Tag Archives: Hong Kong

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

Parisian Louvre pyramid designer I.M. Pei turns 100

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

The Chinese-American designer endured a roasting from critics before the giant glass structure opened in 1989, with up to 90 percent of Parisians said to be against the project at one point.

“I received many angry glances in the streets of Paris,” Pei later said, confessing that “after the Louvre I thought no project would be too difficult.”

Yet in the end even that stern critic of modernist “carbuncles”, Britain’s Prince Charles, pronounced it “marvellous”.

And the French daily Le Figaro, which had led the campaign against the “atrocious” design, celebrated its genius with a supplement on the 10th anniversary of its opening.

Pei’s masterstroke was to link the three wings of the world’s most visited museum with vast underground galleries bathed in light from his glass and steel pyramid.

It also served as the museum’s main entrance, making its subterranean concourse bright even on the most overcast of days.

Pei, who grew up in Hong Kong and Shanghai before studying at Harvard with the Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, was not the most obvious choice for the job, having never worked on a historic building before.

But the then French president Francois Mitterrand was so impressed with his modernist extension to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC that he insisted he was the man for the Louvre.

The Socialist leader was in the midst of attempting to transform Paris with a series of architectural “grands projets” that included the Bastille Opera and the Grand Arch of La Defense.

Already in his mid-60s and an established star in the United States for his elegant John F. Kennedy Library and Dallas City Hall, nothing had prepared Pei for the hostility of the reception his radical plans would receive.

He needed all his tact and dry sense of humour to survive a series of encounters with planning officials and historians.

One meeting with the French historic monuments commission in January 1984 ended in uproar, with Pei unable even to present his ideas.

“You are not in Dallas now!” one of the experts shouted at him during what he recalled was a “terrible session”, where he felt the target of anti-Chinese racism.

Not even Pei’s winning of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the “Nobel of architecture” in 1983, seemed to assuage his detractors.

Jack Lang, who was French culture minister at the time, told AFP he is still “surprised by the violence of the opposition” to Pei’s ideas.

As the Louvre is the former palace of the country’s kings, Lang notes that “the pyramid is right at the centre of a monument central to the history of France“.

“The project also came at a time of fierce ideological clashes” between the left and right, he added.

The Louvre’s then director, Andre Chabaud, resigned in 1983 in protest at the “architectural risks” Pei’s vision posed.

The present incumbent, however, is in no doubt that the pyramid is a masterpiece that helped turn the museum around.

Jean-Luc Martinez is all the more convinced of the fact having worked with Pei over the last few years to adapt his plans to cope with the museum’s growing popularity.

Pei’s original design was for up to two million visitors a year. Last year the Louvre welcomed nearly nine million.

For Martinez the pyramid is “the modern symbol of the museum”, he said, “an icon on the same level” as the Louvre’s most revered artworks “the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace”.

The Eiffel Tower, now synonymous with Paris, faced opposition during the time of its construction

The Eiffel Tower, now synonymous with Paris, faced opposition during the time of its construction

Pei is not alone in being savaged for changing the cherished landscape of Paris.

In 1887, a group of intellectuals that included Emile Zola and Guy de Maupassant published a letter in the newspaper Le Temps to protest at the building of the “useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower“, an “odious column of sheet metal with bolts”.

Art auctions in Hong Kong: Warhol Mao portrait fetches US$12.7m in Sotheby’s auction

A Parody?: King of Pop Art's portrait of the former Chinese Community Party leader fell short of its estimate at a Hong Kong auction. The painting is shown here at Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery. Image courtesy of Sotheby's Facebook Page

A Parody?: King of Pop Art’s portrait of the former Chinese Community Party leader fell short of its estimate at a Hong Kong auction. The painting is shown here at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s Facebook Page

A classic Andy Warhol portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong fetched US$12.7 million at an auction in Hong Kong on Sunday, Sotheby’s said well short of the top estimate of more than US$15 million.

The sale of the 1973 screen print by the legendary US pop artist attracted plenty of attention before going under the hammer in the semi-autonomous city owing to sensitivity about any use of Mao’s image in China.

The top sale price estimate of more than US$15 million was the highest the auction house had ever seen for a painting in Asia. The identity of the buyer was not released. Sotheby’s had described the event as the first “significant” sale of Western contemporary art in Hong Kong, which was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.

But while buyers from mainland China have developed massive market clout, Warhol’s images of Mao have drawn controversy there. A major touring retrospective of his works removed pictures of the former leader when it visited Shanghai and Beijing in 2013.

Mao’s legacy as Communist China’s founding father makes him inseparable from official propaganda extolling the party’s ruling legitimacy, and his huge portrait still overlooks vast Tiananmen Square and appears on Chinese banknotes.

Yet his mistakes, such as disastrous economic policies blamed for mass starvation and the political witch hunts of the 1966 to 1976 “Cultural Revolution“, left a bitter aftertaste and depictions of him otherwise remain strictly controlled.

Art Basel Hong Kong 2017 celebrates fifth year at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Kimsooja, ‘Deductive Object’, 2016, painted welded steel, aluminum mirror panels, sculpture measures 2.45 x 1.5 (diameter) m, mirror measures 10 x 10 m. Image courtesy of Kimsooja and provided by MMCA Seoul.

Kimsooja, ‘Deductive Object’, 2016, painted welded steel, aluminum mirror panels, sculpture measures 2.45 x 1.5 (diameter) m, mirror measures 10 x 10 m. Image courtesy of Kimsooja and provided by MMCA Seoul.

Art Basel Hong Kong celebrates its fifth year from March 23 to 25, 2017 at its customary location, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, with 242 galleries, including 29 new participants, from 34 countries. Art Republik gives a rundown of the galleries and artists from Southeast Asia to look out for at the fair.

The main sector of the fair, Galleries, will feature 190 galleries, and the programme has expanded to include an all-new Kabinett Sector, which proved to be wildly successful at Art Basel in Miami Beach. Galleries at Art Basel Hong Kong 2017 will present curated exhibitions and projects by 19 art spaces from Asia, Europe and the United States. Artists will include Chinese artist Cao Yu from Galerie Urs Meile, NANZUKA’s Keiichi Tanaami from Japan, and Singaporean artist Ming Wong, presented by Vitamin Creative Space, just to name a few.

Among the noteworthy offerings from the Galleries sector are ‘The Treachery of the Moon’, a video by Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, as well as works by Yee I-Lann from Malaysia, both presented by Tyler Rollins Fine Art based in New York. “I have definitely noted a steadily increasing interest in contemporary art from Southeast Asia in recent years, both in the West and in other parts of Asia,” says Rollins. “Art Basel Hong Kong has certainly played a role in this as it presents the art in a truly global context while being strongly rooted in Asia.”

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Treachery of the Moon’, 2012, c-type print, 69.25 x 105 cm. Image courtesy of artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Treachery of the Moon’, 2012, c-type print, 69.25 x 105 cm. Image courtesy of artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

Singapore-based Gajah Gallery will feature works from important Indonesian artists Agung Mangu Putra and Rudi Mantofani, as well as a unique sculpture made of crushed glass by Suzann Victor from Singapore. “Art Basel Hong Kong is unquestionably one of the biggest annual art events in this hemisphere, so it is vital for Southeast Asian artists to be represented,” says gallerist Jasdeep Sandhu. “This is an international platform where collectors, curators, and institutions come to see what the region has to offer, and with a history and culture as diverse as ours, the appreciation for Southeast Asian artists only grows every year.”

The Insights sector will feature 27 galleries, eight of which are wholly new to the fair. Showcasing curatorial projects from important artists across the Asia-Pacific region, these modern works of historical value will provide an assorted and comprehensive narration of art from across the region, incorporating the countries of Algeria, Australia, Mainland China, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

Highlights in the Insights sector include Kuwaiti artist Hamra Abbas’ miniature portraits of food sellers in Singapore’s Little India from Dubai-based gallery Lawrie Shabibi, and Singaporean Wyn-Lyn Tan’s ‘(In)visible Horizons’ series, presented by Singapore’s FOST Gallery, comprising new curvilinear and panoramic painting installations that were partly inspired by life in the arctic town of Tromsø, Norway. “The hybridity of Tan’s work is quintessentially Southeast Asian but also very contemporary,” says Stephanie Fong, founder of FOST. “As we increasingly become composites because of proliferation and access to information as well increased global mobility, it is a great opportunity to be able to discuss these issues at Basel.”

Jane Lee, ‘Adrift’. Image courtesy of Jane Lee and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

Jane Lee, ‘Adrift’. Image courtesy of Jane Lee and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

Curated by Li Zhenhua, Director and Founder of Beijing Art Lab, Hong Kong Art Basel 2017’s Film sector will present short and feature length films about artists produced by artists. Pearl Lam Galleries will show the film ‘Mirror’ by important Singapore filmmaker, Boo Junfeng. A two-channel video projection, it was originally commissioned by the Singapore Art Museum for the President’s Young Talents 2013 exhibition. The movie was inspired by a visit to Bukit Brown cemetery, and narrate the dual realities of its central characters and how they are inextricably linked to the past and present.

The Encounters sector will present 17 large-scale projects, including four site-specific installations, curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director of Artspace, Sydney. Featuring 12 brand new works which investigate how time and experience intersect during encounters, its representation in art, and the influences of history, politics and culture, visitors will be encouraged to interact with the works to make their own interpretations.

An artist to watch out for is Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso, presented by Pearl Lam Galleries, which endeavors to re-shape perceptions of the history of Tibet. “Gonkar’s work is always thought-provoking, eye-catching and surprising, which makes it perfect for Encounters. The work he’s presenting is called ‘Family Album’ and it examines how Tibet’s once remote culture is becoming part of a globalising world,” says Lam. “This feels like a particularly fitting idea to explore at Art Basel in Hong Kong, an international art fair that attracts visitors, artists, gallerists and curators from all corners of the world. Gonkar’s work always generates plenty of discussion and I cannot wait to see how visitors to the fair interpret and engage with this installation.”

Gonkar Gyatso, ‘Family Album’, 2016, installation. Photography by Zhadui and Image courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries.

Gonkar Gyatso, ‘Family Album’, 2016, installation. Photography by Zhadui and Image courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries.

Boasting the “strongest selection of solo and two-person exhibitions ever presented in the sector”, Discoveries will host 12 new galleries. One of the many exciting exhibitions will be presented by a.m. space, and feature ‘Protein Boy’ by Huang Po-Chih, a work of part novel and part video installation, which is a narration about Huang’s father and his preoccupation with food and sex.

Presented in the BMW Lounge and also as part of the Discoveries sector is ‘The Ruins of Time: Lost Libraries of the Silk Road’. 2016 BMW Art Journey winner Abigail Reynolds, represented by Rokeby Gallery in London, documents her journey on motorcycle as she visits the lost libraries of the Silk Road, as well as her participation in Yinchuan Biennale, the first biennale in Northwestern China. The artist used a Bolex camera and 16mm film to document her exploration of the libraries of sixteen sites which were destroyed during political conflicts and wars, by looters, and due to natural disasters. As she investigates the empty spaces, with the library embodying the complexity and difficulty of comprehending reality, she attempts to examine the intricate religious and secular histories of Europe and Asia.

