A successful project is all in the people

Planned and Designed by 
◎ Trilingua Design

Edited by
◎ Elise Yau, Joey Chan

Text Edited by
◎ Elise Yau

◎ Venice Lau

◎ Suncolor Printing Co., Ltd.

Photography by
◎ Jeremy Cheung (@rambler15)

Website design
◎ React Digi Limited

Special thank to

◎ Musketeers Education & Culture Charitable Foundation

◎ M.K. Lau Foundation

◎ Debbie Lo Creativity Foundation

◎ Board of Directors of PMQ

◎ Advisory Board of PMQ

◎ Commercial Tenants Selection Committee of PMQ

◎ Studio Tenants Selection Committee of PMQ

◎ Tenants Assessment Panel of PMQ

◎ The Government of
the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

  • Create Hong Kong
  • Architectural Services Department
  • Antiquities and Monuments Office

and all the individuals of the creative community who supported and contributed on our journey




What is the definition of a good life?

PMQ is a versatile location for creative design to gather various aspects of a good life. These notions ferment across time and refine in the space itself. There is gourmet food, coffee, gatherings, creations, and experiments in a good life. You can have fun in the events with wonderful installations and bazaars in the Courtyard & Marketplace curated by the PMQ team or wander around the shops to experience the living concepts and proposals from the designers, artisans, and craftsmen. You can even discover and taste the magnificent culture of gastronomy in the food-related programmes in PMQ. When we have time to live, eat, and play, we can experience and discover more in life and reimagine our future.

With all urban wanderers who are enthusiastic about life, let us build a creative oasis amidst the bustling city together. 


Dining at PMQ — An Open Dialogue

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Au Yeung Ying Chai (Craig) regards food as the root of creativity. This is why PMQ, as a creative design landmark, has been committed to promoting the development of local culinary arts. An array of restaurants and cafes in PMQ, Taste Library and experimental culinary projects like Taste Kitchen (Taste Academy) prove that food is not only a necessity in life but also an enrichment to creativity.

As an experienced intermedia creator and culinary culture curator, Craig has played a multifaceted role to promote, execute, and cultivate design in different culinary projects at PMQ. Stephanie Wong, the restaurant founder and award-winning chef, made an important step in her food career path during her participation in Taste Kitchen. They talk about food while cooking tête-à-tête, recalling their memories of food and PMQ, as well as their views on creativity and the development of Hong Kong’s food culture. The two dishes they created respectively are reminiscent of their significant relationships with PMQ and also reflect their experiences, passion, and hopes for the food industry in Hong Kong.

Stephanie Wong — Left / Craig Au Yeung — Right

Food as a Root
of Creativity


My memories come from food. When we think of a certain kind of food, what we have in mind is the taste as well as the feeling and memory of that time.

I always cook home style dishes with a new approach based on my childhood memories. I grew up in Hong Kong and Canada, but I didn’t know how to cook Chinese food. Now I’ve gradually recalled the cooking methods of my grandma and my mum. I believe that creativity comes from memories.


I agree that food evokes memories. Also, there is a direct impact taste buds have on a person and his creativity. Take me for instance, my grandparents were Indonesian Chinese and they studied in Shanghai when they were young. After they got married, they encountered the war period and started to live as refugees fleeing to Fujian, Japan and finally to Hong Kong. The experiences in different places had a great impact on their knowledge of food. Although their flavours might change from time to time, the “Nanyang (Southeast Asia) style” remained their root of taste. So, my dining table was always filled with dishes of different styles when I was little. These foods not only inspired my tastebuds but also broadened my horizons. I’m in the creative design industry now and I can say that my creativity has originated from my eclectic and open-minded experiences of food since I was little.


The experiences accumulated are often subconscious. You may not realise it when it happens, but some experiences will awaken your memory and help you create new things at the right time. ‘French cooking with Chinese ingredients’ has always been my culinary technique. It originated when I re-experienced the taste of “home” during my training in Paris. The classic French pot-au-feu is almost the same as the Hong Kong-style beef brisket in broth. That was the moment I discovered the similarities between French and Chinese cuisine.


So, different creative ideas can be interlinked at a point. The diversity and freedom of choices are fundamental to creativity, while both local ingredients and international influence can coexist. In recent years, people often say “the more local, the more global”, which means that a thorough understanding of one’s own culture allows them to be able to succeed on an international level.


I totally agree that we need to understand our roots first and then continue to evolve. When I participated in Taste Kitchen, I came up with the idea of Cantonese Quiche. I didn’t have any intention to have a Chinese-French fusion style at that time. I just thought that the quiche was perfect for lunch and I wanted to make it special. So I gradually developed the dish. It has been four years since I participated in the project. During these years, I’ve slowly established a mix of Chinese (Cantonese) – French style.

