tak Sun Secondary School, Charlene went to Arting comes from Xiamen in mainland China and is now Chi Him went to Queens College and got early admission to do Medicine at HKU. majoring in Politics and Economics at HKUs Faculty of Social Sciences. the Buddhist Ma Kam Chan Memorial English Secondary School and did an Associate Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at CUHK. graduated from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in Physics and Mathematics and is now doing an Education Diploma at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

Youth speak

Talking freely about how creativity and innovation emerge, a group of students from HKFYGs Centre for Leadership Development, completely unprepared and unrehearsed, held a lively discussion. They talked about concepts, education, the arts and what helps and hinders creativity. The session began with a debate on definitions and ended with an impromptu concert.

Novelty in action
Arting An example is the music of modern composer, Tan Dun. He uses sounds made with water as a form of percussion. The water is in big bowls and he hits it, stirs it and splashes it, using it like a force of nature. I find it very creative, very natural and calming.

Comparing concepts
Jonathan Nowadays people in Hong Kong talk about creativity a lot and they say that kids should learn to be more creative. Actually, I think you cannot create things out of nothing, you need knowledge and inspiration. Being creative and being innovative both involve doing something new, but, I think being creative involves a persons artistic side. Charlene Although innovativeness and creativity seem to be used interchangeably in Hong Kong, I think there is a major difference. It is about the process of origination. Creativity is an early part of the process of making something new. Innovativeness describes new products or ideas that change the ways things are made or used. Arting Imagine being lost on an island. I think a creative person could take a magnet and make a compass, whereas an innovative person would point to a star and say this may help us find a way. Chi Him In my opinion, creativityis about new ideas and imagination, and then how to turn these ideas into something that can be used. On the other hand, innovation is more about using new methods to accomplish objectives, or apply existing methods in new fields. For example, a creative composer writes original, beautiful melodies and arranges them for the appropriate instrument, thus determining what to play. An innovative composer finds new techniques for different players, such as hitting snare drums with bare hands instead of using drumsticks, thus determining how to play.

Photo by RShinozaki

water bowl as used by Tan Dun

Jonathan My example is traditional Chinese music which is only about 200 years old. Its father was Liu Tian Hua. He was my teachers, teachers, teachers, teacher so I am among the fifth generation of his students! Liu Tian Hua composed many original pieces such as Kong Shan Niao Yu which I will play for you later on the erhu. He imitatessounds of the nature and used innovative techniques such as glissando, which inspired many later Chinese composers. Another example is the Danish scientist Niels Bohr who won the Nobel prize for physics. He gave several very creative answers to an exam question on how to calculate the height of a skyscraper with a barometer. However, he didnt create the answers out of nothing. All of them were based on his knowledge, and all of them made sense.


Photo by Ryk Neethling


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

Youth speak

Charlene A designer called Oscar Diaz made the Count and Learn puzzle. Each of the counters in this puzzle is made with the corresponding number of pieces, sothe counter for the number one is just made in one piece and the two is made of two pieces, and so on. Children first sort the parts by colour, and then have to count them to know which number they have to compose.It helps them learn about abstract concepts by making them tangible and the difficulty of the puzzle increases as the numbers get bigger.
Photo by the Oscar Diaz Studio

Your creations
Chi Him I like to take characters in movies or cartoons and write short stories about them. At school, I also helped other students write music. They wrote the melody and I added parts for the various instruments in the orchestra. I modify video game programmes too. Even if the original is well designed, a game can get boring if you play it over and over so I add new chapters and make the games a lot harder, then share them with other gamers. Jonathan My tutorial students get materials from me that are adjusted according to their needs. Textbooks used in secondary schools dont do this and some are clumsy or badly organized. I also enjoy composing music with my sister. When we are bored, sitting at the dining table together, we will often tap out a rhythm and start making music together. Charlene In Chinese medicine I treat every individual differently. Creating the formula for each person is a kind of art. You have to totally understand them in order to tailor-make suitable treatment. I also do Chinese calligraphy and when I was small I used my fingers instead of a brush or pen. Sometimes I drew pictures too. Now I create my own business cards with my calligraphy.

Count and Learn and the Ink Calendar

The same designer created the self-updating Ink Calendar with ink gradually spreading from a bottle and colouring days of the month. The ink is absorbed slowly, and the numbers in the calendar are printed daily until they are all coloured at the end of the month. The colours of ink are based on a spectrum which relates to a color temperature scale and each months colour relates to perception of seasonal weather. The colours range from dark blue in December to three shades of green in spring and orange or red in the summer. This enhances our perception of time passing. Chi Him My examples are both from medicine. If a person has a serious intestinal infection doctors can transplant fecal bacteria from another person to restore the natural balance in the bowel. When I first heard of this new treatment being used in Hong Kong I was quite shocked but it was very effective. A similar example of innovative treatment is phage therapy, using viruses to treat bacterial infections that do not respond to conventional antibiotics. Then there was my teachers special shirt. He taught us about the anatomy of the intestine by pulling pieces of string in his shirt front to reveal pictures of the intestines at various stages of development. It was funny and gimmicky but a good way to learn.


Photo by theby 4-6

Chinese Medicine

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

Youth speak

Arting Cues from my environment help me think of creative answers. A year or two ago, I was a member of the Sociology Association Committee and I wanted to promote our activities. One day, standing in a queue for a coffee, I noticed all the other people queuing were looking at their phones. Nobody was talking. So we printed an advertisement for an activity on a small slip of recycled paper with a QR code and I handed them out to people in the queue. They got more information using the QR codes and then put the slips of paper in the recycling bin we put at the head of the queue.

Arting Partners help me be creative too. I am more enthusiastic and dont give up on an idea so easily when I have a partner with the same goal. Chi Him Following protocol can sometimes hamperthe expression of creative or innovative ideas. Teenagersoften have very good imagination and a lot of ideas, but lack the motivation orknowledge needed to perfect their ideas and make them into reality. Club committee members, for example, usually simply follow last year's scheme of work, making as few adjustments as possible, since this may require a lot of resources and manpower. On the other hand, our school Music Society and the Prefect Board allowed many new ideas to be put into practice. For example, we could organize Prefect Training Workshops and a Mentorship Programme all by ourselves.Core members of the Music Society could plan for Annual Concert programmes in detail. Such freedom of expression for new ideas is very important for developing creativity.
With thanks to all students who participated, including Hui Wai Yan and Lau Shan Shan. The students took part in HKFYGs Centre for Leadership Development (CLD) courses or activities. For more details about CLD, go to


Help and hindrance

Jonathan To be innovative you usually need partners. In the HKU Drama Society, we made innovations year after year. That would have been impossible without a large, talented crew who could do the scripting, directing and backstage management.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


We actually have a great opportunity to develop Hong Kong style creativity in China.

reating value A
llan Zeman says his phenomenal business success in Hong Kong began when he was looking for a place to entertain visitors in the 1980s. Faced with a dicult choice, he created his own answer which went on to become an instant hit.

What inspired you to create Lan Kwai Fong?

I realized that Hong Kong needed a place to go to let off some steam because we work so hard here. Happy Hour in Hong Kong started in Lan Kwai Fong. Then people would stay on for dinner, then they would stay for a party, and next thing you knew it was 3am! By creating a great neighbourhood with fun bars and restaurants, the atmosphere became unique. I always say its the people that make the place so you have to make the right moves to get the right people.

Would you say that creativity in entertainment opened up as a result of that success?

Sometimes you have to have the confidence to try something dierent.

Lan Kwai Fong used to be mainly frequented by westerners and expats, but over the years the local market has developed a taste for the Lan Kwai Fong lifestyle and the great food and parties we have, so yes, Id say weve opened peoples minds to lots of new ideas.


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


Halloween at Ocean Park

Have attitudes changed in Hong Kong since the 70s?

Creativity doesnt only apply to the finished product, it also plays an important part in the journey taken to get there.

Everything in Hong Kong has changed a lot since the 70s, and Lan Kwai Fong is no exception. People have become more involved with creative activities. Take Halloween as an example. When it began, it was just the westerners who were dressing up and coming to Lan Kwai Fong for a party, and the locals would come along to take photos and laugh at the crazy gweilos. Then over the years, more and more Hong Kong people started to get involved, dressing up, partying. Today its mostly the locals who go all-out with amazing costumes. If you have a creative idea, its great when you can get new people to enjoy it and participate.

Where does your creativity come from?

I come from the fashion business, so my creativity comes from seeing what a market wants, and developing a new product that I think people will like. Always think from the customers perspective, because they will determine if you succeed or fail. I spend time with my customers, observe them, talk to them, ask them questions, and then my instinct will tell me if those people will enjoy whatever new idea I have.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


How open is Hong Kong is to new creative ventures today?

I try to help all kinds of creative ventures in Hong Kong, because its our creativity that will set us aside from other places. From the newest up-and-coming band in Lan Kwai Fong, to artists performing at Ocean Park, all the way to the West Kowloon Cultural District, I think Hong Kong should embrace all types of creativity as a way to express ourselves beyond the typical property business and finance that we see around the city.

Lux bistro & bar

How would you define Hong Kong creativity?

Hong Kong has the benefit of understanding the China market and its incredibly deep artistic history, while also being exposed to international creative influences. What Ive been successful with is bringing elements from Hong Kong and elements from other countries and then tailoring them to suit Chinese tastes. Its the awareness of what they will appreciate and what they will find too extreme that is so difficult to get right.

Do people in the creative industries here see clearly the big picture, of Hong Kong against a world background?