UBS will debut the first major publication of their renowned art collection. Published by Hatje Cantz and titled ‘UBS Art Collection: To Art its Freedom’, it complements the vision for the financial institution’s VIP lounge at the fair, which will include a special exhibition of works from the book as well as new acquisitions from the UBS Art Collection with pieces by artists such as Andreas Gursky, Ed Ruscha and Samson Young.

Visitors can also look forward to the return of the Conversations programme and the Salon series, which include talks and panel discussions by well-known speakers and key opinion leaders from across the international art world.

This article is written by Tanya Amador and was originally published in Art Republik 14.

Correction: An earlier edition of the online version of the article, not the print edition, stated that Art Basel Hong Kong 2017 ends on Sunday. The art fair ends this Saturday, not Sunday.

 

Art fairs in Hong Kong: Art Central Hong Kong 2017 gathers 75 regional galleries

Anida Yoeu Ali, ‘The Red Chador’, performance.

Anida Yoeu Ali, ‘The Red Chador’, performance.

From March 21 to 25, Art Central Hong Kong 2017, taking place at the Central Harbourfront, will see a gathering of 100 galleries from around the world, three-quarters of which are from the Asia-Pacific region.

The art fair is divided into four sectors: Central, with a focus on galleries from Asia both established and new; Rise, which features galleries and art spaces that are less than 6 years old with solo and duo shows by emerging artists; Projects, for installations, and Media x Mumm, presented by Mumm Champagne, showcasing digital works.

Among the galleries on home ground in the CENTRAL sector is Sin Sin Fine Art, which will present works of Indonesian artist Eddi Prabandono and Cuban artist Carlos Garcia de la Nuez, with a concurrent gallery exhibition ‘Boundless Voyage’. Another is Hong Kong’s La Galerie Paris 1839, which will bring Taiwanese artist Chou Ching Hui’s ‘Animal Farm’ series that looks into a collective concept of melting the boundaries of individuals where we share the universal identity of exploration. Gallery founder Sin Sin Man says, “Shining a spotlight on galleries from the Asia Pacific region, Art Central in Hong Kong features edgier works from emerging artists. Art Central is a premier stage for exhibiting [Southeast Asian] contemporary art practitioners. It’s important for us to bring the artists to the audiences here.”

Southeast Asian artists and galleries are prominently featured. Marc Straus Gallery will show Indonesian artist Entang Wiharso. Ken Tan, a partner at the gallery says, “Art Central Hong Kong is a focused fair — with a diverse pool of collectors attending the fair each year, we have reached a new audience from Southeast Asia.” Yeo Workshop from Singapore will bring works by Singaporean photographers Loke Hong Seng and Sean Lee. Gallerist Ashley Yeo says, “It is important to to connect and to expose our Southeast Asian cultures with Hong Kong’s international market.”

Returning gallery Richard Koh Fine Art will present Malaysian artist Haffendi Anuar’s digital installations. Besides Anuar, works by fellow Malaysian artist Hasanul Isyraf Idris, whose characters deal with personal struggles, will also be shown. Commenting on the region’s representation at the fair, Koh says, “I think Southeast Asia is not represented properly in most Asian fairs. Art Central is a good platform for Southeast Asia as its emphasis and focus is on discovering and highlighting new talents, not just big branded artists.”

Emerging galleries in the Rise sector endeavour to promote new talents, and will include Korean artist Yun-kyung Jeong from Gallery Koo in Seoul, Art Space J’s photographer Beomsik Won, Balinese-British artist Sinta Tantra from Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London, and oh!quadro’s artist, Afonso Tostes from Brazil, whose sculptures are created with wood collected from demolition sites across Rio de Janeiro.

The Projects sector aims to cast aside the constraints of a traditional art fair booth, with six large-scale installations by emerging curator Jims Lam Chi Hang of Hong Kong. Featuring six different artists, namely Simon Pericich, Tang Jie, Hannah
Quinlivan, Santi Wangchuan, Glen Hayward and Yu Youhan, each work is a social commentary designed to be thought-provoking and open the door for discourse.

Glen Hayward, ‘Everyday People’, 2017, wood, paint, dimensions variable. Courtesy of PAULNACHE.

Glen Hayward, ‘Everyday People’, 2017, wood, paint, dimensions variable. Courtesy of PAULNACHE.

Among the photographic works exhibited this year, new participating gallery Anastasia Photo will present award-winning photographers Martin Roemers, Tomas van Houtryve, and George Steinmetz. Flowers Gallery from London and New York will feature works by Korean photographer Boomoon that are focused on landscapes devoid of human existence as a means of self-reflection.

New adaptations of existing works will be presented as interactive performance pieces for Performance X 4A, in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney by leading international artists all working to confront and question the principles of art. These are meant to challenge the audience to reexamine familiar situations and objects. “We are excited to present the work of leading performance artists from the South East and wider Asia region as we return to the contemporary art hub of Hong Kong, Art Central in 2017,” says Mikala Tai, the Centre’s Director.

Performances will include ‘Face-o-Mat’ by Swiss artist Tobias Gutmann, ‘Speculative Entertainment Hong Kong Edition’ by Indonesian artist Uji “Hahan” Handoko Eko Saputro, and ‘The Red Chador’ by Cambodian-American artist Anida Yoeu Ali. Ali’s work has received much press as a representation of universal intolerance and marginalisation.

Uji Handoko Eko Saputro, ‘Speculative Entertainment Hong Kong Edition’, performance.

Uji Handoko Eko Saputro, ‘Speculative Entertainment Hong Kong Edition’, performance.

As awareness of Southeast Asian art grows on the international art scene, so does the public’s appreciation of and demand for it. Charles Ross, Managing Director, Art Central says, “We’re delighted to be welcoming a number of galleries from South East Asia to Art Central this year.” He added, “There is certainly an increasing appetite generally for art from the South East Asian region and Art Central as a platform is actively involved in growing this awareness with our audience, both through our gallery content and broader programme.”

Art Republik looks forward to an engaging Art Central Hong Kong 2017.

This article is written by Tanya Amador and was originally published in Art Republik 14.

Jewellery exhibitions in Hong Kong: Van Cleef and Arpels presents animal clips inspired by Noah’s Ark

Elephant clips, © Van Cleef & Arpels

Elephant clips, © Van Cleef & Arpels

Elephants, foxes and peacocks are just some of the animals fashioned into exquisite high jewellery pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels in a sixty-piece collection called ‘L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels’, or Noah’s Ark as told by Van Cleef & Arpels. They will be on show in a special installation at Hong Kong’s Asia Society from 10 to 26 March 2017.

The bejewelled clips in the collection take inspiration from a Jan Brueghel the Elder painting of the story of Noah’s Ark, ‘The Entry of the Animals into Noah’s Ark’ (1613), which shows a gathering of animals in a forest clearing next to a stream. According to the J. Paul Getty Museum where the painting resides, in 1609, Brueghel had been appointed court painter to Archduke Albert and his wife the Infanta Isabella, who built a menagerie in Brussels populated with exotic animals from all over the world. The artist was thus able to observe them in person, and render them in his painting.

This masterpiece was the starting point for this collection Van Cleef & Arpels, which has a tradition of adeptly reinterpreting cultural references in their unique language. Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels says, “The Maison often creates a dialogue between its own identity and heritage on one hand, and broad historical themes and references from other cultural spheres.”

Squirrel clips, © Van Cleef & Arpels

Squirrel clips, © Van Cleef & Arpels

‘L’Arche de Noé’ is testament to Van Cleef & Arpels’ creativity and craftsmanship. Each pair of bejewelled clips is a composed narrative in itself. Two squirrels rub noses over an egg-shaped 46-carat white opal, as if in glee at their fortune of foraging the treasure. A giraffe hangs its head ever so slightly, while its partner looks protectively into the distance, seemingly to plan their next move, their pink gold bodies resplendent with jewels for their characteristic spots. Then there are the dragonflies in flight, one featuring a 2.28-carat cushion-cut tourmaline and the other showing off a 3.27-carat garnet. The details in the clips are extraordinary, and the minerals and gems used stunning.

While most of the animals appear in complementary pairs, mostly in separate clips, a number on singular clips such as ladybirds perched on a single branch, and even in a trio with the kangaroo family where the mother is holding a little one in the pouch, there are mythical creatures that have been crafted as individuals: Pegasus, a phoenix and a unicorn. The unicorn clip, for one, is a captivating sight, with its head arched gracefully towards its back, its hooves in mid-stride and its long luxurious tail curled forward. The regal beauty, created from white and red gold, shows off round diamonds, marquise-cut emeralds, baguette-cut sapphires, turquoise, and Mystery Set™ sapphires.

To enhance the public’s enjoyment of these beautiful jewellery pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels has invited American theatre and visual artist Robert Wilson to create the immersive experience. Wilson has had an illustrious career that has crossed many artistic fields, from theatre and opera to paintings and sculptures. He has won many accolades, including the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale and the Olivier Award. Speaking about his work on the scenography for the installation, his first in the world of high jewellery, Wilson says, “The kingdoms of childhood, literature, and animals have always fascinated me, and yet I did not draw much inspiration from them to design this scenography. I would rather describe it as a journey along sensory sceneries, as the abstract and fancy-free immersion into a fairytale.”

Upon entering the installation, which was first shown in Paris at the Hotel d’Evreux in September 2016, the eye is drawn to the back centre of the room where a brightly lit skeleton of a boat is suspended surrounded by ceiling-to-floor video screens on the walls showing an undulating image of the calm sea, bringing to life the passage of Noah’s Ark. A selection of 40 jewelled animals appear to float in small glass boxes placed around the room. In the background, Arvo Pärt’s meditative ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’ – or ‘Mirror in the Mirror’ – plays on a loop, to be interrupted by the sound of thunder followed by heavy rain before it stops all of a sudden to return to the lulling music.

The collaboration between Van Cleef & Arpels with Robert Wilson, both representing the highest standards in their respective fields, spells a magical experience to be had at the ‘L’Arche de Noe’ installation for one and all.

Art Republik spoke with Robert Wilson to find out more about his installation for L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels at the Asia Society Hong Kong.

What made you say yes to the project? What expectations did you have going in?

I said yes because it’s something I have never done before, so it was kind of a challenge. I went around when I was first asked to do the project and I went to jewellery shops, and… forgive me, but that was so boring. It was also very difficult to see the jewellery. It was either too busy or too noisy or something, and so I was thinking, how can I see these tiny little jewelled animals? What should the space look like? What should it sound like? What should the light be like? I started there.

Exhibition shot of ‘L'Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels’ at The Hôtel d'Évreux in Paris, France, from 3 to 26 September 2016. Image courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Exhibition shot of ‘L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels’ at The Hôtel d’Évreux in Paris, France, from 3 to 26 September 2016. Image courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.

What were the ideas you had for the installation?

I wanted to make a rather calm environment, and I was thinking about this flood, this great body of water, this boat of animals. It is very curious that there were pairs of animals, so I started thinking about the number two: we have two, and a pair is one, so it is not one plus one equals two, but two equals one, and so you have this music that you hear in the background which is meditative and calm, but there is an erupted thunder, so there are intervals. It was a way of constructing sound in the space. I wanted to have a spiritual environment of light, but this is interrupted by something dark. I was thinking of this journey, this ark, to describe in the Bible. I did not see it as a religious story, but more of a spiritual story. And I was thinking originally to build a big ark or a boat, and you would enter it, and it just seemed all wrong. So, you see in this installation here a very small boat, and these jewelled animals are almost like navigation, like stars in a chart around the room. And if you think of Noah’s ark, the sort of flood, the vast sea of body of water, this is just this little speck, God looking down on it, so all those things are part of the construction of the space.