Step Out the Kitchen and Go Global


My relationship with PMQ began when I was involved in its conceptual stage.

This pure Spanish style garlic shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo) represents my relationship with PMQ because it’s the dish I cooked in a Taste Library event with the theme of nomadic cuisine. It’s the most typical Spanish tapas.

I think Spanish tapas and Cantonese dim sum have something in common, as dim sum is one of the local food cultures that can go global. It symbolises one of the roles of Taste Library as a bridge linking overseas and local food culture. Taste Library actively introduces new elements to Hong Kong and helps to bring the distinctive local food culture to an international level. You might not find the answer during the exploration, but we are happy to provide a space for cultivation and discussion. So, the Taste Library events usually focus on the issues that we hope to explore.

The annual summer programmes for kids are an example. We named ‘rice’ as the theme of the year and we took the children to visit the shops selling rice, noodles, and congee, etc. near PMQ. Some parents didn’t allow their children to go in the kitchen as they were too little to help. But at that event, we asked the parents to wait outside and let the children cook by themselves in the kitchen. They learnt the different types of rice and had hands-on experience on draining the rice, soaking rice noodles and cooking. It was a vivid cultural activity.

Taste Library holds a collection of four thousand books covering different food cultures from around the globe

PMQ — The Place for Inheriting Food Culture


The most valuable thing about PMQ is that it provides a space to record and promote food culture, which is one of a kind in Hong Kong. In France, you can find detailed recipes from 300 to 400 years ago. But in Hong Kong and the Mainland, recipes are mainly inherited through word of mouth between masters and apprentices, and they are easily lost. Therefore, the archive of Taste Library is very valuable.


The background was that William To asked me to discuss the possibility of PMQ during the preparation period. I have always been very interested in gastronomy and have collected thousands of books and magazines related to food. In the past, it was such a pity that they were only used by me and my team, so I took this opportunity to share all these with the public. I also hope to use this kitchen as an open platform for gatherings and sharings. As a result we have a kitchen with a library connected to each other.


The Internet is extremely popular and there are many ways to share knowledge. But I think the advantage of the library is that it fills the gap of lacking the gastronomic knowledge in Hong Kong, and serves as a place with a complete record and heritage. When I participated in Taste Kitchen, I did my research in Taste Library from time to time. There is a wide variety of book collections covering Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian, French cuisines, and many more. Chinese cuisine is also sub-categorised according to different provinces. For many times I tried to look for a French cookbook for reference, but I ended up immersing myself in a Southeast Asian cookbook. It was like discovering a new world.

Of course, you can’t always apply the knowledge immediately after you finish reading a book as it takes time for you to digest. The last time I read a book in Taste Library was three years ago.


This is exactly the result we hope to bring to visitors. I hope that it’s a continuous process of discovery but it does take time. Just like you need time to cook, read, and cultivate. In this industry, we don’t really have time to calm down and think, and attempt to do experiments repeatedly. After all, it is a rapid and commercialised society.

A Breakthrough of Business Model with Free Innovation


There was no pressure on rent payment and this was the most overwhelming part of joining Taste Kitchen. Money definitely matters! It’s like your parents get you a parachute saying that you can jump and everything will be fine. Even if you fall and hurt yourself, you won’t die. Creativity is derived from a very subtle feeling and it’s just like a wish. But your fears inside, opinions from others, and financial challenges will suppress the seeds of creativity. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have started a restaurant if I hadn’t joined Taste Kitchen. My two experiences at Taste Kitchen have made me realise that I can fully handle this and know how to arouse attention with certain kinds of dishes. Only with these experiences, no matter what other people say, I know I can go through the ups and downs and it’s not that bad at all.

To be honest, I didn’t have a plan to open a restaurant when I participated in Taste Kitchen. I used to work in the banking industry. I learned from another perspective that most of the people ended up failing in running restaurants. But later I met Twins Kitchen who was responsible for the Taste Kitchen project. They encouraged me to give it a try and then I found out that I like operating a restaurant even though it is a crazy business. I also realised that I’m good at planning menus, decorating, plating and taking care of everything as frontline staff. The first time I participated in Taste Kitchen was in March 2018. I received good responses within these three weeks, but still I was a little bit hesitant. The second time was in July the same year and I knew that there would be fewer customers in the summertime. It was a chance for us to try new things. Some dishes were just planned one day before it went into the menu. This quiche dish was developed at that time and it was well-loved. This experience assured me that I wanted to have my own restaurant.