I think Hong Kong is in the forefront of creativity around Asia, because we have the benefit of our Chinese culture blended with international experience and know-how. We actually have a great opportunity to develop Hong Kong-style creativity in China as they continue to open up. In all my projects in China I try to bring a bit of Hong Kong creativity and its always very well received. In China the customers trust a brand like Lan Kwai Fong because we are from Hong Kong, which is part of China. We have a connection.

Can Hong Kong become a more creative place?

Creativity is abundant in Hong Kong already, but there still are things we can do to help. Rent is always going to be high here because of lack of space, so we have to help our creative talent by giving a more affordable platform in order to get exposure to as many people as possible. The audience always appreciates seeing something unique or something new. We give up-and-coming artists a chance to perform in front of a live audience, and get the crowds reaction. Even if its just for three songs, it still lets them develop their talent and learn right away if the audience likes their work or not.


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


Apart from lack of space, what else holds back young people here from expressing creativity?

Confidence. Its too easy to just follow trends and fads in Hong Kong. Its one thing to be inspired by something and try to evolve it and make it better. But sometimes you have to have the confidence to step off the beaten track and try something different, something you believe in. Dont be different just for the sake of being different, but dont be afraid to try something new, even just to explore it and test it out on people.

If there were no money involved in creativity, would there be less eagerness to be creative?

There is always going to be a battle between creativity and money; money sometimes gets in the way of creativity, while other times maximum creative potential cant be achieved without money. The secret is to be smart about it and make it work. Sometimes you can find alternative resources to achieve your creative goals for a lower cost. Sometimes you can find creative ways to make your ideas earn an extra income. Creativity doesnt only apply to the finished product, it also plays an important part in the journey taken to get there.

Money sometimes gets in the way of creativity, while other times maximum creative potential cant be achieved without money.

How can Hong Kong excel?

We recently used a local artist to create the construction hoarding around the new California Tower which looks much more interesting than the typical stock image hoarding you see everywhere. If everyone injected some creativity in everything they do in Hong Kong, the overall impact would boost our city as a creative hub. When I decided to redevelop the California Tower I wanted to create something really special, something that will stand out in Central. I looked into every aspect, from the glass finish to the LED lighting to the lifts and the signage, to make sure people will say Wow! when its finished. If everyone tries to do this in everything they do, Hong Kong will continue to excel!

California Tower

Dr. Allan Zeman, GBM, GBS, JP was born in Regensburg, Germany and brought up in Montreal, Canada. His father died when he was seven years old, and he started working at the age of ten. He dropped out of college, and by the age of nineteen and made his first fortune by importing clothes from Hong Kong. He eventually moved here in 1975, is married and has two grown children.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


Design + inspiration enterprising creativity for future leaders

esign is part of the fabric of our city, its culture and economy. It is part of our mindset for creativity and innovation. This guest contribution from Dr Edmund Lee, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Design Centre, confirms Hong Kongs role as a creative hub and points the way forward.

To foster wider and strategic use of design in our society, Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) provides knowledge-sharing platforms for policy makers, designers, entrepreneurs, professionals, industrialists and students for better understanding of the power of design. Hong Kongs market is small so it is important to fully utilize our strategic advantages and expand influence in Asia and the rest of the world.


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


Bridging ideas and delivering value

Public funding can be used wisely to catalyze development of Hong Kong as a creative hub and a design-driven city at a time when many economies, including those in Asia, are tapping into the opportunity as presented by the creative economy. Design thinking can help turn new ideas into value propositions. Nurturing creative talent and using design as strategic mindset to link creativity and innovation will create outstanding, market-winning solutions and user experience. Creativity is about ideation, having an open mind and being able to think out of the box. Innovation turns ideas into solutions productively and achieves competitive advantage and desired outcomes more effectively.

Melting pot of creativity

Hong Kong is an international design hub in Asia, boasting a good mix of people with creative minds from various cultures and backgrounds. Such diverse attributes enrich the lives of all who live and work here. This kind of diversity and exposure help to widen horizons and foster creativity for all. For Hong Kong to survive and prosper, we need international perspective, resourcefulness and productive networks. Freedom of speech and expression is crucial for creativity. Young people must develop core competencies or interests, and acquire lateral skills and knowledge to connect with different people, across different sectors. The future is in our hands and together we could make our city, our society and our world a better place to live, work and prosper.

Hong Kong Design Centre

Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


Cornwall Street Park

To learn, unlearn and relearn

To be a creative citizen, one must possess an inquisitive mind, initiative, determination, ability to work with others, communication skills and a relentless drive to improve and excel. Recognizing ones limitations or resource constraints is typically a good starting point for achieving creative output. Creativity can be expressed through many forms including entrepreneurship in setting up new business ventures, and intrapreneurship for enterprising creativity within existing organizations. Both require a can-do attitude, the courage for trial and error, humility and resilience.

The broad policy environment should provide funding and encourage grass roots creativity.

Creative city and citizenry

In an expanding global network of creative or design cities, value delivery is expressed through leadership, vision, entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship, plus effective orchestration of efforts and stakeholder engagement from planning to execution. The broad policy environment should provide funding and encourage grass roots creativity, further developments of intermediaries and nonprofit organizations, and public-private partnerships. Design is much more than aesthetics. Design leadership could be deployed to solve complex issues at system level, such as urban planning, health and housing. The two public design projects recently completed redesigning the Mongkok post office and the Cornwall Street Park in Kowloon Tong highlight that design, when used at strategic level and holistically, can create a more satisfactory experience of public services.

Create and co-create

Design thinking guides people through the iterative process of value delivery, from problem "visualization", ideation, research, insight generation and prototyping to final proposition. There are many ways to foster creativity, including visiting museums and drawing inspiration from nature, the arts, culture and commerce. The basic tenet of the creative T model in design is to build on ones strengths, raise ones awareness of whats happening around one, expand ones horizons and acquire the ability to create and co-create with others.


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


Designs in metal

Hong Kong Design Centre

Creative Ecologies+
Hong Kong is much more than Asias top shopping city. It has demonstrated its sophistication with major infrastructural developments like West Kowloon Cultural District and the revitalization of the former Police Married Quarters as a venue for creative design-preneurs. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, HKDC is hosting a Creative Ecologies+ exhibition in partnership with the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin from 2 November 2012 to 2 January 2013. The exhibition explores Hong Kongs creative infrastructure over decades of enterprise and brand development through collaborative and social innovation. Helping viewers understand the role of design in economic, cultural, and social development, both Hong Kong and across Asia, it shows how design leads to the creation of value in business and how it contributes to better living for people.
Dr Edmund Lee has been Executive Director of the Hong Kong Design Centre since 2010. He has a crucial role to play in raising the profile of Hong Kong as a design hub of creativity and innovation, working closely with stakeholders in the public, not-for-profit and private sectors.

New Mong Kok Post Office

The Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) is a publicly-funded, non-profit organization established in 2002 with the support of the design industry. Its aims are to promote creativity through design and innovation and its significant benefits for society. As organizer of Hong Kong Design Year a City Driven by Design, HKDC is a strategic partner of the HKSAR Government promoting design as a driving force for Hong Kong going forward as a creative hub in Asia. HKDCs Institute of Design Knowledge, also launched in 2012, offers the executive InnoDesign Leadership Programme. Other flagship programmes include the annual international Business of Design Week and the Design for Asia Award.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


nnovation and
on the Hong Kong pop scene

rofessor Phil Benson, Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Educations Centre for Popular Culture and Education, and Dr Alice Chik of City Universitys Department of English, talk about the local pop scene, mainstream Canto-pop, and the way independent bands, writing alternative music for young audiences, adopt a multilingual style that takes globalized pop into a new dimension.
Hong Kong pop is linguistically complex, partly because tonal Cantonese is very demanding for lyric writers. Some lyrics use more than one language, including those of creative indie musicians. There are big hurdles to clear, most of which derive from special, local conditions which make innovation difficult. Yet the indie bands have a do-it-yourself attitude which means they can retain autonomy and stay free to explore sounds and subjectsin innovative ways. Mainstream Canto-pop, on the other hand, while it has a multinational fan base, has lyrics that are restricted and very hard to write.

Innovation is about applied creativity. In pop music, it is about adding a new creative layer, about producing a new sound. If it is innovative and comes from someone well-known, who is recording for a well-known major label, it will make money.

Alice Chik

Theres a general rule in pop music. You have to create something that is both familiar and different at the same time. Something recognizable to listeners to make it marketable, but something that has an added little twist, like Psys Gangnam Style. Together with the little dance step, social commentary, and Psys personality, the result is just that little bit different. In my view some of the most innovative artistes in Hong Kong at present are My Little Airport, FAMA, Khalil Fong, and 24Herbs.


Phil Benson

t a b il i t Y ada p
Dr Chik on linguistic complexities of mainstream Canto-pop
Singing in Cantonese means singing in the kind of Chinese that you read rather than speak. Almost all Hong Kong pop song lyrics are written by just three professionals. Wyman Wong, Lin Xi and Chow Yiu Fai. They are, in effect, music industry poets who can write lyrics in the required literary style. The local radio stations are very selective about the language of mainstream Canto-pop. Otherwise there can be complaints from the listeners. This is because Cantonese is tonal and sounds can easily be misunderstood as slang and unacceptable. Cantonese lyrics are written in the kind of flowery language that you might use to make a speech but you would not use when speaking language. It is called saam kap daistyle: Classical Chinese, Modern Standard Chinese and Cantonese. Nonetheless, many people will say HK Cantopop lyrics are definitely world class because only really talented lyric writers can write them. A different kind of adaptation to language can be found in Cantonese Opera. Although there is melody, it is difficult to detect because performers dont match the words to it. The words take priority over the tune. In Canto-pop, performers stick to the melody. This is what makes it hard to write. This has resulted in Cantonese karaoke songs which anyone can sing. It is said that the quality of Canto-pop has gone down as a result.