How do you integrate your past experience, given your work in theatre, design, and production, and translate it into something on a much smaller scale with this installation?

It has to do with the same concerns. How do I start? What is the first thing I hear? What is the first thing I see? What is the second thing? What is the last thing? And so it is time and space decisions which you make, and whether you are making an exhibition, or an opera, or ballet, or theatre, it is the same idea of constructing thoughts. I made the decision to make a space that was very calm, that allowed me to look closely at these jewels. But Heaven cannot exist without Hell. You have two hands, but there is one body, two sides of the brain, but there is one mind, so it is working with this duality as one, and that is the same whether you are making an opera or an installation.

You have done many different things across different genres. Have you ever felt like there was too much going on, or is it an inspiring way for you to work?

I do not think about work being work. I think it is a way of living. I do not think well, okay, now, I am going to wake up in the morning and I am going to go to work and then I am going to go home, I stop working and I am going to turn the TV on, and scratch the dog, and eat something, then I go to bed. To me, living is a way of being and thinking, and that is my work. I do not see so much difference between my work and living. It is all part of one thing. It is not like I go to an office, and then I go home, and it is finished. So, someone asked me yesterday, do you ever think about retiring? As long as I am living, I am thinking, I am working or… I guess I would retire if I am no longer breathing, but so far I have not stopped.

With the installation, you are integrating multimedia to create this multi-sensory experience for the audience. You have lights, you have sounds, you have these high-tech screens. What do you think about technology and its importance in helping you tell this story?

Yes, sure. I think that when we become mechanical, we become free, and we may learn to ride a bicycle, and the first time you try it, it is awkward, you are afraid of falling, maybe falling, but after a while you can ride the bicycle and you do not have to think about it. It is automatic, so I think that is freedom. I have a friend who is a ballet dancer, and I asked her a while ago how many ballets she knew. She said about 80. I asked her for one ballet what she does in a particular moment and she says that she has no idea, but when she is doing it, she knows, because the memory is in her muscle, and it is something automatic. So the mind is a muscle. I always loved when Andy Warhol said, “I want to be a machine”. Sometimes we are afraid of technology becoming mechanical, but I think that is freedom. My mother was very, very good at typing; she typed very rapidly. She said she liked to type because it gave her time to think.

Exhibition shot of ‘L'Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels’ at The Hôtel d'Évreux in Paris, France, from 3 to 26 September 2016. Image courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Exhibition shot of ‘L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels’ at The Hôtel d’Évreux in Paris, France, from 3 to 26 September 2016. Image courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.

What is the one thing you return to time and again when you work?

When you create buildings, as an architect, it is all about light, and how to introduce light, and things about sound. Most architects do not even consider sound. Six years ago, I went for almost two months to Latin America, North America, throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, to architecture schools. And it was shocking, really shocking, that looking at the work of students, almost none of them were starting with light. That should be the first concern: as an architect, you start with light. Without light, there is no space, and I work in the theatre and it is shocking that people do the lighting two weeks before the premiere. I start with light. That is the first thing I do. The actors are there, but I work on the light, and the light would create the space, and then you can decide what to do in the space, and the light would completely change the space. The light, as Einstein said, is the measure of all things. Without it, there is absolutely no space. So start with light.

*A version of this article appears in Art Republik’s Mar-May ‘Crossover’ issue.

More information at vcaarchedenoe.hk.

Ultimate guide to yacht charters in Southeast Asia: How and where to book a luxury boating vacation

“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.” Rockstar David Lee Roth

Yacht charter is one of the most popular ways to discover Asia, and Southeast Asia in particular. The area is huge – approximately three times the size of the Mediterranean – with destinations only a few hundred miles’ sailing apart. And the number of people wanting a luxury charter vacation in Southeast Asia is growing, along with the supply of charter yachts.

And why not? You are afforded the opportunity to enjoy a diverse palette of lush landscapes, exotic foods, stress-free travel and amazing experiences from a completely different point of view than that of a land-traveler. Only the weather and rhythm of the ocean dictate your schedule. So how has the industry changed and what will this mean for charter enthusiasts? And when everything is deciphered, how do you go about booking the voyage of a lifetime?

There is something quite spectacular about luxury on the sea. Take the Jade 959, built by Jade Yachts and available for charter through Northrop & Johnson, pure luxury

There is something quite spectacular about luxury on the sea. Take the Jade 959, built by Jade Yachts and available for charter through Northrop & Johnson, pure luxury

There are a number of drivers shaping the charter industry in the region; namely supply of berths, available charter yachts, competition and new markets. The trend seems to be for decreased charter prices across the board as more yachts come onto the market. This in turn will lead to a change in charter clientele and the types of vessels becoming available. But as Kass Scarlet, TUI Marine group (Sunsail and Moorings yacht charter) marketing executive for Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific says, clients choose to charter for three main reasons: “affordability, convenience and freedom,” and this is only set to increase as the industry evolves.

At the 2015 Singapore Yacht Show, Bart Kimman, Northrop & Johnson’s managing director suggested smaller vessels in the 22m range would be key to introducing the Asian market to chartering. Other industry players added future growth in the charter market could depend on the availability of yachts of various sizes available for day charter, so locals can get a taste for the yachting lifestyle.

Interior of Jade 959

Interior of Jade 959

So in response to the growing charter market, those in the industry (with some government help) are listening and putting in place concrete plans to increase the number of available berths in the region.

Projects being touted include the Melaka Gateway project, where Malaysia is planning to build Southeast Asia’s biggest private marina, with a 1000 berth capacity. On the Malaysian island resort of Langkawi, Tradewinds Corp Bhd is developing Perdana Quay, a marina project scheduled for completion within the next decade. In Thailand, several marina developments are scheduled in the province of Krabi and on the resort island of Koh Samui – where a marina aimed at accommodating superyachts is in the planning stages. A number of Indonesian marina projects are also in the pipeline.

Charter and marketing manager, Rico Stapel of Boat Lagoon Yachting Group (dealership for Princess, Jeanneau, Prestige, Wider and Admiral) says trends in 2014 and 2015 indicate an increase of charters and evolution of the charter industry in 2016.

Luxury sail yacht Mondango by Alloy Yachts. built for extensive blue-water cruising

Luxury sail yacht Mondango by Alloy Yachts. built for extensive blue-water cruising

“In Phuket we’re seeing increasing numbers of charter clients representing the so-called mass market – charters for smaller vessels and for short (day) cruises. At the same time there are more ultra-wealthy individuals looking to charter superyachts. The market is not shifting, it’s rather that the pie is growing bigger.

“In the recent past large Russian charter groups booked Thai charters, however now we are seeing increased numbers of Indian, Taiwanese and Chinese charter groups. These groups are evenly split between mass market (day) charters and upper-end superyachts; either those looking for smaller ships and catering to their own requirements and those booking superyachts with full onboard services.

Bennetti's 30.2m Nanou, a fine example of the ever popular Bennetti Tradition 100 series

Bennetti’s 30.2m Nanou, a fine example of the ever popular Bennetti Tradition 100 series

“The charter market is going from strength to strength. In terms of maturity charter around Phuket and other islands in the region is a little behind the market in Europe, specifically the Mediterranean – but it’s certainly catching up fast. Costs for charter, which have traditionally been high are coming down and because of this we’re seeing increased activity.”

So while day tripping and day charter remains an active and growing market in the region, there is also a shift towards the “once in a lifetime” luxury superyacht charter market, involving careful research, time and a considerable budget.

Sytske Kimman, Northrop & Johnson’s charter broker says charter clients do share certain attributes. “Our customers are often families who want to catch up and spend quality time together. Nowadays it’s not uncommon that family members live all over the world. A boating holiday offers an opportunity for everyone to get together and have fun. A yacht is the perfect medium as there are many different activities to enjoy for young and old, active thrill seekers and not so active sun worshippers, gourmets and gourmands, while all still being in the same place.”

Interior of the Nanou

Interior of the Nanou

Charter manager of Northrop & Johnson Asia, Lies Sol, adds that most of those enquiring about luxury charter in Asia are willing to spend money for a unique experience. “Clients are developing an interest in unusual ‘adventure’ destinations, and cruise in remote places away from the crowds. They still want comfort though and often want a yacht with zero speed stabilizers, a Jacuzzi to cool down and VSAT-supported WiFi to remain connected during their vacation. Also a top chef and great crew are usually essential. Luxury yacht charter clients find as much pleasure in the voyage as in the destination.”

The South East Asian (SEA) market holds great promise for the long term, according to Burgess Yachts senior charter broker and director, Gaye Joyeau-Bourgeois, but she maintains growth will be steady, rather than spectacular.

“While SEA has always held interest for a small number of yachtsmen, we have seen in the past 24 months an increased interest in the region from clients and growing numbers of yachts – both yachts that have stopped for the whole season here, and yachts passing through on a larger world cruise.

As the market grows, so too will the fleet of boats available for charter. This shows Camper & Nicholson's luxury sailing yacht Leitizia

As the market grows, so too will the fleet of boats available for charter. This shows Camper & Nicholson’s luxury sailing yacht Leitizia

“It’s never going to be the sudden explosion that many predicted but slowly and steadily numbers are on the rise. As above: we have an unprecedented fleet of seven superyachts ranging from 32m to 73m available for charter this year in Asia. Together with yachts offered for charter by other companies, the number and quality of yachts is clearly increasing.”

According to Joyeau-Bourgeois it is the onboard features and the destinations that today influence charter decisions. She says given the diversity of the cruising grounds and the various types of charter itineraries, many different kinds of boats prove popular in Asia. In and around Phuket, you will find the full range of size and models all work well. What is more important, she attests, are the onboard features most conducive to cruising in this part of the world such as large shaded areas, strong A/C system and good tenders for exploration.

Onboard the Letizia

Onboard the Letizia

The next step, says Joyeau-Bourgeois is opening up the myriad of new charter destinations. She says Burgess has noticed a marked increase in interest in both traditional and newer, adventure destinations with a number of charter operations focusing their attention not only on perennial island favourites throughout South East Asia but new rising stars.

“Some of these non-traditional destinations – Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago; Indonesia’s Flores-Komodo and Raja Ampat archipelago; The Philippines’ Palawan island – are absolutely fabulous destinations for lovers of stunning natural beauty, exotic anchorages and world-class diving,” says Joyeau-Bourgeois.

“But as they do not yet have the more developed infrastructure…and as some of them have regulatory constraints to charter, they remain for now an ‘exploration destination’ rather than a ‘mainstream’ destination. But I have no doubt about the growth potential in the long term, driven by the exceptional appeal of those areas and the slow trend towards developing infrastructure and adjusting regulation across countries.”

In early 2015 both Burgess and superyacht support provider, 37 South, announced plans to expand into South East Asia, to meet increasing demand for charters throughout the region.

“We have recognized a growing demand in the region from both a cruising and agency perspective,” says Allan Jouning of 37 South. “The number of visiting superyachts to Asia has been growing steadily, and our inquiries for the area have increased significantly over recent years. Yachts visiting the South Pacific are now, more often than not, also visiting South East Asia and the surrounding waters.”

The rise in popularity of the yacht lifestyle has been bolstered recently with simplified charter regulations being adopted in Thailand and Indonesia and previously underserviced destinations such as the Philippines or Myanmar now slowly embracing the culture of yacht charter.

