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deTour 2023, PMQ Annual Design Festival, Promotes the Spirit of Traditional Craftsmanship Through A Brand-New Design Discovery of “New Know How”

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HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 8 November 2023 – Hong Kong’s annual design festival, deTour 2023, presented by PMQ and sponsored by Create Hong Kong (Create HK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, will take place from 24th November to 3rd December 2023.

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Held at the historic site, PMQ in Central, the 10-day detour design festival will present an array of programmes that engage designers and the creative community to experience the power of design and its impact on our daily lives. Highlights will include large-scale installations and exhibitions, workshops, design talks, film screenings, guided tours and more. This year also heralds the 10th anniversary of deTour organised by PMQ under CreateHK’s sponsorship. On this occasion, the festival will take visitors through the journey of time to revisit precious moments and iconic installations that witnessed deTour’s growth in the past golden decade.

‘New Know How’ – Crafting Design Future
The theme of deTour 2023 is ‘New Know How’. It invites the participants to rethink the values behind age-long traditional crafts, and how the spirit of craftsmanship, characterized by attentiveness, precision, a strong sense of human touch, can be applied in design to help the design profession break away from the existing frames, generate new ideas and methodologies with new perspectives, knowledge and experience, which the curators term it “New Know How”. This “New Know How” will help shape the development course of the design industry, and transform it into a ‘New Craft’ which propels social and economic growth.

Shin Wong has been the mastermind behind deTour since 2015. This year, Shin teams up with the Founder and Director of Milk Design, Chi-wing Lee, Product Designer and Community Interaction Planner, Kay Chan Wan Ki, and Creative Duo, STICKYLINE, comprising Mic Leong and Soilworm Lai to present a refreshing edition of deTour, which invites participants to appreciate the traditional values of crafts, and examine how such values can re-shape the future path of the design profession, one that benefits the public and communities at large.

Interpreting Craftsmanship with Five New Perspectives
Exhibitions and Installations are always the highlights of the deTour each year. In the upcoming edition, the curators will bring together a selection of 20 exhibitions and installations from around the world, including Hong Kong, Japan, and The Netherlands.

In order for the visitors to better appreciate the design, the curators will group the installations and exhibitions under 5 distinct categories. In each category, we will learn about how design can be applied to bring out the values of traditional craft. The 5 categories are New Value, Innovation, Craft Enhancement, Heritage and Storytelling.

1. New Value
Effective design is not only a demonstration of traditional craftsmanship but also its potential to introduce new perspectives and possibilities to modern life and offer new values. Design is not only about aesthetics but presentation as well. By fusing traditional craftsmanship with new values, design can go beyond standard frameworks to create uniquely engaging products and solutions.

For deTour 2023, BIOBASED CREATIONS, a Dutch-based creative studio will present the project ‘Craft By Nature’ under deTour’s International Collaboration category. This large-scale installation will portray a house turned inside out. By walking around the house, visitors will discover furniture and objects that are made of natural materials, such as plants, which are also displayed in the garden section nearby. The project invites all the ponder on the use of biobased materials and the issue of sustainability in favor of environmental protection. Toy creators Nice Geeks will feature a nostalgic look-back to Hong Kong in the 1960s when soft vinyl toys were popular, through their work “CTRL+C/ CTRL+V”. This exhibition will reinterpret a new value of toy design by combining artistic elements with traditional soft vinyl toy-making techniques, attempting to revitalise the trend of hand-made toys in this modern era.

Lastly, as a reflection of Hong Kong’s food culture, where traditional practices and local resources seamlessly blend with innovative creations, designers Lui Ka Chun and Cam Wong will present “Together We AppreciEAT”. Together they will share with the visitors Hong Kong’s food culture, and the stories behind local foodstuff through a specially designed and decorated dining table and materials.

2. Innovation
The application of new technology in traditional craftsmanship not only prolongs the lifecycles of products, but it can also give craft items a new look and feel, new functions and a longer life span while retaining the traditional values.

Designers Arthur Cheung, Carolyn Tam, and Yvonne Wong contemplate an environmental issue in their joint project “Future Soil”: “Humans cultivate the land for their crops, but what happens when the land becomes barren?” “Future Soil” is a project that explores the relationship between nature and digital design from a fresh new perspective by integrating computer programming with floral artistry via digital fabrication. In this exhibition, they will present an environment fit for healthy plant growth without the need for soil.

Japanese tatami mats used to be indispensable household items. However, in recent years, the young generations have preferred modern interior styles and decorations, resulting in the demand and popularity of tatami mats. To reinvigorate tatami mats, Japan-based HONOKA and its “TATAMI ReFAB PROJECT” upcycles tatami mats and materials made of biodegradable plastics via 3D printing technology to emphasise the beauty of its design and its ability to carry on through future generations. In deTour 2023, the team will display household items that are made of recycled tatami materials.

Meanwhile, Studio RYTE has been focusing on the climate crisis, and trying to find solutions in environmental and functional areas in the last five years. Its project “Plant Matter” explores the potential use of plant-based fibres as a sustainable alternative and experiments with local plants to replace linen fibres. In deTour 2023, Stduio RYTE will display the experimental furnitures that are made with local plants in Hong Kong, accentuating the aesthetic and practical values.