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


Professor Benson on creative use of language by indie bands

In contrast to Canto-pop, indie lyrics use a lot more spoken Cantonese, the kind of language you hear in Hong Kong streets. It is more relaxed, allows rhyme and flexibility, and can also be mixed with English. As a result, the sound of the words and the rhythm can follow the lyrics. You will find a form of multilingualism in these lyrics which is special to Hong Kong. Mandarin and English or French can appear in the same song with Cantonese. There are dozens of indie bands in Hong Kong and over half of them do songs in English. Trilingual lyrics make jokes by using a play on words and phrases that sound alike. Cantoneseonly songs, because of the tones, mean it is difficult to be so creative with lyrics. Indie bands, conscious of their audiences language abilities, make use of multilingualism to get over this difficulty. In economic terms these bands operate at a very low level but are well-known in the city even though the market is so small. There are indie band members who have day jobs, and others who make just enough money with their music to play, record, then do their own production at home with friends. It is totally different from the scene you find in Korea or Britain, where new talent is supported at government-run schools and colleges, like the BRIT School* in the UK, where Amy Winehouse studied. There is nothing like that in Hong Kong. We have the APA.** Outlets for alternative pop music are few but we do have very creative people.

* The London School for Performing Arts & Technology, commonly known asThe BRIT Schoolfor Performing Arts & Technology, was established in 1991, funded by the British government, with support from theBritish Record Industry Trust. ** The APA, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts was established by government in 1984 and has Schools of Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, Theatre and Entertainment Arts, and Chinese Traditional Theatre.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


Dr Chik was born in Hong Kong and has been teaching English at the City University of Hong Kong since 2008. She is currently co-authoring a book which reports on a 3-year project exploring the historical and linguistic development of the Hong Kong pop music scene. Her passion for popular culture has also led her to explore the role of popular culture in second language learning and education.

Professor Benson, who came to Hong Kong in 1991 from Manchester in northern England, taught at the University of Hong Kong before moving to the Hong Kong Institute of Education in 2005. He is now in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies, and Director of the Centre for Popular Culture and Education in the Faculty of Humanities. The Centre aims to be a focal point for research on popular culture and education in Hong Kong.

Photo by Wikipedia Photo by Wikipedia Photo by wza

My Little Airport

My Little Airport was named Hong Kong's Next Big Thing in late 2011 by Hong Kong multimedia cultural magazine Muse . Their sixth album was released in Autumn 2012. FAMA ( ), literally meaning farmer in Chinese, is a Hong Kong hip hop group in the mainstream Canto-pop music scene initiated by Edison Chen and LMF in the early - mid-2000s. 24HERBS is a Hong Kong hip Hop group formed in 2006 consisting of six members. Khalil Fong based in Hong Kong, sings in Mandarin, his second language after English, rather than Cantonese. He became popular in Taiwan and writes for other artists in Hong Kong and Taiwan, such as Amei Chang, Eason Chan, Fiona Sit, Andy Lau, Shiga Lin and Jacky Cheung.

Khalil Fong Phil Benson

Photo by Wikipedia



December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

Youth watch

Whos a clever country then

hen it comes to being inventive, the balance of power is changing. Japan is losing its competitive edge and being challenged by South Korea, Taiwan and, increasingly, China. Singapore, was ranked 3rd of 141 countries on the 2012 Global Innovation Index survey 1. Hong Kong came 8th.

Innovation snapshots

South Korea

21 innovation incubation centres and 15% increase in one-person creative enterprises last year.


st Japan

2012 policy encourages SMEs and more technology and ICT graduate schools.


Hong Kong 8
Leader in online connectivity but more young people needed with science, technology and engineering skills.



Creativity Laboratory links technologies to lifestyle and supports Taiwan's youth innovation.

Singapore 3


Philippines 95
Established network of technology business incubators around the country.


Singapore students have one of the worlds highest entrepreneurial intention rates.


The 2008 Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students Survey (GUESSS)2 investigated entrepreneurship in students in 19 countries and revealed that Singapore students had one of the highest entrepreneurial intention rates worldwide. 81.4% of the tertiary students surveyed indicated that they were interested in entrepreneurship, and 49.3% want to start their own business. International averages are 71.3% and 42.8%, respectively. The country assists young people get businesses off the ground with initiatives such as the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), 3 which involves both the private and public sectors. For youth innovators, the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme for Startups provides financial assistance to get them started. The government works closely with schools and university schemes, such as the National University of Singapore Enterprise Incubator.

South Korea

Companies such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG built South Koreas pre-eminence in the hi-tech world, and these goods constitute nearly one-third of South Koreas total exports. Despite this, a negative attitude lingers towards entrepreneurship with its attendant risks and this is blocking the emergence of new ideas. The government is looking to youth with entrepreneurial spirit to solve these problems by establishing incubation centres. There are five in Seoul and around 21 in Korea in total. Almost 30,000 young South Koreans say they want to launch their own companies and according to the government, the number of one-man creative enterprises in the country has risen by 15% in the past year, to 235,000. 4 In July 2009 the government launched a Youth 1,000 CEO Project5 to provide young entrepreneurs with free office space and grants. It selects 1,000 entrepreneurs for the programme every year.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

Youth watch


Hitoshi Suga, an entrepreneurship lecturer and one of Japans leading venture capitalists, says young people need to be trained to be willing to take more risks to achieve more than average results. Japanese students should be encouraged to divert from the conventional obsolete curriculum and in particular, have more experience outside Japan. 6 Young environmental enterprise entrepreneur Haruka Maruna, who started her own company as a teenager, says in Japanese culture, making money is not considered a good thing. Almost all Japanese schools prohibit students from taking part time jobs.7 The government agrees that entrepreneurialism is needed to fix Japan's stagnating economy. Its new policy, published in August this year8 emphasizes the need to encourage more small to medium sized enterprises and increase the number of science, technology and ICT graduate schools, create research centres of excellence and centres for concentrated global industryuniversity-government collaboration.


Once centred on labour-intensive industry Taiwan has also moved into a hi-tech world, partly due to the foundation in 1973 of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)9 a nonprofit research and development organization. ITRI focuses on six scientific, medical and environmental research fields. To date, it holds more than 17,659 patents, has assisted in the creation of more than 174 start-ups and spin-offs and cultivated 70 CEOs.


The Philippines rates very low on the innovation index, but initiatives such as the first Filipino Youth Innovation11 event, organized by the InterUniversity Management Alliance and collaborating with business organizations, encourage talented young people. Designed to engage youth in social enterprise, winners ideas can be developed into business models. The Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research (DOST) partnered InWent to establish a network of technology business incubators around the country. This led to the establishment of the Enterprise Centre for Technopreneurship, which started in June 2010. The Young Entrepreneurs Society Philippines encourages aspiring and successful entrepreneurs and has a student arm affiliated with the Entrepreneurship Educators Association of the Philippines.12

It also founded the Creativity Laboratory the first establishment in Taiwan to link technologies to lifestyle and pave the way for Taiwan's young people to reach the forefront of innovation. The Laboratory held Taiwan's first annual U19 Creativity Awards competition in 2006 to encourage creativity and innovation among young people. Competitions such as the 2012 Youth Innovative Design Festival and the Taiwan International Science Fair10 also aim to engender inventiveness and originality among the young.

Hong Kong

Cultural and creative industries (CCI) in Hong Kong are a cluster of the arts and culture, creativity, technology and business. CCI are among the Six Industries earmarked by the Task Force on Economic Challenges in 2008, in response to the global financial crisis, to propose policy directions for new business opportunities and enhance Hong Kongs competitiveness. CCI add HK$77.6 billion or 4.6% to Hong Kongs GDP, via 34,000 creative industry-related establishments and more than 180,000 practitionersi. CCI comprise 11 domains in Hong Kong, classified with reference to the latest international statistical guidelines.ii [See page 28 for a list of the 11 areas domains and information on courses connected to them.] The value added by CCI increased at an average annual rate of 8.3% from 2005-2010, markedly faster than the 4.6% annual growth of the nominal GDP. Reflecting its increasing economic contribution, the value added of CCI as a percentage of GDP increased from 3.8% in 2005 to 4.6% in 2010. During that period, employment in CCI increased by 2.0% per annum. The share of CCI in total employment was 5.4% in both 2009 and 2010. Growth in value added by CCI in one year (2009-2010) was 22.8%. The value added in the software, computer games and interactive media domain increased from HK$16.5 billion in 2005 to HK$27.3 billion in 2010, representing an average annual growth of 10.6%. It is the largest component of CCI and its share of the total value added of CCI rose from 31.6% in 2005 to 35.1% in 2010.iii .

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Atkinson, R and Ezell, S Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage. Yale University Press, 2012.


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

At school

he LEAD (Learning through Engineering, Art and Design) Project, introduced to Hong Kong by HKFYG in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, captures the imagination, and builds confidence through learning by doing. It also stresses that you need to take your time to get a real taste of the creative process.

It involves a creative process, going down dead ends, maybe coming up against a wall, improvising, and eventually coming up with an answer.

Michael Welch-Smith, one of the team from MIT Media Lab who helped HKFYG start up LEAD in 2005, says the creative process involves learning through doing. Students need to be encouraged to tinker ( / ) and learn through the process of tinkering, not just focus on the outcome. This is involves being more open-minded, looking for alternative ways to solve problems, being less risk-averse and more confident.