THE DESTINATIONS

We detail a selection of destinations, some of them surprising and from the most sophisticated markets to the unexplored where professional services are growing to meet demand:

Singapore

The ‘Little Red Dot’ has a wealth of long and short term charter opportunities for those interested in superyachts or smaller vessels. The island nation is within easy sailing distance from some of the most attractive destinations in South East Asia, including Northern Indonesia, the Andaman Sea, Thailand and Malaysia. The undeniable pleasure of enjoying Singapore’s world famous cuisine and shopping opportunities plays no small part in making the tiny nation a hotbed of charter activity.

The Royal Albatross is a unique 47m, four-mast tall ship which can hold up to 150 passengers for a day trip and 10 guests with five cabins overnight depending on your needs. www.tallship.com.sg

ONE15 Luxury Yachting has a comprehensive fleet of excellent vessels from tough fishing boats to luxurious superyachts with services tailored to your needs. www.one15luxuryyachting.com

Hong Kong

With the many islands and secluded coves within the territory, a growing actor on the yachting charter scene Riviera Orientale – Yachting Society is actively promoting Hong Kong as a yachting destination and not-to-be missed experience.

With Sunseeker, Azimut and Ferretti motor yachts and superyachts joining the fleet in 2015, Riviera Orientale – Yachting Society has extended its fleet to 13 yachts. In 2016, two brand new Numarine yachts, the Numarine 60, and Numarine 105, will join the line-up. With professional crew services, both yachts will be available for overnight cruises, an option becoming trendy among the sophisticated HK yachters.

Exterior of the Numarine 105

Exterior of the Numarine 105

Adding to the impressive array of yachts, Riviera Oriental also offers the newest inflatable toys and water sports and completing the lifestyle experience have also engaged famed performers in town as entertainment and offer a la carte partnerships with a range of local restaurants including the Four Seasons and Intercontinental.

This luxury yacht charter service concept is bound to expand across Asia, including The Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, where yacht charter fleets in these countries are to be set up in 2016. www.rivieraorientale.com

Thailand

Thailand is without doubt the darling of the South East Asian charter scene. Islands in the Gulf of Thailand, such as Koh Samui, Pattaya and Koh Chang, as well as on Thailand’s west coast Phuket in the Andaman Sea epitomise the Thai experience of warm azure seas, palm-fringed beaches and lush tropical jungle.

Asia Marine proposes a comprehensive range of charter options including bareboats, crewed boats and luxury yachts available for day trips and longer term charters. The Princess 65, Azimut 50 and Sunseeker 60 are all options for navigating through Thailand’s waters. www.asia-marine.net

Boat Lagoon Yachting boasts a range of yacht charter options with an impressive fleet of yachts – Princess, Wider Yachts and Jeanneau – operates throughout Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. www.boatlagoonyachting.com

Simpson Yacht Charter offers bareboat charter in Phuket for experienced yachtsmen and women including a range of Lagoon catamarans available to explore the wonders of the Andaman coast, namely the 2014-built Lagoon 450, and Lagoon 400s2. www.simpsonyachtcharter.com

Burgess has a wide variety of superyachts and sailing yachts for charter including the 73m Lurssen MY Titania, 68m Triple Seven from Nobiskrug and the 32.3m Majesty from Gulf Craft. www.burgessyachts.com

Gulf Charters Thailand has a fleet of yachts from keelboats to catamarans including offerings from Beneteau, Jeanneau and Fountaine Pajot. www.yachtcharterthailand.com / www.superyachtthailand.com

15-Saluzi-Master-Cabin

Saluzi's interior just as stunning as the exterior with luxury and style forever at the forefront

Saluzi’s interior just as stunning as the exterior with luxury and style forever at the forefront

Myanmar

The country remains largely unexplored however this exotic destination is attracting interest from charter companies looking to offer their clients something different. The Mergui Peninsula is located in the remote southern part of Myanmar and consists of 800 untouched islands featuring swaying palm trees, vibrant jungle and pristine beaches.

Most of the established operators based out of Phuket – as listed above – proposed extended charter services in the Mergui archipelago.

Northrop & Johnson offers an extensive range of superyachts, sailing boats, sports boats and everything in between for exploring this relatively unchartered destination, including Twizzle and Lamima. www.northropandjohnson-asia.com

Burma Boating has a substantial fleet of schooners and catamarans including SY Meltemi and MY Drenec with crews experienced in the Mergui Archipelago. www.burmaboating.com

Malaysia

Langkawi remains one of the key destinations with the island’s boom in tourism and world class marinas cementing its status as a prime charter destination. Penang on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia is another increasingly favourite destination.The many pristine islands off the east coast – Tioman, Perhentian, Redang, Rawa, Kapas to name a few – with beautiful beaches, reefs and jungles to explore complete the scenary on Peninsular Malaysia. East Malaysia is also a well known charter focus with the area around Kota Kinabalu and Sipadan island.

Pen Marine actively promotes boating in Malaysia and has an array of yachts available for charter including Perry Catamaran’s Ivory Street and Ferretti’s Lady Sunshine. www.penmarine.com

Dream Yacht Charter has a range of Lagoon’s available for charter specifically throughout Malaysia including the Lagoon 400s2 Luxe. www.dreamyachtcharter.com

Simpson Yacht Charter is based in Langkawi and offers a range catamarans in particular. www.simpsonyachtcharter.com

Exterior of the Lagoon 630

Exterior of the Lagoon 630

The Philippines

With 7107 islands, the Philippines is the second largest archipelago in the world, only beaten by Indonesia (which boasts over 17,000 islands). This makes the Philippines the ideal destination for charter enthusiasts. The islands of Puerto Galera, Boracay, Coron, Puerto Princesa, and Cebu see the lion’s share of charter activity but with the wealth of islands in the archipelago the visitor is spoiled for choice.

Charter Philippines has a plethora of information for those wanting to navigate the islands and a fleet including Leopard Catamarans, Leopard 42 and Bavaria 37. www.charterphilippines.com

Omni Marine offer luxury yacht charter in South East Asia and in the Philippines offer the Lagoon 500, Raja Laut and luxury diving on the SY Philippine Siren. www.omnitrips.com

Indonesia

The Indonesian archipelago is the ultimate destination for those who want to explore some of the most pristine island environments in the world. The vast area of the archipelago which stretches over 5000km between Asia and Australia can cater to a large number of charter operations and is currently nowhere near saturation. Until recently, Indonesia (except for perennial favourite Bali) flew well under the radar as far as charter operations were concerned but today the archipelago is rapidly becoming recognised as a haven for those who truly want to stretch their sea legs and reach far horizons. Today islands in the archipelago such as Lombok, Komodo, Rinca, Flores and Sumbawa see regular charter traffic. In West Papua province the 1500 island archipelago of Raja Ampat which incorporates the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo boasts some of the best diving in the world where visibility and marine diversity is spectacular.

Northrop & Johnson’s offer an array of charter yachts, its Indonesian fleet including the 56m expedition motor yacht Salila (see our ONBOARD CHARTER section) and the 51m Dunia Baru. www.northropandjohnson.com

Luxury charter operator Camper & Nicholsons offer a range of yachts including the 65.2m luxury phinisi sailing yacht Lamima. www.camperandnicholsons.com

Burgess offers a range of contemporary superyachts for those wanting the ultimate in luxury charter experience such as the Mykonos

Burgess offers a range of contemporary superyachts for those wanting the ultimate in luxury charter experience such as the Mykonos

THE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO PLANNING AND BOOKING A YACHT CHARTER

Like any travel, research and preparation equates to a stress-free experience. And never is this more relevant than when planning your yacht charter. Of course the guests, locations and dates, not to mention budget are one’s immediate priority. But what about everything else? Once you’ve studied your map what’s the next step?

Call a broker

The main thing to remember about your yacht broker is he or she is an expert. They will have the latest detailed knowledge of a range of yachts, facilities, crew and cuisine, make the most of this enviable experience. They are, in essence, the broker between the client and the yacht owner. It is important to understand any charter agency can arrange the charter of any vessel, but if that yacht is not on their central books, arrangements might be a little more complicated. Not impossible, just requiring more time and paperwork.

Speaking of, it is the role of the yacht broker to do all the hard work for you, including sifting through contracts, costing food options, servicing and everything between. Meet the crew, sample the menu, if you are going to embark on a month-long luxury once-in-a-lifetime holiday, you need to make sure you get on with the crew and they get on with you. It is vital your broker knows exactly what you want out of your charter and who you want it to accommodate. For instance the layout of cabins and working laundry might be the main priority for a family, with parents wanting a separate retreat from children, and perhaps more deck space, watersport facilities. You might also want a crew adept to assisting with watching children and making family-friendly picnic’s and snacks.

If your charter is more formal perhaps this calls for a sophisticated yacht with specific interior requirements such as custom carpets, a museum of art, and a crew equipped at silver service dinner parties.

If you are keen on a sailboat, you will need to decide if you are seeking a winch-intensive performance cruiser-racer or a more sedate vessel with a powerful engine assisted by sails for sailing. And do you want to be involved in the sailing or sit back and take in the surroundings?

As a precaution always contact at least two brokers before deciding on the one that best meets your charter needs. There are many online resources to consult when making this decision, or contact a local travel agent who may be able to point you in the right direction. There are also a plethora of online blogs by regular charterers that makes not only for good reading, but good insight.

The itinerary

You have booked the charter, next step is deciding where to go and what to see. Of course your yacht broker is an expert in this field and can offer a medley of options depending on your interests and experience, but ensuring your charter is completely tailor-made is your responsibility, so do your research. Ensure you have all the relevant information regarding your destinations. Is there an appropriate dress code you should adhere to when visiting certain locations, cultural differences you need to prepare for, holidays you need to respect?

65m luxury sail yacht Lamima described as the most luxurious Indonesian Phinisi ever built

65m luxury sail yacht Lamima described as the most luxurious Indonesian Phinisi ever built

Preferences form

Depending on the yacht broker, once your charter has been confirmed you will receive the first lot of paperwork asking for your input on a range of decisions that need to be made. Completing this in absolute detail is paramount to ensuring your charter experience is exactly what you want. For instance, what you expect on your arrival, food and wine allergies or preparations, medical history, toys and tenders required, activities organised, even interior furnishings, music and multi-media preferences. Do you need high-speed internet access? Do you want a spa and professional masseuse on board? Diving instructor? Someone who can mix cocktails? Babysit and mash baby food? While it is the role of the yacht charter broker – in collaboration with the yacht captain – to ensure your exact requirements are met, it is you that has to feed them the right information.

Yacht Selection

Armed with your preferences form, you will be sent a range of brochures on yachts your broker feels meets your needs. These will be detailed in terms of aspects available on the yacht and price guides and breakdowns. But remember the quoted charter fee is only part of the cost you could end up paying. Do your research, the internet is a vast wonderland of information, look for yacht reviews on similar, or even the exact vessel you are considering. Do you want a yacht fit for a long live aboard period? Overnight? Expedition? Diving? Longer stint covering further distances? Do you want a motor yacht? A sailing yacht? Once you have decided ask your broker for its record of mechanical reliability, you also need to check it with relevant internationally recognised safety standards.