After the official opening, there came other challenges. The nature of Taste Kitchen allows you to estimate if you’re passionate and suitable enough to be in this industry. There are different business models in the food industry and it’s not a must to open up a restaurant. After all, it’s a crazy life being in this industry but I’m so into it.


We can see PMQ as a place to gather different people with its doors opened for the right people. It offers proper encouragement and the opportunity to make things possible. Taste Kitchen and Taste Library are such a luxury.

Taste Kitchen was one of our earlier initiatives for PMQ. However, we decided to set up Taste Library first. After getting a foothold around three years later, we started Taste Kitchen with the coordination of different parties and the sponsorship from Debbie Lo Creativity Foundation. It’s the painstaking effort of many people behind this glorious scene that we kept adjusting along the way to make it as it is today.

Taste Library regularly organizes different food culture related activities

Team Effort and Open Dialogue


Taste Kitchen is a vivid and dynamic place. It’s filled with people from all walks of life and every creation can be completely different. People keep flowing in and out like water. When I participated in Taste Kitchen the second time, I was much happier even though the business was not as good as the first time. I didn’t have the pressure of embracing failure and proving myself. During the five-week project, we were able to launch three innovative menus because we had sufficient time and got completely used to the free experimental mode of business without any pressure of rent. We became bold to trials.

Taste Kitchen started to gain popularity at that time and attracted office workers from Central to dine in here. This allowed me to know more about different people. And as customers were clear on the role of the restaurant as a training place, they were more willing to express their opinions. This won’t happen in other places as Taste Kitchen is a place for open dialogue and we can spark off ideas here. The vibrant atmosphere is derived from the suggestions and efforts made by different people.


Taste Kitchen and Taste Library are interrelated and they’re distinctive to the local and overseas food industry. The catering industry is rather commercial, but the two creations have made discreet yet active contributions from the sideline. I often remind myself to seize these opportunities. I appreciate that this unique experience was part of my creative career. They can exist in this city because of the undefeatable spirit of Hong Kong people.

Founder of Roots Eatery and participant of PMQ Taste Kitchen (Taste Academy)

The chef-owner of Roots Eatery, Stephanie worked as a banker of international banking in HSBC. She left the banking industry and went to Paris to pursue her dream. She received her Culinary Arts Diploma from world renowned Michelin starred Chef Alain Ducasse then worked in Michelin starred restaurants, Hostellerie de Plaisance in Saint Emilion, France and Amber, Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong before starting Roots in 2018.

Stephanie participated in PMQ’s Taste Kitchen project twice and she established Roots Eatery, a restaurant in Cantonese- French style, in the following year. In 2020, Roots Eatery was rated one of the “Best 20 Restaurants In Hong Kong”, and Stephanie was also honoured with the “Rising Star Award” in Tatler Dining 2020. In 2021, Roots Eatery was ranked in the list of “Essence of Asia” as one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants.

Intermedia Creator &
Curator of PMQ Taste Library

Experienced cross media creator and culinary culture curator.

Craig has been observing and researching the lifestyle of contemporary society in China. He has published interviews on home-living with creators in Hong Kong, Macau, and China, as well as critics on the works by international designers. In the recent decade, he focused on the consolidation and exploration of the global and local food and travel culture, publications of private recipes and city guides on food culture, as well as curation of art and culinary experience for different arts and culture organisations and commercial institutes. His curation and creation on physical culinary projects included Taste Library at PMQ, Craig’s Half Full Kitchen at Star Gallery in Beijing, Localand cultural complex in Xi’an, as well as the bistro and private kitchen “Ban Bao Ban Zui” in Shenzhen.

Cantonese Quiche

Makes one 6-8 inch quiche

Pie crust ingredients

All purpose flour
Egg yolk


Custard ingredients

Whole egg
Egg yolk
Grated parmesan cheese
Chinese sausage (LAP CHEONG) 
Chinese sausage (YUN CHEONG) 
Red eye chilli pepper

Whole egg1 PCS
Egg yolk1 PCS
Grated parmesan cheese50g
Chinese sausage (LAP CHEONG)1/2 PCS
Chinese sausage (YUN CHEONG)1/2 PCS
Red eye chilli pepper1/2 PCS


1/2 PCS
1/2 PCS
1/2 PCS

1. Pastry for Pie Crust

Let butter warm to room temperature before mixing all the ingredients and working into a dough. Mix well until the dough becomes smooth and wrap with cling wrap and let it rest in the fridge overnight.

The next day: Bring dough out to loosen and start rolling the dough out into a thin layer of 2-3mm in thickness. Lay the dough over the tart ring and gradually push the dough into the ring to form the tart shape. Cut off any excess dough so you have a clean shape of the tart. Place the formed tart into the fridge for 1 hour to firm up before baking.