Tinkering Time
Have you ever known someone with an inventive mind who can fix things? It could be a computer or a door. They look, play, rebuild or reload, and hey presto! It works again. It involves a creative process, going down dead ends, maybe coming up against a wall ( chuang ban) improvising, and eventually coming up with an answer. It takes time, ingenuity, and a certain open-ended way of looking at things. Its taking the time to tinker. Thats what LEAD does.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

At school

Innovation, imagination and inspiration

The LEAD Project initiated the LEAD Creative Class programme in 2008 and collaborates with Hong Kong schools by introducing creative tools and teaching methods into curricula. It uses innovative technologies and programming software to create toys, interactive stories, animations and games. It also teaches students to use their imagination with microcomputers and other gadgets to design musical sculptures, interactive jewellery and other fun inventions. The HKFYG Jockey Club LEAD Centre at Cyberport runs regular workshops for these with schools, encouraging the young to explore and experiment. Beneath the fun there is a strategy. The experience of designing a game involves research, problem-solving, coping with time constraints, adjusting expectations and teamwork. All of these give the experience of learning a new dimension which is relevant to life outside the classroom and well beyond school. LEAD enjoys endorsement from many Hong Kong teachers and has recently made its debut in Shanghai. The message is to allow learning with time to play, with curiosity and discovery. As Welch-Smith says, it is about learning through an iterative process, which means its fine to start over as many times as you like with no pain. One of the outcomes of learning like this is that it helps you take surprise in your stride. In a world of constant, rapid change that is a great bonus.

Want to know more?

LEAD is described in three books published by HKFYG. Contact Ada Chau, tel 3755 7108 for details. Visit or contact Edmond Hui, tel 3106 0600, for more information about LEAD. LEAD Creative Class has funding from The Hung Hong Ying and Leung Hau Ling Charitable Foundation. It has been in partnership with The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Innovation and Technology Commission and has set up the HKFYG Jockey Club LEAD Centre at Cyberport.

The City University of Hong Kong Department of English

Cultivating young professionals for creative and cultural industries in Hong Kong and East Asian regions at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, City U offers courses in English in Creative and Cultural Professions relevant for careers in the following businesses:
advertising amusement services architecture art, antiques and crafts cultural education and library, archive and museum services design film, video and music performing arts publishing software, computer games and interactive media television and radio

Other courses run in Hong Kong that relate to the creative industries include the University of Hong Kong BA programme on Global Creative Industries in the School of Modern languages and Cultures, and the Hong Kong Baptist University elective on cultural and creative industries in its BA in Liberal and Cultural Studies. For more details visit program.php?lang=16 pdf/brochure_LCS.pdf

For more details visit


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

Learning music early

At school

pros and cons

Music lovers
Albert Einstein started learning the violin at the age of six. He believed in intuition and inspiration generated through musical experience and he thought that the music of the spheres was the driving force behind the relationship between time and space in his relativity theory. Einstein once said, When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge. Steve Jobs, considered a trouble-maker at school and a college-dropout, fell in love with music too. Starting with Bob Dylan and The Beatles in his teens, he also loved JS Bach and the legendary interpretations of pianist Glenn Gould. However, this seemed not to guide his vision or innovations, so one cannot say whether musical preferences resulted in the iPod and iTunes.

by Raymond Chang
Librarian & Administrator City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong

owadays, parents place a heavy load on children outside school and its not uncommon for them to have private music lessons or go to playgroups in music centres. Parents may only have their schooling and future careers in mind, but the effects cannot be predicted. Lets look at some noted examples.

Don't force them

We see therefore, that learning about music is not necessary for successful development. It can even be detrimental if children are forced into lessons by parents. Ironically, it can result in children who are rebellious and impatient. Whats more, some parents are willing to stall development in their children and teenagers in order to fulfill their own childhood dreams of becoming musicians. If music is considered intrusive, by either young people or their parents, effects can be negative. What matters most is the attitude to music, not the potential benefits it might generate. Attitude hinges on individual interests, personality and abilities.

The Mozart Effect

Research on thousands of children from diverse social and economic backgrounds supports claims that music can strengthen learning and personal growth. One effect generated by early music education is known as The Mozart Effect, a term first coined by Alfred A.Tomatis who thought that childrens learning, abilities and creativity could be heightened by listening to Mozart. Benefits may include better conceptualization of multi-step problems, team spirit and confidence.
Sources Hallam, Susan. The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people. International Journal of Music Education vol. 28(3), 2010, p 269-289. content/28/3/269.abstract Johnson, CM & Memmott, JE. Examination of Relationships between Participation in School Music Programs of Differing Quality and Standardized Test Results. Journal for Research in Music Education vol 54, 2006, p293307.

Attitude, with or without music

By contrast, there are business tycoons who have no musical background. In Hong Kong, they include Li Ka-shing and Cheng Yu-tung, neither of whom received formal education, let alone training in music. Outside Hong Kong, Warren Buffet also had no musical education. What led him to the success was his early internship in an investment company where he learned strategy and vision by hands-on experience. Amongst the younger generation, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, excelled in literature, poetry and fencing, but the idea for Facebook came from his early experience in software and programme writing.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

Youth write

Creative spark
part of who we are?
ong Kong is a business-orientated city, where fastpaced economic development is the main aim and Hong Kong people are generally considered uncreative, culturally superficial and materialistic. Nevertheless, creativity thrives, especially in design and technology.

Photo by Owen's


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

Youth write

All in the mind: exploring new ideas

Peter Chen: creative journeys Creativity is like a spark that ignites what you say and how you say it, what you do and how you do it. It can be a piece of art or a piece of music. It is about imagination. It is like our breath, it is just a part of who we are. Creativity is an adventurous exploration of ideas. Some paths run in circles, some are dead ends, some lead to wonderful treasure. No single path has all the answers though. It's the creative journey itself that matters. Creativity happens when people perceive no limits. Vicki Hong: comparing China Well, I'm from mainland China, and no one cares about your creativity there. All you need to do is manage the grades on your report card well. When I came to Hong Kong, I could feel the difference. Sometimes, I think of Hong Kong as a huge art museum. If you look carefully, you'll see Hong Kong's creativity everywhere, in the MTR and on the streets, in shops, on bags, on mugs. Being creative and having a great imagination seems natural here, but in mainland China? Definitely not! Cynthia Lai: education hinders I disagree. I dont think Hong Kong people are very creative and I think the problem starts with the education system which does not encourage creative thinking. Its main approach to learning is to remember theories and the students responsibility is to listen in class and finish assignments at home. Moreover, arts classes which allow students to develop ideas are not major subjects, so exposure to the arts, music and culture is restricted. In these conditions, how can adolescents develop any creativity?

Inventive self-expression
Netizens take to creating humorous pictures and video clips for posting on the web. Nothing escapes. They change movie posters, modify song lyrics and draw comics, changing perfectly normal posters and pictures into snarky jabs at lawmakers and the government.

Justina Lam: web outlet One example of a creative trend in Hong Kong is parody. It usually appears on the internet and it was started by the younger generation. It mocks prominent people and can be in the form of song, advertisement or any modified work of art. Government tries to stop it but it spreads anyway on the web. This is a uniquely Hong Kong form of creative art.

Photo by adihrespati

Netizens take to creating humorous pictures and video clips for posting on the web. Nothing escapes. They change movie posters, modify song lyrics and draw comics, changing perfectly normal posters and pictures into jabs at lawmakers and the government. Local architect Gary Chang made international news by designing an apartment complete with kitchen, living room, bathroom and guest bed all in just 330 square feet of space. It could be transformed into 24 different configurations for living, just by moving some walls around. And what about Chan Yik-hei, Hong Kong engineering student who created both a domestic security robot and a special mug for the blind.

Jonathan Fung


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

Youth write

Designed in Hong Kong

You might have come across a design of the white Apple logo on a black background with the bite taken out and Steve Jobs face in silhouette. It appeared immediately after Jobs died and spread rapidly on social media and appeared on the front page of national newspapers. Beneath it was a little caption, saying Designed by a Hong Kong student. Yes, a Hong Kong student by the name of Jonathan Mak created this brilliant piece of graphic design. And several months later, Coca-Cola asked him to design a graphic for them too. He presented the company with another wonderful design of two hands passing a coke with the iconic white ribbon of Coca-Cola. Hong Kong students use their creativity to design models as well. An example is the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Robocon team which participated in the ABU Asia-Pacific Robot contest and won the Best Idea Award for two consecutive years. The team designed and built robots that demonstrated excellent ideas in terms of structure and strength. In 2012, their creation was a robot on the theme of Peng On Dai Gat, based on the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong, where climbers scramble up a tower made of hard buns. The robot acted as a bun-snatcher, seizing buns with excellent stability and speed.
Photo by Flavio (designed by Jonathan Mak)

Photo by Frank Tsang

HKUST Robocon

Ivan Ho


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

Youth write

Out on the streets

Vicky Chan: lighten up Effort matters when you want to create something, but for most office workers, the sole objective is get to work, and get back home again. The same thing happens every single day, totally lacking in creativity. A group of teenagers stands out in this busy, anxious city. They are Start from Zero and they decorate Hong Kong with street art. Their objective is to stop the dead atmosphere you find in some Hong Kong places. They told me that street culture is the best illustration of a citys atmosphere and they put a lot of effort and patience into it. Now there is a Start From Zero graffiti workshop and the group has lightened up Hong Kong with their creative spark. For them, being creative is just being themselves. Betty Poon: be brave Graffiti is illegal in Hong Kong. You may think it makes a mess and wonder why young people do it, but its a creative art form and a way to comment on society, a way to say what you dislike and what you want to change. Most graffiti is in word form, spray-painted in bright colours with bold outlines. The words are like cartoons, exaggerated and eye-catching. Its a way to communicate, to send a message. Used during protests as a sign of rebellion, its not meant deliberately to break the law but to express yourself freely. When I think of creativity I think of freedom. If you are brave enough, you can explore more, you can do anything you want, you can break the rules and just be yourself.