The Charter Agreement

The Charter Agreement is drafted and compiled by your broker and includes, like any other contract, details of each component of your chosen charter, including the yacht, dates, taxes, destinations, costs, and your preference form. There is a range of charter contracts used depending on your location; however, the information is broadly the same. The important thing to remember is that it is a legally binding contract so rescinding on any part, by either party, is subject to the law. The contract is usually signed by at least four people, the head of the charter party, the owner, a stakeholder, and the broker. It is during this process that first payment will be required which is generally about 50 percent of the fee but terms will be discussed with your charter broker beforehand.

Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA)

APA is in addition to the charter fee and covers the cost of fuel, food, activities arranged, costs associated with berthing in certain areas and other provisions. It amounts to around 25 percent of the charter fee cost. It would be wise to ask your broker about possible additional charges before the charter starts and at the end of the charter thoroughly go through the relevant invoices with the captain and your broker. As the APA is paid prior to the charter, the captain will be responsible for keeping a tab on what is spent and where, and inform the charter group if the APA purse needs a funds boost.

Final Payment

The final balance of the charter fee and the APA amount will be expected before the charter embarks. And depending on your yacht experience, it is always courteous, no matter what country, to tip your crew.

Charter insurance

Be prepared. Check whether the yacht’s insurance policy covers guests for Third Party Liability, loss of possessions and personal accidents. Any specific items not covered can then be insured privately. For instance, for guests with specific medical conditions, or if someone is injured in an area not equipped with adequate medical facilities costly medical evacuation might be needed. Make sure you are covered. Cancellation and curtailment insurance is also available at a cost of approximately 2.5 percent of the charter fee to cover a possible loss of the charter fee if the holiday has to be cancelled for unforeseen reasons.

Final Tips

1. Soft luggage is easier to store than hard suitcases
2. High heeled shoes and hard shoes in general are usually not allowed onboard
3. Very few boats allow smoking inside; if this is an issue speak to your broker
4. Oil-bases sunscreens should be avoided as they can stain material and teak surfaces
5. If you have the slightest problem with operating any of the yachts facilities, or have a complaint about anything relating to the yacht or crew speak immediately with the captain

Interior of the Lamima

Interior of the Lamima

LUXURY YACHT CHARTER COSTS EXPLAINED

Understanding the costs involved with yacht charter can be daunting, but if you do your homework you should be able to avoid the heart-stopping moment when you receive the bill. The two important things to understand are your base price and what you will be expected to pay on top of it. Do you want specific foods? Specific luxuries? Crew with specific capabilities? Your broker will be able to provide you with an accurate estimation of all the costs involved in advance.

Season

High and low season. The key is choose your times carefully, even changing dates by a week can make a huge difference to cost. In general, you’ll find two basic rates usually with specific dates set for each. In addition, you’ll find special events at certain times of the year – such as New Year’s Eve and Easter – have their own rates entirely.

The yacht

The yacht itself is the main factor in determining the charter cost. Like anything, you get what you pay for, and if you want a recently launched superyacht from a famed builder with experienced charter crew and all the trimmings, you pay for it.

Advance Provisioning Allowance

Rule of thumb is the charterer is charged for food and beverage, fuel, dockage and harbour fees, and miscellaneous expenses. Depending on how much fuel the yacht uses and how elaborate lunch and dinner service is, you can expect to add from 25 percent to 50 percent of your charter cost. Whatever the terms of your charter contract, you should understand the Advance Provisioning Allowance is sent to the yacht before the charter to provision the yacht according to your preferences. During the charter it is the role of the captain to provide a running account of expenditure, and, at the end of the charter, present a detailed record of receipts. As the APA is paid prior to the charter embarking the captain will inform the charter group if the balance runs low and needs a top up to cover the needs for the remainder of the charter.

Food and drink

Every charter yacht is slightly different. One may include a standard food and wine package as opposed to a premier package with an elite selection of wines served by a sommelier, to accompany food prepared by a Michelin-starred chef. While other yachts don’t include food and beverage packages at all. This cost is purely dependent on the food and beverages you want and how you want them served.

Fuel

Fuel cost is completely dependent on how much the yacht cruises and how fast, so when you are not using fuel you won’t be charged. Time spent at anchor will include the fuel for the generators, while shore-side electricity when at a dock is also an extra and don’t forget fuel is also charged for tenders and water toys.

Harbour fees and dockage

Harbour fees and dockage are dependent on location and season. Your broker should be able to accurately estimate this.

Communications

Satellite communications and Internet are costly, not to mention global roaming, but for some charterers, vital. Check how much it costs through your telephone company and broker.

Delivery fee

A delivery fee is usually charged if a charterer needs to board or depart a yacht at a different location from where the yacht is normally based.

Laundry

All the yacht laundry, including towels, sheets and table linens, is included in the charter fee but some yachts charge to launder personal items.

Insurance

One cost not directly related to the operation of the charter yacht is insurance for the charterer. Cancellation and curtailment insurance, namely, travel insurance, covers the charterer for the costs if unforeseen circumstances force a cancellation or shortening of the charter. Your charter broker can provide this insurance.

Tax

Charterers may be charged tax on the charter fees. Read the fineprint of the contract.

Made to measure

Anything that is specifically requested will be added to your bill. The level of expense is entirely up to the charterer.

Story Credits

Text by Steven Mallach and Simone Pitsis

This article was originally published in Yacht Style

Most expensive houses in the world: 5 residential streets only the richest can afford

Having an exclusive postal code is certainly desirable but being on the right street in the right city adds weight to the tried and tested mantra in property investment: location, location, location. From Hong Kong to Miami and the French Rivera, we take a look at the top five most expensive residential streets in the world.

1) Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong

Nestled amidst the greenery of Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak, Peak Road tops our list as the most expensive residential street in the world. Located at the summit of Hong Kong Island, properties along this prestigious address not only offer panoramic views of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong city skyline, but also provide a respite away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Just 15-minutes away from Central, properties on Peak Road average at $10,591 per sq. ft. Records were set for the Hong Kong property market when the 124,000 sq. ft. 75 Peak Road sold for HKD 5.1 billion ($657.7 million) last year.

2) Kensington Palace Gardens, London

London’s ‘Billionaire Row’ is a private, mansion-lined street that is home to the ultra-wealthy and various foreign embassies. Located next to Kensington Palace, average property values; though available properties are rare, cost GBP 42.6 million ($55.19 million). The most expensive property was a 16,500-sq. ft. mansion that sold for GBP 80 million ($124.23 million) to tycoon Wang Jianlin.istock_13481081_medium

3) Avenue Princesse Grace, Monaco

Situated in the glitzy city of Monaco, the Avenue Princesse Grâce, named after Hollywood legend Grace Kelly, is the most exclusive and expensive street in this tiny principality. Home to lavish seafront residences selling for $7,990 per square foot, the palm-tree-lined avenue has a slew of notable residents such as Andrea Bocelli, Lewis Hamilton, Roger Moore, and Helena Christensen. However, due to finite space, apartments and properties on the street are currently only available for rent.

4) Indian Creek Island Road, Biscayne Bay, Miami

Located in the exclusive island village of Indian Creek, Miami’s ‘Billionaire Bunker’ is the most expensive residential street in America, where massive waterfront estates average at a hefty $21.48 million. The 294-acre island consists of just 35 estates bordering a private 18-hole golf course, and is heavily protected by its own security force which guards all amenities. The most expensive property was sold for $47 million to a Russian buyer and boasts 13-bedrooms, a 3D theater, and a 7-limo garage!

5) Boulevard du General de Gaulle, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

Boasting spectacular views of the Mediterranean Côte d’Azur, Boulevard du Général de Gaulle is one of the priciest streets along the French Riviera, with luxurious beachfront villas costing $79,000 per sq. m. (USD 7,339.35 per sq. ft). Located in the prestigious Cap Ferrat (above), the boulevard is also home to iconic hotels such as the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat.

This article was first published in Palace Magazine. Palace Magazine is published by Lux-Inc.

Top 5 Billionaire Hotspot Cities 2016

In advance of the likely the first billionaire presidency of the USA, our friends at Palace Magazine looked at cities around the world that draw the most attention from the billionaire class. It is of course no surprise that Donald Trump’s home turf, New York City, is a magnet for the one-percenters but you might be surprised to learn that Beijing trumps Shanghai in the billionaire stakes.

New York City

Home to the world’s top financial centres like Wall Street and Silicon Alley, New York draws more moneymaking tycoons than anywhere else in the world, with 79 billionaires holding a combined net worth of $364.6 billion residing in the city. The city also hosts three of the world’s 10 richest people: industrialists Charles and David Koch, each worth $44.6 billion, and ex-New York City Mayor and media mogul Michael Bloomberg, worth $49.8 billion.

Hong Kong

Asia’s financial capital comes in second with 68 billionaire residents worth a combined $261.3 billion. A lover of luxury, Hong Kong has more Rolls-Royce automobiles per capita than anywhere else in the world, and is home to the most powerful figures in Asia: business magnate Sir Lee Ka-shing, ranked the second-wealthiest man in Asia with a net worth of $32.8 billion, and real estate tycoon Lee Shau-kee, worth $25.1 billion and ranked the second richest in Hong Kong.

Moscowistock_81868491_xxxlarge

The financial capital of the Russian Federation, Moscow has the third most number of billionaires in the world; 60 individuals worth a total of $217.6 billion. Moscow’s super-rich include various self-made commodity moguls such as gas and petrochemical magnate Leonid Mikhelson, Russia’s richest man, worth $16.5 billion, and oil and banking mogul Mikhail Fridman, worth $15.6 billion.

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Beijing, one of the world’s ancient capitals, comes in fourth with 51 billionaires worth a combined $149.9 billion. Its wealthiest residents include China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, worth $30 billion, as well as Jack Ma, worth $28.3 billion. Both Wang and Ma have recently invested in American entertainment firms, with Wang purchasing Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion, and Ma investing in several Hollywood blockbusters.

London

With a strong property market and a reputation as one of the world’s most glamorous cities, London remains an attractive destination for the super-wealthy (Brexit notwithstanding). The city counts 48 billionaire residents who boast a combined wealth of $187.7 billion. They include American businessman Len Blavatnik, worth $14.7 billion, and Indian-born businessmen Sri and Gopi Hinduja, worth $19.9 billion.

This article was first published in Palace Magazine.

Pioneers: Christie’s Hong Kong Asian Art Auction

Auction house Christie’s will hold an autumn sale titled ‘The Pioneers’ on 26 November at Hong Kong. The sale will be the first to commemorate notable contemporary Asian artists while also celebrating Christie’s 250th anniversary. 

Avid collectors will be able to get their hands on works of influential, avant-garde Asian artists from the 20th and 21st century, including Sanyu, Zao Wou-ki, Zhang Daqian, Wu Guanzhong, Lin Fengmian and Kim Whan-ki.

CHU TEH-CHUN (ZHU DEQUN, France/China, 1920-2014) VERTIGE NEIGEUX (SNOWY VERTIGO) Oil on canvas Each: 200 x 200 cm. (78 ¾ x 78 ¾ in.) (2) Overall: 200 x 400 cm. (78 ¾ x 157 ½ in.)

CHU TEH-CHUN (ZHU DEQUN, France/China, 1920-2014)
VERTIGE NEIGEUX (SNOWY VERTIGO)
Oil on canvas
Each: 200 x 200 cm. (78 ¾ x 78 ¾ in.) (2)
Overall: 200 x 400 cm. (78 ¾ x 157 ½ in.)