1 hour later: Take the crust from the fridge and place pastry weights onto the shell of the tart so that the pastry does not puff up when being baked. Have your convection oven preheated already at 180°C and place the tart shell to bake for 12-13 minutes at this temperature. The tart should be fully cooked without it browning.

Let the crust cook and remove the tart weights from the shell, ready for the second part of the recipe.

2. Custard

First mix well the liquid ingredients and set aside. Then work on the filling ingredients.

Filling ingredients: Dice the leeks, chillies and Chinese sausages in roughly the same size and cook lightly by heating in a frying pan. Have the parmesan cheese grated. Set aside all ingredients for final assembly.

3. Final Assembly and Baking

Have ready your baked tart shell. Fill the cooked filling ingredients up to a quarter of the tart shell, scattered evenly. Then add the custard liquid and fill up to 90% of the tart shell. Then layer evenly the grated parmesan cheese. The quiche is ready for baking now. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180°C until the custard is golden brown. Let the quiche rest for 10-20 minutes after baking before cutting through to eat or serve. The quiche can be consumed at room temperature or by reheating again via oven or microwave.

Spanish Garlic Shrimps (Gambas al Ajillo)


Fresh Shrimp15 pcs
Garlic2 gloves
Red Chili Pepper3 pcs
RosemarySmall bunch
Baguette1 loaf
Olive Oil80ml

Fresh Shrimp
Red Chili Pepper
Olive Oil

15 pcS
2 gloves
3 pcS
Small bunch
1 loaf


  1. Peel the garlic gloves and slice. Remove the seeds from red chili peppers and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
  2. Chop off the shrimp heads, remove the shells keeping the tails on.
  3. Devein the shrimp with a toothpick.
  4. Heat the pan with olive oil and add the sliced garlic and rosemary.
  5. Fry the garlic until golden brown, add the red chili peppers and stir fry. Turn off the head and take out all ingredients. Leave the chili garlic oil on the pan.
  6. Heat the pan again and stir fry the shrimp on high heat.
  7. Add the fried garlic and red chili pepper.
  8. Turn off the heat. Add ground sea salt to taste. Serve with sliced baguette rounds for dipping in the chili garlic oil.

PMQ Taste Library

Presented by PMQ and experienced cross media artist Craig Au Yeung, the PMQ Taste Library holds a collection of four thousand books covering different food cultures from around the globe: from classic recipes to travel and living; from food history critics to cities’ food guides and lifestyle publications. Apart from the open kitchen area, the magazine reading room is open to the public, while the library reading rooms are exclusive for members. Various food-culture cross-disciplinary events will also be held onsite regularly.

*This project is sponsored by MK Lau Foundation

PMQ Taste Kitchen (Taste Academy)

Co-organised by PMQ and Twins Kitchen, Taste Kitchen (Taste Academy) is the city’s first-ever F&B incubator programme in the industry. With the support of PMQ and sponsorship by Debbie Lo Creativity Foundation, as well as the guidance of Caleb Ng and Joshua Ng, the founders of Twins Kitchen, the incubator programme allows culinary talents to showcase their creativities and menus in the well-equipped space to operate their restaurants. The experience gained here is the stepping stone for future restaurateurs to start their dream career in the F&B industry. PMQ Taste Kitchen (Taste Academy) was given the DFA Design for Asia Award in 2018.

*This project is sponsored by Debbie Lo Creativity Foundation


Date / Period Chef Restaurant
2017 Cam Wong /
2018 Mrs. Fan
Siam Sattayaphan
Stephanie Wong
Zahir Mohamed
Gary Suen
Claire Kim
Tiff Chan
Annie Choi
Wingo Hung
Mrs. Fan’s Kitchen
Fat Leg’s BBQ
Roots Eatery
Baked Bistro
Gary Suen’s Pop Up
Claire de Lune
T Lab by Chef Tiff’s Kitchen
Veggie Mami
Wingo Hung’s Pop Up
2019 Jack Law and Elliot Nicholas
Douglas Forest and Leonard Cheung
Charlene, Tony and Jessie
Louis Tam
Amy Mak and Jaicy Cheng
David Ko
Sando Ba
Cafair Taste
Root Three
What Da Duck
2020 Daniel Kang Osteria Orzo

Design is Life Life at PMQ

Life is ever changing just like the seasons. At PMQ, we serenade our beautiful life while having a sip of coffee in the sunset, cooling off and exploring in the summer, or having fun in the winter. PMQ has organized a wide range of events for the public and proposed suggestions to realise creativity in our daily life. These events help us enjoy life and provide opportunities for the public to get involved in design and creativity. Setting off with the Festive Programme, Mass Programme and Coffee Agenda, we have connected with different communities to experience a taste of life through design and creative minds.