Jingyi Chang: free expression Hong Kong streets, skyscrapers, shops and alleys provide inspiration. Famous artist, Stanley Wong (anothermountainman), finds value and meaning there. For him, creativity is a platform for freely expressing ideas, opinions and feelings. In his well known redwhiteblue installation series, exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2005, the basic idea is to explore the resilience and creativity of immigrants to Hong Kong and, ultimately, to celebrate the human spirit for survival.
red white blue


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

Youth write

Hong Kong original

On the streets, inside vehicles, on the silver screen, even on the jar of jam you use every day you find creativity. It influences every aspect of our daily lives, from commercials to movies to smart slogans.
Photo by Edmond Chung

Some people who explode with creativity use it to make money in the creative industries, whereas others use it to fulfill childhood dreams. The person I want to introduce is Prudence Mak, designer of Chocolate Rain, the woven fabric brand. Prudence Mak is an example of someone who uses creativity to fulfill her dreams: to live in a dreamland. She is a Hong Kong originalborn in Hong Kong, raised in Hong Kong and schooled in Hong Kong. She grew up in a poor family, and was deprived of toys, TV and other things her friends had, so she developed an intense interest in drawing. It was this interest that led her to discover her natural talent. But things werent simple. When the global financial crisis struck, no company was willing to employ her, and eventually she was flat broke. As Ellis Paul Torrance said, "It takes courage to be creative; just as soon as you have a new idea, you're in a minority of one." Ideas led to the creation of Fatina, a cute doll made out of patchwork, always with closed eyes. The closed eyes represent life in a dream world. With some other designs, this doll created the world-famous franchise, Chocolate Rain. Each of us has creative spark. New ideas and imagination lead to unconventional approaches, products and designs. However, to make your creative product successful, you need persistence and diligence.

Prudence Mak's Fatina doll

Alvin Yu

Contributors to this section From Yew Chung International Secondary School are Vicky Chan, Vicki Hong, Jingyi Chang, Peter Chen, Cynthia Lai, Justina Lam and Betty Poon. Ivan Ho is at St Pauls Co-educational College, Alvin Yu is at St Josephs College, and Jonathan Fung is at the Diocesan Boys School. Ivan, Jonathan and Alvin also attend the ARCH Academy. For details of the Academy see the March 2012 issue of Youth Hong Kong.

What do you think about Hong Kong creativity? Is it part of who you are? Write to and tell us.


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


Making Something
out of nothing
Apartment Hong Kong private housing estate, modern interior, two doors in backdrop Table stage right mostly cleared after an early evening meal Sofa, armchair, coffee table centre stage by Gary Heilbronn

Familiar Family Episode 3

Lynda mother, 40s, (primary school teacher), clearing table Tak father, early 40s (solicitors clerk), seated on sofa, office clothes, no jacket, reading newspaper Tim 18, elder son, neat shirt, jeans, standing behind sofa Melia 16, fashionable, attractive, in her room when scene opens Luke 14, sporty, fresh faced, in his room when scene opens

and both parents display their creative side.

n part three of the play , there is some reversal of roles. The elder son starts earning money


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


(Taking envelope from pocket, walks to front of sofa.)

(Enters through door nearest to table.)

(Exasperated, follows him.)

Photo by JK5854

Creative? You must be joking. Apps Hey Dad, can I show you something? are all about techie nerds playing about on computers. Why they get paid so much is beyond me. Really creative people paint, or sculpt masterpieces admired for centuries, and worth millions, according to my visual arts teacher. Hes so cool so talented. TAK Of course, what is it?
(TAK takes document out of envelope as Tim sits down in armchair.) (Walks dreamily over to table, sits opposite her mother with her back to her father and brother.)

Dad, whats wrong? Please just look at the contract...Im happy with the price so dont worry about that, but there may be something in there thats not in my interest. Youre the only person I can trust to tell me if its OK.
(TAK looks up, brighter, and starts to read again as TIM goes over and grabs the football from LUKE. They wrestle for the ball and end up on the floor between table and sofa, tossing the ball between them. TAK sits down on armchair.)

(LUKE enters the room from other door holding a football and goes to lean on back over sofa.)

TIM Its nothing bad, just a contract Id like you to look at for me.
(TAK starts to read document and after a moment or two looks back at his son.)

(Ignores TIM and LUKE; To MELIA who is filing her nails.)

(TAK leans back wide-eyed, looking at TIM.)

Wrong! Really talented guys are footballers, like Ronaldo and Beckham. They are pure geniuses. You should see how they dribble and control headers. Its unbelievable! TAK Theres more to life than football Luke. All I know is that I couldnt do any of these things.
(Gets up, contract in hand, walks down stage. Luke topples over back of sofa and lies gazing at ceiling, throwing the ball into the air.)

This is a contract for the sale of an app I dont really know what that is but it is for a heck of a lot of money! Whats it all about? When did you do this? TIM Its OK Dad, its just computer programme for mobile phones. It helps people find stuff on the internet. Its got playlists and free samples of music from indie bands like the one I play with. Were trying to get a bigger fanbase. I dont think anyone else has designed an app like mine but people are inventing new ones all the time.
(LYNDA sits down slowly at table, facing centre stage, listens intently.)

You know dear, you can be creative in any job. You dont have to be a multi-millionaire football player or a great artist. Ive always really tried to be creative in my teaching and the children really like it and learn much better.
(MELIA stops filing and looks up, TIM and LUKE stop playing. All look at Lynda and then each other wide-eyed with amazement.)

(Aside to audience from down stage.)

LUKE Yeah Mum, youre the best!

(Ducks quickly to avoid a slap on the back of the head that MELIA aims at him.)

They must think Im so boring. Wheres the creativity in my life?

(Stuffs contract into pocket, holds right elbow in left hand, chin in right hand, looks dejected.)

Wow, Tim, its amazing that you can do these things. It sounds really creative but incredibly technical.


Photo by Pixel Fantasy

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong



Tut! Whats the point? You dont get paid any more for being creative. You get the same as any boring old teacher. Why bother?
(Ironically, smirking.)

(Puts contract down on coffee table and leans back in armchair.)

(Sitting down on sofa, covering his ears with his hands.)

So what exactly do you do thats so creative?

(Leans back slowly, frowning, looking hurt.)

Why do you always have to be so mean, Melia. Money isnt everything. There are lots of ways to be creative in primary schools. You just use your imagination. When I teach about words I tell stories or making up a song. If were looking at countries or geography, I show a short film clip or ask the children to draw the things they are learning about. Have you forgotten what it was like when you first went to school?
(TIM, MELIA, LUKE look at each shamefaced, and shift awkwardly, realizing their mother is offended.)

Your Mother is an idealist. Nothing wrong with that. Melia, its time you became aware of other peoples feelings But about your app, Tim, I dont know much about IT. The contract looks OK but have you thought about copyright? Will you get royalties if they develop another app out of yours? TIM Wah! Thanks Dad, I never thought of that. They just sent me this contract and asked me to sign it and send it back.
TAK I could also ask one of the IT lawyers at work to have a quick look. They draw up contracts like these and are always imagining new ways to make sure clients interests are safe, so they have to be innovative too.

Wah. This conversation is really heavy. I just wanted Dad to look at the contract to make sure I wasnt being cheated. TAK
(Looking up, placing the contract on the coffee table.)

In some ways, thats exactly what weve been doing. You cant always see things in black and white. Still, I think doing something creative is life-enhancing. Maybe thats been missing in my life. Ive always loved wood and beautiful furniture. I think Ill enroll in evening classes to learn how to do woodwork.

Photo by Liam Gladdy

LYNDA Listen! There are many ways of being creative and usually creativity is good, but not always

Photo by Sgt. Pepperedjane

TIM Great Dad, but I always thought the guys you work with were boring accountant types in black suits.

TAK It depends on what people do with it.

(Sits down beside TIM on sofa.)

Can I come too Dad? THE END


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

In the loop

Preserving local memories

New ideas in
As a cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong changes fast. Many characteristic old districts like Sham Shui Po, Sheung Wan and Yau Ma Tei are vanishing with redevelopment. Its very good that Hong Kong people are becoming more aware of the need to preserve them for the heritage they contain. Thats why we designed the MiNi City stationery series. Customers see the products and remember the changes in the Hong Kong landscape and the old buildings. The memo packs, envelopes, box files and containers can be grouped together to show what an old street looked like. They preserve the local bits so they are not forgotten.

eo Ng is a young entrepreneur who uses his design talent to produce office stationery decorated with city scenes for Teaspoon Ltd.

We believe that design can flavour daily life. When you add a teaspoon of sugar or milk to a cup of tea, it adds a touch of difference. Its the same in life, whenever you feel dull, you can always cheer yourself up by adding an interesting element of design. That is why we chose teaspoon as our company name - small things can add great value. And because we are small, we are flexible. To begin with we produced acrylic frames for mirrors and clocks, but sales were not very good and we questioned our product positioning, our competitiveness and pricing strategy. Nevertheless, we had faith in our designs and knew that was where our strength lay.