A number of the artists have actually lived abroad for some time of their lives, allowing them to blend their Eastern heritage with Western art techniques and philosophies, thus shaping an innovative art style.  

The cultural fusion is also reflected through the chosen auction venue of Hong Kong, which Rebecca Wei, president of Christie’s Asia, described as “a point of confluence between Western and Eastern philosophies”.

RYUZABURO UMEHARA (Japanese, 1888-1986) CANNES oil on canvas 129 x 95 cm. (50 ¾ x 37 ⅜ in.) Painted in 1961-1963 HK$ 10,000,000 - 16,000,000 US$ 1,285,400 - 2,056,600

RYUZABURO UMEHARA (Japanese, 1888-1986)
CANNES
oil on canvas
129 x 95 cm. (50 ¾ x 37 ⅜ in.)
Painted in 1961-1963
HK$ 10,000,000 – 16,000,000
US$ 1,285,400 – 2,056,600

Jonathan Stone, chairman of Asian Art at Christie’s, adds: “Hosting the sale in Hong Kong stays true to our continued belief in championing innovation and presenting on the world stage artist of the highest cultural and artistic accomplishment.”

‘The Pioneers’ sale will be held on 26 November 2016, at the James Christie’s Room, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, No. 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai.’

New In: Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2017

For the 2017 edition of Michelin Hong Kong Macau, four restaurants have nabbed two Michelin stars. Three of the newest additions – Kashiwaya, Ta Vie and Mizumi – serve Japanese cuisine. The fourth restaurant to be awarded those two stars is none other than Feng Wei Ju, which is well-known for its Sichuan and Hunan cuisine. There are now 19 two-starred dining establishments in the region.

“The Hong Kong market has stabilized, gained in quality, and maintained a very rich offering with 49 different cuisines listed in the guide this year,” said international director Michael Ellis in a statement.

“Over the past three years our inspectors have noted a real development in Japanese cuisine, with more and more Japanese chefs deciding to open branches of their existing Japanese gastronomic establishments. This phenomenon is reflected in the 2017 selection of the Michelin Guide.”

Ellis is referring to Osaka-based Kashiwaya, and Sushi Tokami, a one-starred restaurant which hails from Tokyo. All eight restaurants across the region maintained their three-star status.

Seven addresses in Hong Kong and three restaurants in Macau earned their first star this year, bringing the total in the area to 53 (41 in Hong Kong and 12 in Macau). This year’s Street Food category, which highlights the best street food vendors in the region to reflect the local food scene, features 21 addresses in Hong Kong and 12 in Macau.

The Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2017 is available in English and Chinese November 10.

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower Honored

Hong Kong Jockey Club Innovation Tower Honored

The Jockey Club Innovation Tower in Hong Kong has won the RIBA Award for International Excellence. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the building evokes movement and stands in stark contrast to its more conventional office building neighbors.

The Jockey Club Innovation Tower is home to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Design and the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation.

The tower’s interior and exterior courtyards create informal spaces to meet and interact, complementing the large exhibition forums, studios, theater and recreational facilities.

The 15-story, 15,000-square-meter tower accommodates more than 1,800 students and staff. For its fluidity and graceful curves, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan has been shortlisted for the RIBA International Prize.The winner will be announced in December.

Sanlorenzo 46Steel Superyacht: Hong Kong Debut

Within its Superyacht Division out of Hong Kong, Simpson Marine have sold their first Sanlorenzo 46Steel since becoming a dealer for Sanlorenzo Spa. Delivered to Hong Kong earlier this year, the superyacht will be based there for her owner’s to use for adventures around the region. Simpson Marine have gone on to sell a 460EXP and Sanlorenzo 106 since the sale of the initial 46Steel.

Boasting a spacious interior and spanning five decks, the 46-meter long 46Steel is a superyacht kitted out with all the creature comforts you can imagine. The Sanlorenzo 46Steel has space for 10 guests and nine crew, with a maximum speed of 17 knots. With such a generous offering of style and comfort, it was certainly no surprise that Simpson Marine was able to make its first and subsequent sales in the country.

This article was first published in Yacht Style.

For more information, visit Sanlorenzo and Simpson Marine.

Property Focus: 2-28 Scenic Villa Drive, Hong Kong

Scenic Villa Drive offers an unobstructed panoramic seaview maximized by large windows and big balcony. The development is located at tranquil Scenic Villa Drive in Hong Kong Island South. There are a number of low-rise luxurious residential developments in the vicinity.2-28-scenic-villa-drive-hong-kong-3

Travel time to Central is within 10 minutes. Hong Kong Cyberport, the ISF Academy and The Hong Kong University are just a short drive away. In addition, the frequent shuttle minibus HR88 provides convenient transport to Central.2-28-scenic-villa-drive-hong-kong-5

Unparalleled on Hong Kong Island’s south-side, marvel at the views with south facing aspect. The practical layout provides 90% efficiency in terms of living (usable) space, enhanced by the balcony’s approximately 38 feet of panoramic glass balustrade. The property is extremely rare and a genuine gem of combined spaces totalling more than 4,600 sq. ft.2-28-scenic-villa-drive-hong-kong-4

Huge living and dining rooms connect to the full seaview balcony, offering more than 1,000 sq. ft. of space. Master bedroom suite with boutique-style walk-in closet, Jacuzzi bathtub and sauna installed with fireplace and full marble in bathroom. Flexible and practical layout provides a further four bedrooms, study, library, family room, kid’s playroom and yoga dance area. Fully equipped kitchen with breakfast island and pantry for more than 400 sq. ft. Finally, there is ample storage space, wine cellars, laundry room and maid’s quarters.2-28-scenic-villa-drive-hong-kong-2

Price on application

This article was first published in Palace.

This property is managed by Alta Collection.

Property Focus: Duplex Penthouse, Century Tower, HK

A Scandinavian concept designer duplex penthouse with a 180-degree panoramic view of the entire Victoria Harbour resides majestically atop the prestigious mid levels estate.duplex-penthouse-century-tower-dining

This penthouse is situated below the fog-line. It is on a similar horizontal line with 28 Baker Road; yet this residence is just 10 mins away from Central.

Everything from the warm wooden walls to the floor design and cleverly installed glass fixtures on the stairway and balcony welcomes the family home from the hustle and bustle of the vibrant energy of the city.duplex-penthouse-century-tower-bedroom

The kitchen is spacious and generously proportioned, with state-of-the art Miele installations while the dinning hall sits comfortably next to the vast greenery on the mid levels.

All ensuite bedrooms are privately located on the upper floors and enjoy the cinematic view of the Victoria Harbour.duplex-penthouse-century-tower-master-bedroom

The penthouse comes with three carports, the closest ones to the elevators, and is one of the only two floors which have grand marble lobby.

Mail is delivered directly to each unit of the building, providing a high degree of privacy and a high status experience.duplex-penthouse-century-tower-balcony

Swimming pool, open park, gym room, free shuttle bus (to Central) are available.

Price on application
3 Ensuite bedrooms
5,130 sq.ft. (Gross Area)
4,082 sq.ft. (Saleable Area)

This property is managed by Alta Collection.

This article was published in Palace Magazine.

Serenity Peak. Hong Kong

Property Focus: Serenity Peak, Hong Kong

Located in the scenic Clear Water Bay Peninsula, on the east coast of Hong Kong, Serenity Peak showcases the finest expression of luxury. With the beautiful sea view as a backdrop, these four rare residences are European inspired, establishing an elaborated aesthetic and timeless elegance.chinachem-group-serenity-peak-6

House A and D are inspired by Palladian architecture, whereas House B and C feature a design inspired by French Château. Developed by The Chinachem Group, each home features four ensuite bedrooms, a swimming pool, two-car garage and between 2,343-2,561 sq.ft of space.Serenity Peak. Hong Kong

Price on application

For more information on the property, visit Serenity Peak.

This article was first published in Palace.

Tung Shan Terrace

Property Focus: Tung Shan Terrace, HK

Tung Shan Terrace offers great unobstructed views of the city and part of the Happy Valley racecourse. Open and spacious, this two-bedroom apartment with an adjacent study and a private terrace is ideal for a couple or a family with taste.Tung Shan Terrace

Lighting and wall fixtures, furnishing and fittings are in neutral colors. Large windows make every room naturally bright. The kitchen is open plan to the living and dining room comes with high-end appliances including a built-in western oven, microwave, and a large fridge.Tung Shan Terrace

The dining table is set to serve six people, as pictured above. Bathrooms have been well maintained. Sit and chat on your large terrace with friends and marvel at the beautiful views of Midlevels & Happy Valley.

Price HKD 19.8 Million ($2.55 Million)

This article was first published in Palace.

Review: Waterfront Bungalow, Repulse Bay

Situated at the waterfront of Repulse Bay, the house enjoys stunning seaview over Repulse Bay Beach. The property is peacefully elevated above the junction of Repulse Bay and Island Road, a spectacular site overlooking Middle Island and Deep Water Bay.repulse-bay-hong-kong-stairs

The Hong Kong Golf Club, Hong Kong Country Club, the Aberdeen Tunnel and the excellent shopping and dining facilities of Repulse Bay, are all within a few minutes drive. This spacious 3,462 sq. ft. residence offers ample living space that comes with ornate features and unobstructed grand view over Repulse Bay Beach.repulse-bay-hong-kong-restroom

With a classy foyer and a sophisticated interior scheme, this elegant home provides a separated living and dining room, connected to 358 sq. ft. roof terrace ideal for barbecue. A well-equipped island kitchen, a state-of-art nautilus-shaped staircase leading to three spacious bedrooms with boutique-style closet & Jacuzzi bath tub in the master bathroom (original layout for 4 bedrooms), ample storage space and two side by side car parks.

This article was first published in Palace.

Christie's Auction Sells 19th-Century Wine

Christie’s Auction Sells 19th-Century Wine

Christie’s Hong Kong’s latest vintage wine auction last Saturday saw some 2,000 bottles of vintage French burgundy wine from the storied Maison Bouchard Pere et Fils go under the hammer, its oldest bottle dating all the way from 1864.

From the Meursault-Charmes region, the 1864 vintage sold for HKD134,750 ($17,451) to an undisclosed bidder, far exceeding a top-ranged estimate of HKD80,000. As the oldest bottle in the Bouchard cellars, the wine boasts a pale golden color and a honeyed character.

“Early examples of Burgundy like those presented in the sale are extremely rare, with 16 bottles in our sale dating from the 19th century. The strong results from today’s sale, reflect how Burgundy wines continue to be avidly collected in the (Asian) region,” said Tim Triptree, senior specialist and head of sales for Christie’s wine department.

Another notable vintage, a 1865 Montrachet, also sold for HKD196,000, a price tag much more than the top range estimate of HKD60,000. The remarkable results come after Hong Kong’s abolishment of duties on wine imports in 2008, which made it a gateway to a prosperous wine market in mainland China. An austerity drive in China initially caused wariness in bagging high-end bottles amongst officials, but the market has since picked up.

Gilles de Larouziere, president of the Henriot wine group, which owns Maison Bouchard, had previously said the sale was taking place in Hong Kong because of “extraordinary enthusiasm for great French wines”.

Maison Bouchard Pere et Fils’ vineyards cover grounds spanning 130 hectares, of which 12 produce grand cru wines and 74 grow second-ranking premier crus. Currently helmed by the Henriot family of Champagne since 1995, the French wine producer was originally founded in 1731 and has a collection of around 150,000 bottles to date.

