Chris Kyme: Postcard from Hong Kong

Chris Kyme_April2016.jpgChris Kyme continues his "Postcards from..." series and this time he mulls over his New Year's resolution: catch up with old friends

New Year's resolution: catch up with old friends
Okay, first off belated Happy New Year to you if you happen to be reading this. It being the New Year of course I was mulling over a few ideas for my New Year resolutions, of which the shortlist was:
1.    Stop trying to copy Kim Shaw's happy hour photo moments every time I go for a drink.
2.    Go to the gym more often. (Not to do any exercise..just pop in, have a look around and admire the equipment.)
3.    Eat less wasabi sandwiches. I'm sure it can't be good for you.
4.    Stop imagining Arsenal are the same team they were 15 years ago and move on.
Anyway, another thought struck me and that was that I just don't get to catch up enough with some of the really nice people I know from our industry who I always bump into on and off and say "We must catch up" and never do and actually make an effort to see people before we're all too old and past it. (Hang on - I am! Strewth. Well, almost.) I mean people come and go in a transient place like Hong Kong, it's easy to take people for granted until they're not here anywhere.
Drinks.jpgSo, I arranged a post-New Year drink. I actually walked the talk. Put my mobile where my mouth is. And quickly rallied a few of the lads (not that I'm sexist you understand) that I really would like to have seen, knowing that it would take another year to do it with one on one dates. I put a group together, announced the time and place, and waited to see who could make it. Some of those invited couldn't of course, but that was to be expected. Kim Il Jung for example, who was busy on a conference call with Donald Trump. But some could. And it was warm and hearty and really great to see some of these folks whom I admire and respect.
So what I'd like to do right here right now (funk soul brothers and sisters) is let you know who they were.
Tan Khiang
TK to those who know him well, which happens to be just about anyone in the Asian ad industry seeing as he is a legendary award-winning creative director turned film director who often turns up on awards juries. Back in the day (yawn) I used to drool with envy over TK's art direction until we actually did work together and despite being stinking rich and humongously successful remains one of the nicest, must understated fellows you could wish to meet. Proof that you don't have to be a complete asshole to make it.
Thierry Halbroth
No stranger to readers of this publication I'm sure. Digital guru, past ECD on Cathay Pacific at McCann Worldgroup (the current one of whom was invited but couldn't make it as he was having a manicure), and most recently Bigwig Whatnot at Publicis Hong Kong he has just launched his new business venture which entails starting his own brand of sunglasses and is very excited about it. Effortlessly cool,always the rock star, he'll no doubt be modelling them himself, swaggering with gallic charm.
Sandy Choi
Like TK, from the old school days of Ball Partnership and one of the few still standing (although he wasn't after the 5th round of beers). Sandy is an exceptional designer, just check out his Sandy Choi & Associates website to validate my claim, an avid Radiohead head and fellow Gooner (which gave us plenty to cry in our beers about) and someone who's haircut I both admire and respect and desire. Proof that...there are good hairdressers.
Napoleon Biggs
Widely known in these parts as a maestro of all things online and digital, or as he describes himself 'a digital marketer and internet entrepreneur'. Napoleon founded Web Wednesday which is an ongoing series of gatherings of web-minded people in Hong Kong, and is now active in quite a number of other countries. It's a bit like Sheffield Wednesday. His current focus is e-commerce although it wasn't about 9.15pm that night, it was the 3 more pints of Peroni he was ordering along with the spicy fries and saucy chicken wings. Anyway. Another splendid fellow should you meet him and a regular speaker at events should you want him.
Iain Richardson
So humble is this gentleman that the chances are you will not have encountered him, but just to say he is one of the finest graphic designers currently working in Hong Kong. I've had the pleasure of working with him and he really is such a lovely gent, and is one of the few people hailing from Newcastle of whom I have actually been able to understand a word he says beyond just 'Howay', 'nosebag' and 'Mike Ashley out'.
Stefan Sonntag
Just to prove that I hang out in scholarly circles, Stefan is a real professor. Oh yes, in
fact he is Associate Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. But that doesn't tell you anything. He could be an astrologist for you know. So just to clarify, he teaches design at the School of Design there (well it wouldn't be the School of Astrophysics would it?), and is an inspiration to many of the bright talented young people who go out into the world every year. And he's a good pal. Proof that not all German people wear leather shorts with a bib and a funny hat with a feather.
So there. This might not all be of interest to you, except to say, this is my point. Don't get bogged down in work. Don't wait for the awards love-ins to see people. Don't be a stranger. Think of the good people you know in your local industry and call them up. Get them together. Enjoy the fellowship, because life is too short to keep saying "Let's catch up soon."
Wishing you a great year ahead.

Chris Kyme is chief executive officer at Kymechow, Hong Kong



A finer bunch of reprobates you will never see... Hopefully I will be able to make it to the next one (assuming of course I remain on the invitation list...!) #myloss

Tom said:

Some lovely people there. Very enjoyable read Chris

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