Teaspoon Limited email address Unit A12, Block A, 9/F, Van Fat Factory Building, 20-22 Ng Fong Street, San Po Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong. website facebook http://www.facebook. com/teaspoonlimited retail outlets G.O.D stores, Chung Nam Square, Dymocks Bonham Road, Sky Deck Ltd, Y-Loft (Youth Square), HKFYGs M21, Mansion Store, Ngong Ping 360, Pointtolife bookstore, Joint Publishing

Cherishing the past

At that time, the old Star Ferry Pier was being closed and many people were becoming aware of redevelopment and the need for conservation in the old districts. We realized we could communicate with customers through our designs. Our Tang building memo pad, for example, shows how the building is vanishing. With each sheet you tear off so the old building vanishes, bit by bit.

Tang building memo pad

Small things can add great value. Because we are small, we are flexible.

Keeping the wheels turning

I hope my designs enlighten people and bring them joy. I plan to travel because that will bring ideas and enthusiasm. For me being creative means having interesting ideas. They might not be innovative or totally new. However, even making the handle of a cup a different shape can be part of a creative design. The function of the cup doesnt change, but it changes the way you see it. For a designer, I think it is crucial to combine elements of creativity and innovative design in useful products.

MiNi City series


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

In the loop

C action

ontinuing our interviews with young entrepreneurs,* we meet young people running stationery and website design businesses. The founders of the companies are upbeat, but they talk of the hurdles too.
Interview by Ada Chau and Chloe Ng Professional Publications Unit and Education Services Unit, HKFYG

Everything flows
dison Wong, the founder of PantaRei, was initially a programmer but he has become a successful businessman. He shares his story of open source content management that provides innovative, unique, professional services for clients.

Everything flows
When I was studying Internet Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, I got involved in open source content management and found it very useful. A problem for software designers is security loopholes and a good reason to use open source software is that you have expertise from the whole world to help improve and find those potential loopholes.

I always remind my colleagues that change is normal. Action always wins

Being creative and innovative is so important nowadays, even when using existing open source programming. You have to think out of the box to make suitable systems for clients. Our motto is derived from our company name, PantaRei, which means everything flows. I always remind my colleagues that change is normal and you should never expect your clients not to change. You have to be prepared for this. Whether you are being creative or innovative, the key successful element is action, not just thinking.
PantaRei Design Limited tel 35763812 email address Unit 207, 2/F IC Development Centre, No.6 Science Park West Avenue, Hong Kong Science Park, Shatin, N.T. website

The special out of the ordinary

Many companies claim to be professional in using open source programming, but in fact they often just use their own programme to build websites and systems. This makes trouble for clients because nobody apart from the developer knows how to adapt the programme. Professional use of open source programming is very useful in this way. It is like playing with Lego: once you decide on the platform, thousands of modules can be used, but you have to make the right decision and make it wisely. When we set up websites and systems for clients, they can easily do updates without our help. This is very important for them. No one wants to host a zombie website, which is boring and seldom updated. We even provide training for customers if they are not familiar with the software. What we do, above all, is make sure our clients really own their websites.

Photo by max_thinks_sees

*Interviews with young entrepreneurs

Teaspoon Ltd and PantaRei received funding from HKFYGs Youth Business Hong Kong (YBHK). YBHK supports young entrepreneurs with loans, mentorship and business networking advice.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


Kids Ocean Day

o emphasize the importance of keeping the sea clean and healthy, HKFYG was delighted to co-organize the first Kids Ocean Day. It was part of the first ever Kids Ocean Week in Hong Kong, co-organized by Ocean Recovery Alliance, Bonza Pie Limited, Spectral Q Aerial Art and The Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education and others.

The ocean is a vital part of our daily lives, particularly because Hong Kong is surrounded by the sea and is an important natural harbour. But when was the last time anyone in Hong Kong walked along a beach and didnt see an old bottle, go for a swim and not have a plastic bag brush up against their leg, or sift sand through their hands and not find bits of plastic? The aim of the event, which began with a drawing competition in schools, was to help students become aware of the health of the ocean and understand its ecosystem better. The competition was won by 9 yearold Leung Man-hin from Kwai Ming Wu Memorial School of The Precious Blood. His drawing of a Chinese White Dolphin was transformed by John Quigley into an image portrayed by lines of children sitting on Repulse Bay beach that was visible from the air.

9-year-old Leung Man-hin, winner of the drawing competition with aerial artist, John Quigley and co-organizers


December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong



by Kevin Chan Environment Officer, HKFYG

Other activities during Kids Ocean Week included talks and films on ocean protection issues at several international schools. The culmination was Kids Ocean Day 2012 on Friday 9 November with about 800 children, teachers and volunteers who joined in the Human Aerial Art event. They formed the outline of a dolphin and the word Protect with the Chinese characters for ocean. The beach was then photographed from a helicopter.

Learning about the ocean

Participating Schools (in alphabetical order)

Baptist (Sha Tin Wai) Lui Ming Choi Primary School Confucian Tai Shing Primary School NT Heung Yee Kuk Yuen Long District Secondary School Kennedy School Kwai Ming Wu Memorial School of The Precious Blood Pak Kau College Precious Blood Primary School (Wah Fu Estate) Precious Blood Primary School (South Horizons) Quarry Bay School Salesians of Don Bosco Ng Siu Mui Secondary School Si Yuan School of the Precious Blood Tsuen Wan Chiu Chow Public School

Sponsored by (in alphabetical order)

Allied World Assurance Company Hong Kong International Airport Morgan Stanley Pacific Andes Group Southern District Council, HKSARG


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

Arts and culture

Rethinking Cant - o

not simply love songs

by William Chung Centre for Leadership Development, HKFYG

ome people jump to the conclusion that Canto-pop is all about love, and they think it might give young people a negative impression of romantic relationships. This could be unfair because there can be a serious side to the lyrics. In fact some of these highly popular songs have positive impact because the lyrics reflect social norms and topical issues, as in these two examples.

Rethinking development
Li Tung Street, known as Wedding Card Street in Wan Chai, was once famous for traditional printing, especially wedding invitations. However, the government went ahead with an Urban Renewal plan in 2005 and many Hong Kong people were sad about losing another landmark for their memories and a piece of cultural heritage. In 2008, Kay Tses heartrending hit about the street had all the more impact because of the particular historical context in which it was written, at a time when irreplaceable heritage was truly being scarified for the sake of redevelopment.
Go to for a video of Kay Tse.
Photo by Nwfb1601

Kay Tse

Wedding Card Street

Forget the one you loved The couples names on the card The wedding picture on the wall The good old memories Perhaps theyre already all torn down Forget the home you had Two chairs, two cups of tea Is now the time for giving back The precious borrowed past? Perhaps its already far too late?

Photo by laihiu

Photo by rc!


Wedding Card Street today

The lyrics of Wedding Card Street by Wyman Wong, awkward to translate into English, (see opposite page), describe the lost dream of marriage with emotive words like forget, torn down and good old memories. Sentimental they may be, but they also help listeners reflect on social perspective and the importance of sustaining relationships and culture in the ever-changing contemporary world.

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

Arts and culture

Social commentary
Simon Frith*, a British socio-musicologist, says pop music derives meaning and relevance because it is a mass medium. He tells us that when we listen to a song we hear both the meaning of the words and the rhetoric behind it. These two songs are typical examples of how local Hong Kong Canto-pop can have deeper meaning and can encourage audiences to rethink preconceived ideas.
Photo by adifansnet

Rethinking minorities
Many claim that one of Hong Kongs core values is respecting diversity. But can we actually put this principle into practice and offer our full respect to those who may not share our values and opinions? C AllStar, a post-80s male group, sang about discrimination, interpreting Wyman Wongs lyrics beautifully. Their video portrays how various minority groups, including the physically disabled, gays and ethnic minorities, are misunderstood. The impact comes from seeing and hearing how being treated with prejudice goes deep into their inner world giving them a sense of loneliness and helplessness.
Go to for a video of C AllStar

Wyman Wong


Everyone plays a minority role At a certain time in life Everyone knows how cruel it is To be shunned and kept from light If you were in the majority How would you treat a minority? Many give in for the common ground And forsake the castle of justice Many give up on minority groups To be part of the crowd and conform If I were in the majority Id still dare to care with all honesty.

Photo by Edd Jhong

Photo by Guillaume Paumier_2

If we believe in the principle that all men are equal, will we really walk the talk as our responsibility to others? This writer thinks there is a second kind of minority, the people who really do dare to care with all honesty. Only when such people are in the majority can society be more harmonious and just. Perhaps through listening again to pop music lyrics we can gain a better picture of our society, rethinking the local music scene and the social issues it connects us with.