Find out more about the wines on auction via an interview with Christian Albouy, CEO of Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils.

 

9 Asian Sailing Hotspots 2016

Sailing is not something new on the Asian sporting events calendar, and nor is recreational boating. The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club traces its history back to 1826, and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club was founded in 1849. Today, sailing and yacht racing are well-developed sports in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Indonesia, the Philippines, China, South Korea and Taiwan can fairly be called ‘emerging’ when it comes to sailing.

In the 19th century, sailing was the exclusive preserve of the colonial expatriate communities of the big trading cities – principally Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. Today’s sporting landscape is a great deal more cosmopolitan, with nationals as well as ‘foreigners’ filling the membership lists of the clubs, and government initiatives helping to drive the grass-roots development of sailing as a sport, starting with youth programs and going on right up to Olympic participation.

NEP13_0732At the bigger end of the scale – the ocean-capable racing boats – Asia boasts a plethora of regattas that together constitute an informal ‘circuit’ stretching from the west coast of Thailand all the way across to the Philippines, and attracting international competitors from all over the world – hardly surprising when ‘dressed for sailing’ in this part of the world usually means shorts and t-shirts rather than heavy duty foul weather clothing!

Most recently, Asia has played host to a number of the world’s most highly visible professional sailing events. The Volvo Ocean Race has visited Singapore and China, and will stop over in Hong Kong during its next iteration. Malaysia and South Korea have hosted World Match Racing Tour events, and the Clipper Around the World Race has been to Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Indonesia. And don’t forget the Olympic Regatta at Qingdao in 2008.

Among the Asian nations, China has made the biggest impact on the Olympic scene, with two gold medals in consecutive Games. Hong Kong boasts just one, and the rest of the roll call have none although Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are regular qualifiers. Predictably enough, different countries and places display different strengths when it comes to sailing.

HONG KONGCCR15_2206

Historically speaking, Hong Kong has long been the epicenter of sailing and yacht racing in Asia. The China Sea Race, Asia’s ‘blue water classic’ from Hong Kong to the Philippines, has been a fixture on the calendar for over 50 years, and the number of races organized by Hong Kong’s principal yacht clubs in the course of a year is counted in the thousands. ‘Class’ boats such as Flying Fifteens, Etchells and Dragons make up big numbers for racing in Victoria Harbour, along with many top-end racing yachts and a huge number of cruisers and cruiser-racers. Boats from all the yacht clubs are welcome at each other’s regattas, and the sailing season is practically year-round. Many racing boats head south and west each year to participate in major regattas and races in Thailand and Malaysia.

Hong Kong’s biggest operational problem is lack of moorings – all the existing marinas are fully occupied and have been for many years, and there are no viable plans for new marinas under consideration.

The principal sailing clubs are the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Hebe Haven Yacht Club, Aberdeen Boat Club, Tai Po Boat Club, Lantau Boat Club, Discovery Bay Boat Club and the HK Hobie Fleet. Sail training and learn-to-sail courses are offered by almost all the clubs, and also at Government-run sailing centers. The governing body for sailing is the Hong Kong Sailing Federation, the Member National Authority where the big ticket items such as the Olympics are concerned, and the national body for training sailing athletes is the Hong Kong Sports Institute which currently designates sailing as an ‘elite’ sport, meaning that national funding is available for the development of Olympic and World Championship campaigns.CCR14_1343

Club-organized regattas and racing series include the China Coast Regatta, Spring and Autumn Regattas and the Top Dog Trophy series of pursuit races, and the Hong Kong to Hainan Race, all run by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHYC). Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s principal event is the Typhoon Series run on alternate weekends throughout each summer, the Port Shelter Regatta and a number of Saturday-afternoon series’ all through the year. It also includes in its annual program a 24hr Charity Dinghy Race, and offers sail training courses throughout the year. The Aberdeen Boat Club (ABC) organizes racing on the south side of Hong Kong, including the Waglan Series, and both the ABC and RHKYC have substantial dinghy and sail training operations from their alternate clubhouses at Middle Island (Tong Po Chau). All the Clubs’ courses range from Beginner to Racing Clinics levels.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Government operates five public watersports centres, offering a multitude of certification courses in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, dinghy racing and more.

Hong Kong is a fabulous place for sailing: it has an extensive and beautiful coastline, with sheltered waters as well as areas of feistier breeze. It’s hot in the summer, but never cold enough in the winter to stop the enthusiasts from getting out on the water. In fact, the only time that sailing gets shut down is when a T3 (or higher) typhoon signal keeps everyone ashore for reasons of safety and insurance.

In 2018 Hong Kong will welcome the Volvo Ocean Race to Victoria Harbour. With government backing, a visit from one of most important events in the sailing world will undoubtedly provide encouragement across the board for all sailors in Hong Kong, big and large alike.

Clubs, Marinas and Sailing Associations

• Hong Kong Sailing Federation www.sailing.org.hk

• Government Watersports Centres www.lcsd.gov.hk/watersport

• Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club www.rhkyc.org.hk

• Hebe Haven Yacht Club www.hhyc.org.hk

• Aberdeen Boat Club www.abclubhk.com

• Aberdeen Marina Club www.aberdeenmarinaclub.com

• Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club Marina www.cwbgolf.org

• Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club www.gcycc.com.hk

• Club Marina Cove www.clubmarinacove.com

• Discovery Bay Marina www.dbmarinaclub.com

THAILANDPKC14_2110

The area around Phuket and Phang Nga Bay on the west coast of Thailand is one of the premier cruising areas of Asia, and is making concerted efforts to attract international superyacht traffic from Europe and beyond, with the intention of becoming both the hub of the charter industry in, and the gateway to, Asia.

Thais have long been enthusiastic sailors, mostly because the King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumiphol Adulyadej, was once a sailor. As a young man he built his own dinghies, sailed across the Gulf of Thailand, and won a sailing gold medal in the South East Asia Peninsula Games in 1967. His daughter came second.

On the west coast of Thailand, from Phuket to Langkawi (Malaysia), and a sprinkling of islands provides delightful cruising grounds, and Phang Nga Bay is world-famous for its spectacular karst islands and ‘hong’ formations. Think James Bond Island, in The Man with the Golden Gun. Further afield, Phuket constitutes a convenient jumping-off point for cruisers wishing to visit the Mergiu Archipelago (Burma), the Andaman Island and Nicobar Islands (India), the Similan Islands (Thailand) or the west coast of Sumatra (Indonesia) for some of the best and most secluded surfing on the planet.

On the other side of the Kra Peninsular, high spots in the Gulf of Thailand are Koh Samui and Koh Phangan and their surrounding marine sanctuary, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club and Ocean Marina Yacht Club at Pattaya and Jomtien Beach, respectively, and the tropical idylls of Koh Chang and Koh Kut down towards the border with Cambodia.PKC14_1094

Thailand presents five major international regattas each year:

• Phuket King’s Cup, held in December in celebration of His Majesty’s birthday

• Phuket Raceweek, a ‘green season’ regatta in July each year and intended to take advantage of the summer southwest monsoon winds

• Bay Regatta – “a party on the move” – in Phang Nga Bay

• Top of the Gulf Regatta at Na Jomtien, which includes the Thailand Optimist National Championships and the Coronation Cup (another Royal occasion)

• Koh Samui Regatta – complete with coconut trophies, Brazilian dancing girls, plenty of breeze, and the splashiest closing dinner of them all.

The majority of the big boats in Thailand are owned and raced by expatriates, but at the smaller end of the scale there is a hotbed of talent in the Optimist and dinghy classes just waiting to shine. Noppakorn Poonpat (THA) won the Optimist World Championships at 20, and there are plenty of successors waiting to step into her shoes. The Thai Optimist Nationals is one of the hardest-fought of the regional championships, with (this year) 140 entries.TOG14_0068

The national authority, the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT), is largely the preserve of retired Admirals from the Royal Thai Navy (and the RTN turns out every year to take the salute at the Phuket King’s Cup Sail-Past). Phuket, Koh Samui, Ocean Marina and the naval base at Sattahip are the principal centers for teaching young sailors.

Little-known fact: the Platu 25, designed by Bruce Farr in the early 1990s, was created for the waters and weather conditions of the Gulf of Thailand. A syndicate of local sailors commissioned the ‘pla-tu’ which means ‘mackerel’ in Thai.

Clubs, Marinas and Sailing Associations

• Yacht Racing Association of Thailand www.yrat.or.th

• Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Chonburi, Pattaya www.varuna.org

• Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Chonburi, Pattaya www.oceanmarina.asia

• Yacht Haven Phuket www.yacht-haven-phuket.com

• Boat Lagoon Phuket www.phuketboatlagoon.com

• Phuket Cruising Yacht Club www.phuketcruisingyachtclub.org

SINGAPOREX4013_0254

Singapore is home to the oldest yacht club in Asia – the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club (RSYC), formerly the Royal Singapore Yacht Club, and founded in 1826. Situated at the southern end of Malaysia, Singapore is said to preside over the busiest commercial waterway in the world, and this has become a matter of import in recent years.

RSYC has its own facilities and marina, and so does Raffles Marina and the Singapore Armed Forces Yacht Club (SAFYC). The last sailing center in Singapore is the Changi Sailing Club, seemingly always under some sort of threat of redevelopment, but still alive and kicking today.

In 1923 RSYC became the guardian of the Lipton Challenge Cup, awarded to the Club by Sir Thomas Lipton. In recent years this was awarded to the aggregate winner of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta and the Singapore Straits Regatta. The latter event has fallen by the wayside as the Marine & Ports Authority of Singapore has imposed ever-more draconian restrictions on the operations of pleasure vessels, and particularly sailing yachts. Sadly, the Lipton Cup is now housed in the Singapore Sports Museum.Photo-By-Donovan-Ho-22

The top event in Singapore is now a mixed fleet regatta, the Western Circuit, organized by the Singapore Management University – a very active collection of students and alumni – and hosted by Raffles Marina. The Neptune Regatta is a small fleet that sails and races from Nongsa Point Marina in Batam to Pulau Sikeling in the Riau Archipelago. Technically this all takes place within Indonesia, but in reality it is a ‘Singapore’ event.

If big boats and club racing has waned in recent years, the activities of the government-supported Singapore Sailing Association goes from strength to strength. Sailing is a sport now on the school curriculum, and every year thousands of young people are introduced to the sport, sailing Optimist and Topper dinghies and maybe moving on to the 420 and Olympic 470 and Laser classes. Singapore has been a multiple medal winner at many sailing youth championships, and hosted the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010. Eight Singaporeans have qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Unfortunately, the young sailors don’t seem to graduate to bigger boats. Governmental initiatives are geared towards producing junior champions and hopefully Olympic medals, and the grown-up version of racing sailing is not on the agenda.

Singapore, which hosted an event in the Extreme Sailing Series for five years, also entertained the Clipper Around the World Race and the Volvo Ocean Race. There are world-class facilities in the shape of ONE˚15 Marina at Sentosa Cove (home to Asia’s number one boat show, the Singapore Yacht Show) and Marina at Keppel Bay. Singapore has the facilities, but not the space in which to sail. A country that once fielded teams for the Admiral’s Cup, can do so no longer.