3. Craft Enhancement
Design not only plays a vital role in helping traditional crafts pass on, but it also helps improve crafts in order for them to meet the ever-changing customer demand. Many designers learn different kinds of crafts in person, record the production steps in detail, and apply design methodologies to improve these age-old industries, in terms of production methods and applications, etc.

Hong Kong-based designer Dylan Kwok is a class example. He learned the art of making a bird cage with the last bamboo bird cage maker in Hong Kong, Master Chan Lok Choi. Kwok believes that understanding the fine details behind the production process is the key to continuing the tradition of making bamboo bird cages. Presenting a series of design works in “Bird/Cage/Twist”, Kwok will showcase his newly acquired skills that demonstrate the core techniques of bamboo birdcage making, including bamboo cutting, bamboo weaving of the cage’s base, and bamboo binding, all while incorporating his design ethos that creates a uniquely creative style.

4. Heritage
Design transforms, and gives new life and meaning to existing heritage. Through design, we are able to appreciate buildings or establishments, tangible or non-tangible, with a new perspective, and appreciate the way they impact our modern life.

Sheung Shui’s Kwu Tung is widely known as the ‘Soy Sauce Village’ of Hong Kong. Many long-standing traditional ‘Made in Hong Kong’ soy sauce factories have witnessed the rapid development of the district in recent years. In the face of the government’s developmental projects and the imminent relocation by the end of the Year 2024, how to preserve the industry and retain the collective memory of “Made in Hong Kong” has come under the spotlight. The New Beans team will attempt to provide a solution by introducing the idea of soy sauce making in an urban building unit. PMQ will arrange a space for the team to present a simplified process of soy sauce making. With this, the team will share their ideas with the visitors about the feasibility of this idea and invite all to find a solution together.

Meanwhile, the Cheung Chau Theatre, a listed Grade III Historial Building with a history of over 90 years, has been an iconic symbol of the Cheung Chau community for many years. Creator Jason Gu Jia Cheung documented the current state of the theatre through 3D photogrammetric modeling and archaeological drawings in his work, “Alive Archive: Reveal the Past, Present and Future of Cheung Chau Theatre”. Through design, Jason Gu has brought back the old Cheung Chau Theatre to life via his vivid model, which is supplemented by detailed information and materials such as reproduction of theatre tickets, and he will showcase all these materials in the design festival.

5. Storytelling
We all have objects that we treasure. Some of them carry significant meanings for us, particularly relating to our families and friends. “Mending + Connection + Stories” by Cman Chiu and Shirley Hung combines embroidery with modern technology, and by way of a conductive thread, repairs old, broken items that trigger the owners’emotions. They hope the visitors will present their own stories and express their feelings in the process and keep the creative items with them afterwards.

Likewise, gold, jewelry, and accessories have special emotional attachments to their owners. Some choose to cut ties with the past by melting down gold rings or disposing of articles. Hong Kong-based PLAYBACK CONCEPT, a studio specialising in metal craftsmanship, proposes an alternative way to keep articles left by deceased family members and let their stories live on. By blending traditional craftsmanship and new technologies, including Generative AI and 3D Printing and Photography, PLAYBACK CONCEPT, in their project “RE: move on”, will present how articles, such as pieces of jewelry, can be re-invented so that the stories of the deceased can continue to be told by their families and friends.

The design installations mentioned above will all be featured at the deTour 2023 Design Festival at PMQ. They will be presented alongside various design dialogues and workshops that are open to the public for complimentary viewing. More details about the deTour 2023 – design festival will be announced later. Stay tuned for the latest news on deTour website and social media platforms.

About deTour 2023 – design festival
Date: 24th November 2023 – 3rd December 2023
Opening Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Venue: PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
Admission: Free Entry
Website: https://detour.hk/

Hashtag: #deTour2023 #PMQ #元創方 #年度設計界盛事 #香港設計節

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About deTour – design festival

deTour is an annual design festival that celebrates creativity and demonstrates how the creative process can bring value to the design industry. Presented by PMQ and sponsored by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR Government), the event presents a variety of programmes by engaging designers and creative communities in the city and overseas.

deTour is a unique platform that seeks to inspire by featuring the latest creative expressions and innovative design, whilst fostering exchange of ideas between emerging talents and established creative professionals.

About PMQ

Located in the heart of Hong Kong’s SoHo district, PMQ is the landmark of creative and design industries housing over 100 Hong Kong emerging designers. In 2014, PMQ was revitalised and transformed into a creative hub with a variety of design studios showcasing a wide array of design products including fashion and accessories, gifts & premium, homeware, and small furniture as well as other lifestyle goods and creative products. PMQ has now become an interactive platform for supporting up-and-coming creative talents and fostering a community of patrons and lovers of creativity, design, and heritage. It is also one of the popular venues in town for international design, arts, and cultural events from Hong Kong and around the world.

About Create Hong Kong

Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated office set up by the HKSAR Government in June 2009 to spearhead the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. From 1 July 2022 onwards, it is under the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau. Its strategic foci are nurturing talent and facilitating start-ups, exploring markets, promoting cross-sectoral and cross-genre collaboration, and promoting Hong Kong as Asia’s creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community. CreateHK has been sponsoring PMQ to organise deTour and PMQ Seed for years, among other projects, to promote Hong Kong designand nurture design thinking in the community.

Disclaimer: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project organisers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee.

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