*Source Frith, S. Performing rites: on the value of popular music. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012

Arts & culture

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Directed by Stephen Chbosky Featuring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller Genre Drama Original language English Rating

reviewed by Chloe Ng, Education Services Unit, HKFYG Synopsis The film opens with three young people facing difficulties. The sensitive, gifted Charlie (Logan Lerman) is overwhelmed by the death of his best friend Michael who recently committed suicide, and of his aunt who died in a car accident. Stuck in the past, he is trying to deal with sadness that has roots long ago, and has withdrawn from normal social life. Sam, (Emma Watson), free-spirited, warm-hearted but a bit wild, is the second main character. Thought to be a party girl, she actually lacks self-confidence and fears for both her grades and her future. Then there is Patrick, (Ezra Miller), Sams gay step-brother who has been dating a boy secretly, suffering greatly in private, even though he acts like the funny entertainer in public. Everything takes a turn for the better when the three become friends. Sam and Patricks acceptance of Charlie encourage him to face the deep feelings he has hidden for a long time. Review The Perks of Being a Wallflower captures the inner struggles of troubled youth in an amusing but true-to-life way. The story is set in the days when there were no internet, no iPhone, no Facebook. Instead there was taped music, parties, balls, and joyrides but they came with the same problems of today, drug abuse, pressure from studying, and confusing interpersonal relationships. Among the various characters, we will see our own reflection mirrored. The film is visually enjoyable, with a multi-layered plot, a crazy play on stage, a grand ball and wild drug parties but overall, what impressed me most, was the portrayal of precious friendship. Originally, I went to this movie because I am a big fan of Harry Potter and Emma Watson is incredible in that movie. However, Charlies fragmentary memories of his aunt, recalled throughout the whole movie really held my attention. Not only the audience but Charlie himself is shocked when he comes to terms with the sexual harassment his favourite aunt subjected him to, and which caused his mental breakdown. Charlie is too shy to tell Sam about it all, but when he falls for her she doesnt think she deserves a good guy like him and they stay just good friends until the final denouement.

Ada Besides the great plot, the performances of all young actresses and actors and the choice of music are very good. They main characters find courage and strength in their friendship and although the story covers controversial issues, like drug use and sexual abuse, its very enjoyable and gives the audience lots of laughs. I didnt face the same problems when I was their age but I could easily relate to them. Benjamin Logan, Emma and Ezra perform really well in this movie. They take you right to the heart of a young persons world and show you how they struggle with their problems. As the movie was directed by the author, its faithful to the original novel and I enjoyed both the book and movie very much.


With thanks to Deltamac (HK) Co. Ltd for artwork

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong

Arts & culture

Directed by Seth MacFarlane Featuring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis Seth MacFarlane Genre Fantasy comedy Original language English Rating

reviewed by Kanika Bali Synopsis The film is about a teddy bear that comes to life in answer to the wish of its child and best friend and owner, John. The plot follows their ups and downs and the effects on each others personalities, lives and relationships. Review Seth MacFarlanes debut film has proved to be an absolute delight. Mark Wahlbergs portrayal of the emotional dilemmas he faces when trying to choose between Ted and his girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), is convincing. Lori portrays a mature, understanding girlfriend who is not too high maintenance but nevertheless has mature expectations of their four-yearold relationship. The use of 3-D motion tracking is impeccable bringing Ted (voiced by Seth Macfarlane) and his antics to life very well. The witty use of Flash Gordon also spices up the film and goes hand in hand with a variety of humorous characters, ranging from Loris lover boss, a psychotic father and son who want Ted for themselves, and Teds cashier girlfriend. The movie is extremely funny and the humour, coupled with the way it handles contemporary social issues such as the concept of faded stardom, substance abuse and mans inability to abandon adolescence is very effective. Ted mooches along beside John who hes stood by through all his thunder buddy life. However, at some point everyone needs to grow up and eventually Lori issues the ultimatum. Ted must move out and relinquish control over Johns life so that he can move on. Do the two still remain best friends? Do Lori and John last? To know more, youll have to watch the movie, wont you?

Kanika Bali is doing a BBA at The University of Hong Kong

Jack It is a touching story with many funny scenes which made me laugh. The idea is very good that after the teddy bear comes alive, it grows up with the main character, Mark. It is true that no relationship remains unchanged through time. It will evolve and all of us must learn to accept changes and grow, no matter in friendship or love. Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian) Another example of the nostalgia to which screen comics are prone: the nostalgia for the student or ex-student days of messing around, talking about stupid TV shows and pop culture and having fun.

With thanks to Universal Pictures International for artwork


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


Celebrating its 10 Anniversary HKFYG Standard Chartered Hong Kong English Public Speaking Contest
luency in English is a key to success. To foster self-confidence, the HKFYG Standard Chartered Hong Kong English Public Speaking Contest (EPSC) has been run with co-organizer, The English Speaking Union (Hong Kong), since 2004 and with sole sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), since 2005.


Helping to conquer fears

In 2009, HKFYGs Youth Research Centre conducted telephone poll surveys of young peoples views about the use of English, exposure to the language outside school, and the problems connected with gaining confidence through practice. 91.2% of interviewees said they would like to improve their English but perceived formidable hurdles, including fear of bad pronunciation and grammar, fear of being laughed at, and fear simply communicating the wrong message. EPSC helps them cope with these challenges. The feedback below bears witness to this.

Feedback from youth

Public speaking is not the typical item you'd see on people's to-do list. More probably, it's on the list of things NOT to do ever in life! English public speaking pushed my boundaries, and opened me to something fulfilling, inspiring and life-enhancing. Karen Chan, Champion, Senior Division, 1st runner-up of the IPSC, 2010 Participating in EPSC has given me more confidence in the use of the English language as a tool to express my thoughts, persuade an audience, meet new friends and understand different cultures. I am forever grateful for the doors that have been opened since. Theresa Chow, Champion, Senior Division, 2005 2012 Grand Finals winners with Mr Benjamin Hung, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

To me, this contest was more than just a personal victory. It was also an opportunity for every participant to take the first step towards infusing English into their daily lives.
Hubert Cruz, Champion, Senior Division, 2012

This public speaking involved a lot of experience, a lot of thinking and most importantly a lot of speaking! The fact that we had to go through a couple of rounds meant each round was a confidence booster. Asia Bibi, Merit Award, Senior Division, 2009


I learned from many skilled and gifted public speakers that good public speaking does not come naturally. While some may be talented in speaking, it takes years of painstaking practice to truly grasp the art of public speaking and to hone ones skills. John Chan, 1st runner-up, Senior Division, 2011

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


Mixed Division Junior Division Senior Division

Our Journey
2004 First Hong Kong English Public Speaking Contest. 684 participants. Generous support and encouragement from Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) as Sole Sponsor. Mainland China & Hong Kong English Public Speaking Winners Performance 2006 established. Junior Division incorporated. Overwhelming response from teachers, parents and students in Hong Kong. Over 5,000 participants. Generous donation from Dr Jack Tang helped to set up The Sir TL Yang English Ambassadors Outreach, a tribute on Sir TL Yangs 80th birthday. Past winners become English Language Ambassadors. Two Revival Rounds introduced to allow judges and public to give contestants a second chance through interview voting. Participants exceeded 10,000 Polling in Online Revival Round. attracted over 4,500 votes. Two Speaking Enhancement Workshops over-subscribed. 94% say EPSC sharpens English skills.


90 11 28 12







83 91 7 1



2007 2008
0 97 94 2 4



6 67














Participants of EPSC 2004-2012

I encourage you to use every opportunity to sharpen your skills in public speaking and to master both [Chinese and English] languages as well.
Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBS, JP Chief Secretary for Administration, Government of the HKSAR

The future
In 2013 a mainland collaboration with the 21st Century Cup National High School and Primary School English Speaking Competition will take place for the first time. Winners of Junior and Senior Divisions may have the opportunity to represent Hong Kong at the National Contest in mainland China or at the annual International Public Speaking Competition 2013 in London. A week-long International English Public Speaking Week will be organized by HKFYG in July 2013 with lots of English public speaking learning and practising opportunities. This will coincide with the publication of a book on public speaking with contributions from experienced teachers and past EPSC winners.




We have seen this event inspire many thousands of Hong Kong young people. It has been immensely valuable in encouraging vital confidence and fluency skills in English, the global language of communication, and also in fostering accomplished public discourse.
Mr Benjamin Hung, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd

Learning to speak, speaking to learn, this is the vision we have when organizing this English public speaking contest.
Dr Rosanna Wong, DBE, JP, Executive Director, HKFYG

EPSC organizes annual Speaking Enhancement Workshops conducted by a professional trainer for participants in both divisions. They will be at Ki-tec on 22 December 2012. The HKFYG Standard Chartered Hong Kong English Public Speaking Contest 2013 is open for applications until 28 December 2012. The Grand Final-cum- Awards Ceremony will be on 23 February 2013 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Visit http:// now!


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012


35 3 0 32 15 19

How adolescents feel about parents who

by Hsu Siu-man Supervisor, Youth Wellness Centre by HKFYG
Figure 1 Gambling involvement

5 17 34 6 27 1 2 2 3 36 21

ncreased opportunities have made gambling more socially acceptable in Hong Kong in the past few decades. Attention to the adverse effects on family life has grown in parallel. HKFYGs survey on the impact of parental gambling on mental health status and gambling behaviour of 12-20 year olds has implications for preventive initiatives, intervention strategies and future research.

8 23 10 5 30 11

This survey1 was conducted by the HKFYG Youth Wellness Centre to examine the impact of gambling from an adolescent perspective. The specific research objectives were to explore the perceived effects of parental gambling on adolescents mental health, and to identify the negative consequences of parental gambling.





Alarming perceived effects

Local research on the subject is scarce, although a recent study suggests that more than 20% of juvenile gamblers had parents or friends who were victims of gambling problems.2 Yet, the perceived harm caused by gambling in the family was alarming. It included disrupted family relationships, financial difficulties and diminished fulfillment of basic needs. Compared to youth who had no parental gambling problems, these young people reported significantly higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

Social or recreational gamblers At-risk gamblers







Pathological gamblers





Note: Using DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, 0.9% (n=8) could be classified as probable pathological gamblers, 3.5% (n=31) could be classified as at-risk gamblers and 40.5% (n=364) were social or recreational gamblers.3

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong Figure 2 Forms of gambling

Casino cruises Soccer games Casinos 3.8% Online

5.8% 2.4% 2.1% 1.8% Horse racing


Social gambling (eg cards, mahjong) reported gambling in the past

A total of 46.5% of the respondents year and 16.7% of them said they had a parent with a gambling problem. Compared to adolescents with no such problems, they were significantly more stressed, anxious and depressed. They also said their parents showed less interest in them and paid less attention to their developmental needs. They reported witnessing more marital discord and said they faced financial problems. As shown in Figure 2, the most common forms of gambling in these respondents are mahjong and cards, followed by video games and the Mark Six lottery.