Clubs, Marinas and Sailing Associations

• Singapore Sailing Federation www.sailing.org.sg

• Changi Sailing Club www.csc.org.sg

• Raffles Marina www.rafflesmarina.com.sg

• Republic of Singapore Yacht Club www.rsyc.org.sg

• ONE˚15 Marina Club www.one15marina.com

• Marina at Keppel Bay www.marinakeppelbay.com

MALAYSIARMR15_0941

Malaysia boasts long coastlines on the west and the east of the country, peppered with historic towns and beautiful beaches, and sprinkled with jewel-like islands that make it a playground for the cruising sailor.

The west coast of Malaysia is 400nm from north to south, and includes the fabulous archipelago of Langkawi, historic Penang (“The Pearl of the Orient”), picturesque Pangkor and the beautiful old city of Malacca – which, along with Penang, is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Throw in a plethora of beautiful beaches, the blessing of equable tropical weather, and just ‘go sailing’. Pulau Tioman is the star of Malaysia’s east coast, and then the Anambas Islands if you are prepared to sail 130nm or so offshore.

Across the South China Sea there is the north coast of Borneo – the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak are Malaysia, too. This is known as ‘The Land Below the Wind’ on account of the lack of typhoons this far south, and here the attraction for sailors is not so much sandy beaches but history (Kuching), mountaineering (Mt Kinabalu) and the culture of the littoral Dayak tribes.

The national authority for sailing is the Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA), based in Kuala Lumpur, and operating a major dinghy training centre in Langkawi, which is popular with international visitors for training camps. The MSA also organizes the Liga Layar, a national match racing series.

Langkawi is very much the de facto center of sailing in Malaysia. It has three major marinas (Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Rebak Marina Resort and Telaga Harbour) and is close to the border with Thailand, making the island’s Duty Free status very attractive to passers-by heading north, and also to boats voyaging south from Phuket in order to stock up on everything from gin to fuel. The Youth World Sailing Championships were held in Langkawi in early 2016, based out of the MSA facility.RMR15_3338

The principal private clubs in Malaysia are the Royal Selangor Yacht Club at Port Klang, which organizes the annual Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta, and the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, home of the Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR). Both events attract entries of around 30 big boats. The ‘Raja Muda’ is a peripatetic affair featuring both coastal passage and in-port racing, travelling from Port Klang to Langkawi. It is a difficult and exhausting event over the space of a week – the sailing can be tough, but you need additional stamina for the social side of the event! The RLIR is an in-port event conducted amongst the fairy tale islands of Langkawi, but it is a one-off yearly event – the only other time in a year that racing takes place is when the Raja Muda fleet arrives. There are yacht clubs at Kinabalu (Sabah) and Piasau (Sarawak), as well as Tawau and Sandakan on the east coast of Borneo, but these are places to visit rather than establishments that organise regattas and racing.

In common with other SE Asian countries, the governmental initiative in Malaysia is geared towards youth development, dinghy sailing, and the eternal search for an Olympic medal. The Optimist class is strong all round the country, and sends young competitors to international events, but in common with other Asian countries, that’s as far as it goes – most governments, with the possible exception of Thailand – have not yet woken up to the huge economic potential offered by the promotion of sailing, boating, marine tourism and the full development of a leisure marine industry. Sailing in Malaysia does however benefit from the active participation of the Royal Malaysian Navy which owns and runs two 47’ racing boats, and the cooperation of the Royal Malaysian Police who provides exceptional backup services and materiel for major international big boat events.

The big boats and the clubs and events that they visit are pretty much self-sufficient. Training programmes to IYT certification are offered by Sail Training Malaysia (Pulau Indah Marina, Port Klang), and Asian Yachting Ventures at Port Dickson signs off on Asian Coastal and Yachtmaster courses.

Clubs, Marinas and Sailing Associations

• Malaysian Sailing Association sailmalaysia.org

• Royal Selangor Yacht Club www.rsyc.com.my

• Sebana Cove Resort & Marina, Johor Bahru www.sebanacoveresort.com

• Royal Langkawi Yacht Club www.langkawiyachtclub.com

• Telaga Harbour Park & Marina, Langkawi www.telagaharbour.com

• Rebak Marina Resort, Langkawi www.rebakmarina.com

• Sutera Harbour Marina, Sabah www.suteraharbour.com

CHINASAN12_0028

When China decides to get involved in something, they don’t do it by halves. In the case of sailing, that has meant an America’s Cup entry, a Volvo Ocean Race team, and any number of lavish-looking marinas constructed on the principle of “build it and they will come,” but more likely to be a marketing ‘hook’ for a surrounding property development. The encouragement of sailing often appears to be a ‘top down’ rather than a ‘bottom-up’ endeavour.

The most visible regatta in China is the China Cup International Regatta. This four-day event has a number of one-design divisions that includes a fleet of 30 Beneteau 40.7 yachts that can be chartered, as well as IRC racing divisions, but the top level Grand Prix boats are still missing. There are a number of other regattas, some on lakes and some on rivers, as well as a growing interest in match racing that is engaging sailors at the grass roots level. The China Club Challenge Cup is probably the most ‘genuine’ of the China regattas.

China still lacks a coherent, federal-scale, policy concerning leisure and pleasure boats. Until the day comes that you can confidently write “Private Yacht” on the registration application, and until you can sail out of Xiamen and back into Fujian knowing that the regulations are the same in both places, any development of a marine leisure culture will remain stalled, despite the excellent sporting example of two gold medals in successive Olympics.

The most visible yacht clubs in China do not necessarily have much to do with sailing.

Clubs and Sailing Associations

• China Yachting Association sailboarding.sport.org.cn

• Shanghai Boat and Yacht Club www.shanghaibyc.org

• Iron Rock Sailing Club, Xiamen www.ironrocksailing.com

INDONESIANEP13_0729

Indonesia is practically the definition of ‘archipelago’, and is making itself felt in the luxury charter market as an exotic destination. Komodo dragons and the Spice Islands beckon. For divers there is the Coral Triangle and the Raja Ampat, the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on the planet, and the Wallace Line, separating the ecology of the old world from Australasia,cuts through the middle of the country.

Indonesia hosts the Sail Indonesia Rally each year, with boats coming up from Australia, passing through the archipelago east to west by a different route every time, and then moving on towards Malaysia.

The Neptune Regatta departs Nongsa Point (directly opposite Singapore) and does a sort of ‘racing adventure cruise’ to the Equator and back every year – on the chart it’s an Indonesian event, but it is all Singapore-organized. There’s very little local recreational sailing going on, with the exception of the famous Sandeq Race for the local fishing boats along the west coast of Sulawesi. The Indonesia Sailing Federation regularly manages to get a qualifier into the Olympics.

Clubs and Sailing Associations

• Indonesian Sailing Federation

• Jakarta Offshore Sailing Club

• Nongsa Point Marina, Batam www.nongsapointmarina.com

• Sail Indonesia www.sailindonesia.net

THE PHILIPPINESPCC12_0936

In the 1990s there was a flourishing sailing scene based around the Manila Yacht Club (MYC), Flying 15s, Dragons, and a fair collection of big boats. In 1994 the Philippine Easter Regatta attracted a 60-strong fleet that raced from Manila to Corregidor, and then on to Subic Bay. The MYC used to be the finish line for the China Sea Race, and many a salty tale was expanded over the bar on Roxas Boulevard. Glory days indeed.

Then the MYC stopped organizing races, the few remaining sailing members decamped to Subic Bay, and everything fizzled out by degrees. The biggest active club in the Philippines is now the Puerto Galera Yacht Club, which very deliberately does not take itself too seriously.

The Commodores’ Cup at Subic attracts 6-8 boats only, even when the China Sea fleet has just arrived – and departed. The Boracay Cup (preceded by the Subic-Boracay Race) should be the jewel in the glittering tropical crown, but rarely attracts more than a handful of entries

Clubs and Sailing Associations

• Philippines Sailing Association www.philsailing.com

• Puerto Galera Yacht Club www.pgyc.org

• Subic Sailing subicsailing.org

TAIWAN

It is only recently that people in Taiwan have been allowed to set foot on a beach. Fishermen went fishing, but the coastline was off-limits to all non-military personnel. There has been an entirely successful sailing and motor yacht building industry in the Kaohsiung area for three decades, producing boats that were strictly for export. Only.

With the easing of coastal regulations, a couple of small regattas have sprung up, organized by the Taiwan Sailing Association. The Penghu Regatta takes place in the delightful Penghu Islands in the Taiwan Strait, a place with plenty of wind that has long been popular with windsurfers from all over the world. The inaugural Taiwan Boat Show was a sell-out, and the second one (in March) followed suit. Brokers report good business. Watch this space.

Clubs and Sailing Associations

• Taiwan Sailing Association www.taiwansail.org

• Chinese Taipei Sailing Association www.sail-clubs.com

SOUTH KOREAPEN14_0420

The west coast provides challenging conditions for sailing – coastal mudflats for hundreds of miles when the 10m tide goes out. The east coast consists mostly of small squid-fishing villages. The south coast, from Mokpo to Busan via Jeju Island, is beautiful but with the exception of the Olympic Marina (1988) at Busan, ‘undeveloped’ in sailing terms.

Provincial authorities kick started the Korea International Boat Show in 2008, and inaugurated the WMRT Korea Match Cup in the same year. The Wangsan Marina near Incheon, was built for the 2014 Asian Games regatta, and was intended to become a public marina with amenities and services catering to domestic as well as international boaters.

A small number of races venture offshore: there’s one to Ulleung-do and Dok-do to the east of Korea, and one from Mokpo to Jeju if the weather permits. There’s an Admiral’s Cup regatta in Busan, and the Women’s International Match Racing Association has also been there.

‘Boating culture’ has been slow to develop in Korea, in spite of government initiatives to stimulate interest. Leisure time is a relatively new commodity in this hard-working country and, rather like China, Korea might do well to start at the bottom and work upwards, rather than the other way round.

Sailing Association

• Korea Sailing Federation www.ksaf.org

HK Loses Luxury Watch Crown to USA

After years of being the official global luxury wristwatch sales leader, Hong Kong is relinquishing its crown to the US. In a statement last week, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) announced that exports to Hong Kong fell 33% to CHF174.8 million. Exports to the US also fell but only by 14.7%, which was enough for it to overtake Hong Kong, with CHF178.5 million. To put that in perspective, the global decline in Swiss watch exports is just 11.1% in the current year till end July. Incidentally, 2015 was the first year that Swiss luxury watch exports registered a contraction since the financial crisis of 2009.

It is the first time Hong Kong has fallen off the top spot in almost a decade (the last time was 2008). By way of contrast, bucking an overall slump affecting every country from Singapore to Japan, exports to the UK and Italy rose by 13% and 9.9%. Brexit has evidently been good for watch retailers, well, the retreating Sterling has anyway, while the Italians have always been reliable buyers of big ticket watches.

The top 10 countries that imported Swiss luxury watches (for the month of July 2016) are listed below, with data courtesy of the FH.

  • 1. USA (CHF178.5 million)
  • 2. Hong Kong (CHF174.8 million)
  • 3. Italy (CHF123.4 million)
  • 4. Japan (CHF112.8 million)
  • 5. France (CHF110.5 million)
  • 6. United Kingdom (CHF110.2 million)
  • 7. China (CHF107.1 million)
  • 8. Germany (CHF89.3 million)
  • 9. Singapore (CHF83.7 million)
  • 10. UAE (CHF70.6 million)