Mark Six


Video gaming


Figure 3 Perceived eects of parental gambling

Conflicts between parents Changed relationship with parents Less time interacting with gambling parent(s) Gambling parent(s) spent less time at home Gambling parent(s) failed to fulfill responsibilities Gambling parent(s) could not be trusted with money Sense of insecurity at home Financial problems at home Gambling parent(s) begged family members for the chance to change Diminished learning at school Negative effect on social activities Gambling parent(s) borrowed money to pay off debts Fewer basic needs (such as food and clothing) filled Gambling debts resulted in threatening phone calls

Adolescents who reported parental gambling were more likely to gamble themselves and to develop gambling problems. They were also more susceptible to anxiety, depression, stress and other psychological problems and perceived low levels of family support. Many were distressed about damaged family relationships, family financial difficulties and diminished fulfillment of basic needs. These young people need professional help to cope with family, school and mental health problems. Unfortunately, they are not always included in the process of treating compulsive gamblers. The study also indicates the need for improved parent education and school-based secondary prevention programs which target at-risk adolescents. To minimize gambling-related problems, gaming operators and the government should provide funds for further gambling studies, especially on important areas such as the resultant social ills and the impact on family life. These two key stakeholders should also ensure the availability of funds for implementing preventive and intervention services.

Research for the study was done by Hsu Siu-man and Charlene Lam Lok-man (HKFYG Youth Wellness Centre), and Irene Wong Lai-kuen, Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Results were presented at The First Asia Pacific Conference on Gambling & Commercial Gaming Research, held in Macau. 5-8 November 2012.

1. The survey of 1,095 randomly selected students in Secondary 1-Secondary 5 at 11 co-educational secondary schools took place from February-April 2012. The 926 completed questionnaires indicated a response rate of 84.5%. The tables give details for the 12 months preceding the survey. 2. Wong, ILK. Gambling behavior among underage adolescents in Hong Kong. Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 1, 2010, 47-60. 3. Fisher, SE. Developing the DSM-IV-MR-J criteria to identify adolescent problem gambling in non-clinical populations. Journal of Gambling Studies, 16, 2000. 253-273.


Youth Hong Kong | December 2012



up out

for a free trip to Sydney

he Step Out Award Scheme, co-organized by HKFYGs Youth Employment Network and Education First, encourages senior secondary students to plan their future careers. The scheme offers 5 lucky winners a 2-week sponsored study tour in Sydney, Australia, in August 2013.

How to apply
From now till 31 January 2013 any full-time student in Secondary 4 or above* who has not visited a foreign country in the past three years can be nominated by a teacher at their school for the award.

Award benefits
round-trip air ticket to Sydney 2-week study-tour fees accommodation and meals with Australian host families activities in Sydney with opportunities to improve English skills chance to broaden horizons, meet people and develop career aspirations

4 steps
download form at YEN Website ) complete application form with nomination by teacher essay by applicant, in English or Chinese, on career of choice, approximately 1,000 words send documents to HKFYG Youth Employment Network, 7-10, G/F., Wing Lok House, Fuk Loi Estate, Tsuen Wan, NT, Hong Kong to arrive before 6pm on 31 January 2013

Information about sponsor

The award is being sponsored by Education First (EF), established in 1965. Its mission is to help break down barriers created by language, culture and geography. With 400 schools and offices in 55 countries, EF specializes in language learning, educational travel, academic degrees, and cultural exchange programs.

Mailing address: HKFYG Youth Employment Network, 7-10, G/F, Wing Lok House, Fuk Loi Estate, Tsuen Wan, NT, HK Website: Enquiries: 3113 7999
*Note Award winners will need to be in possession of valid travel document and be 15 or over at the time of departure.


Dont delay! Deadline 6pm 31 January 2013

Acknowledgement artwork supplied by Education First.

December 2012 | Youth Hong Kong


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Youth Hong Kong is for all who are concerned with young people. Published four times a year, it focuses on themes such as the internet, education, careers, health, the environment, arts and culture. Please visit for details on advertising rates. For more information, contact: Elaine Morgan 3755 7084 Ada Chau 3755 7108 email Get your own copy email to
a quarterly journal from the hongkong federation of youth groups
December 2012 Volume 4 Number 4


Professional Services ( in alphabetical order )

COUNSELLING Jockey Club Student Support Centre 3422 3161 Media Counselling Centre 2788 3444 School Social Work Unit 2395 0161 Student Guidance Team 2395 0162 Youth Assessment and Development Centre 2130 4050 Youth Counselling Centre 2788 3433 Youth Wellness Centre 2465 2828 CREATIVITY EDUCATION AND YOUTH EXCHANGE Centre for Creative Science and Technology 2561 6149 Creative Education Unit 2561 6149 Jockey Club LEAD Centre 3106 0600 Youth Exchange Unit 3586 8448 EDUCATION Continuous Learning Centres Causeway Bay 2130 4000 Quarry Bay 3755 7021 Education Services Unit 3755 7107 Schools Ching Lok Kindergarten (Yaumatei)/Ching Lok Nursery (Yaumatei) 2385 6868 Ching Lok Kindergarten/Ching Lok Nursery (Sai Wan Ho) 2886 8856 Lee Shau Kee College 2146 1128 Lee Shau Kee Primary School 2448 1011 EMPLOYMENT Youth Employment Network 3113 7999 Youth Business Unit 3113 7999 Caf 21 3188 5792 Image 21 3499 1481 Organic Farm 2838 4808 Project Dance Studio 2713 1002 Youth Business Hong Kong 3113 7999 LEADERSHIP TRAINING Centre for Leadership Development 2169 0255 LEISURE, CULTURAL & SPORTS SERVICES Cultural Services Unit 2395 5753 Hong Kong Melody Makers 2395 5753 Hong Kong Youth Dance 2395 5753 Hong Kong Youth Band 2395 5753 Hong Kong Youth Theatre 2395 5753 Lamma Youth Camp 2982 1929 Jockey Club Sai Kung Outdoor Training Camp 2792 2727 Stanley Outdoor Activities Centre 2813 8886 Tai Mei Tuk Outdoor Activities Centre 2664 4686 Tsuen Wan Indoor Sports Centre 2413 6669 Zhongshan Sanxiang Youth Training Centre 2395 5759 M21 Multimedia Services 21 3979 0000 PARENTING Family Life Education Units Eastern/Wanchai District 2567 5730 Kowloon City District 2774 3083 Tai Po/North District 2658 3097 Tsuen Wan/Kwai Tsing District 2490 2662 Yuen Long District 2445 4903 Parent-child Mediation Centre 2402 9230 RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS Professional Publications Unit 3755 7108 Youth Hong Kong and Youth Matters e-newsletter 3755 7084 Youth Research Centre 3755 7022 Youth SPOT Magazine 3755 7041 VOLUNTEER SERVICES Youth Volunteer Network 2169 0032 YOUTH AT RISK Extended Service for Young Night Drifters 2702 2202 Sai Kung and Wong Tai Sin Outreaching Social Work Team 2701 8866 Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung Outreaching Social Work Team 2487 6151 Youth Crime Prevention Centre 8100 9669 Youth Support Scheme 2396 4711 YOUTH SPOTS Jockey Club CHEUNG WAH Youth SPOT 2669 9111 Jockey Club FARM ROAD Youth SPOT 2715 0424 FELIX WONG Youth SPOT 2706 2638 Jockey Club HUNG HOM Youth SPOT 2774 5300 Jockey Club JAT MIN Youth SPOT 2647 0744 Jockey Club KIN SANG Youth SPOT 2467 7933 Jockey Club KWAI FONG Youth SPOT 24231366 LOHAS Youth SPOT 2702 2202 LUNG HANG Youth SPOT 2698 5565 Jockey Club PING SHEK Youth SPOT 2325 2383 Jockey Club SHAUKIWAN Youth SPOT 2885 9353 TAI PO Lions Youth SPOT 2656 3257 TIN SHUI Youth SPOT 2448 7474 Jockey Club TIN YIU Youth SPOT 2445 4868 Jockey Club TIN YUET Youth SPOT 2445 5777 Jockey Club TSEUNG KWAN O Youth SPOT 2623 3121 TSUEN KING Youth SPOT 2498 3333 TSUEN WAN Youth SPOT 2413 6669 Jockey Club VERBENA Youth SPOT 2997 0321 Jockey Club WANG TAU HOM Youth SPOT 2337 7189 Youth SPOT 21 3755 7021

Development and Support etc

Building Management 3755 7098 Corporate Communications 3755 7022 Corporate Planning 3755 7111 Dragon Foundation Secretariat 2811 2779 Information Technology 3755 7082 Partnership and Resource Development 3755 7103 Policy Advocacy 3755 7042 Premises Development 3755 7092 Staff Training 3755 7188 Youth SPOT Support and Membership 3755 7072


Publisher : The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Youth Hong Kong : 21/F, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Building, 21 Pak Fuk Road, North Point, Hong Kong Tel: 3755 7084 3755 7108 Fax: 3755 7155 Email: Website: The title of this journal in Chinese is Xiang Gang Qing Nian