From Design to
Tasting Life

The coffee concept is a way of thinking that infuses design concepts into the lifestyle. It is a pursuit of the art of coffee and meticulous craftsmanship. Café is also an intellectual design landscape for nurturing urban humanity. PMQ has teamed up with baristas and craftsmen to share the passion and pursuit of coffee. Since 2018, a series under the name of Coffee Agenda has been held to provide a sustainable platform for baristas to constantly explore the craftsmanship of coffee.

The first year of Coffee Agenda was a success. It brought together a group of excellent local cafés and coffee lovers, as well as allowed individuals to collaborate with the local coffee media platform Coffeeder to feature some distinguished coffee brands from all over the world. We collaborated with Hong Kong Specialty Coffee Association to launch the Hong Kong Latte Art Championship and Hong Kong Coffee in Good Spirits Championship in the following year, in which the winner represented Hong Kong to take part in the World Latte Art Championship and World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship in Berlin. We also held an open call for baristas in order to provide a platform for the winners to showcase their coffee craftsmanship. During the pandemic in 2020, Coffee Agenda kept active online with a series of online sharing sessions, coffee outing, online live broadcasts and workshops for audiences to have an authentic taste of coffee without boundaries.

From Design to
Experiencing Life

Mass programmes aim to engage public participation while experiencing design. Through a vivid approach with daily and seasonal themes, the programmes let the audiences understand the value of design and creative minds. Christmas is a time to celebrate love and we celebrate innovation and sustainable concepts to connect with designers to bring out the themes of “joy”, “conservation”, and “colour” at Christmas time every year. During the hot summer months, we invited young designers to create the “breezing” pavilion to demonstrate how design could solve problems in daily life and improve the experience/use of space. Some of the large-scale city-wise events e.g. 1600 Pandas World Tour in Hong Kong: Creativity Meets Conservation and Our Hong Kong, Our Talents – “Play Me, I‘m Yours” attracted a large number of visitors where they experienced PMQ and the concept of creative design in a immersive manner.

Mass Programme

As its name implies, mass programme aims to enhance public engagement on creative design in a vivid and friendly way to awaken the creative DNA in all of us!

1600 Pandas World Tour in
Hong Kong: Creativity Meets

1600 Pandas World Tour in Hong Kong: Creativity Meets Conservation was a collaboration between WWF and acclaimed French artist Paulo Grangeon which showcased 1600 pandas made with recycled materials in the form of paper mache. It was featured at nearly 100 exhibitions and eventually landed in Hong Kong in 2014 with PMQ as our launch event. 1600 pandas and four new creations stationed in PMQ alongside an array of well-curated programmes and workshops. The event immersed the public in the panda world and also promoted a sustainable environment where humans and nature coexist. This event brought half a million visitors to PMQ.

Our Hong Kong, Our Talents –
“Play Me, I‘m Yours”

Our Hong Kong, Our Talents – “Play Me, I‘m Yours in 2015 was an international charitable piano tour by British artist Luke Jerram based on his belief that “everyone can play piano”. PMQ and Our Hong Kong Foundation brought this event to Hong Kong in which 16 pianos were artistically transformed by local artists and community groups. They were located at PMQ and in various public areas in Hong Kong under the guise that everyone was invited to play. Melodic music and a range of exciting interactive concerts and performances connected the public and brought about joy in the bustling city.

Summer Programme

Every summer, PMQ is transformed into a creative playground for local creators and designers. Through large-scale installations, workshops, and events, they could free their imaginations to create an eternal summer for the city.

-> 2017

In 2018, PMQ and AaaM Architects joined hands to fill the courtyard with iridescent bubble installations. In between the playground with spinning bubbles, workshops and musical reading sessions, visitors could enjoy a poetic summer in this bubble paradise.

-> 2019

In 2019, PMQ collaborated with KaCaMa Design Lab and thecaveworkshop to bring a cool summer to the courtyard with the Bamboo-copter Pavilion. Visitors could take a seat and cool off, or play with the drifting dragonflies. It was also a place for all people to enjoy the creative environment.
KaCaMa Design Lab & thcaveworkshop, 2019

Christmas Programme

Every Christmas, PMQ organizes various large-scale installations to tantalize audience members. Together with the themed bazaars and a variety of exciting events, we celebrate this festive day with concepts of joy, innovation, ideality, and sustainability.

-> 2016


In 2016, PMQ teamed up with LAAB to transform the site into a playful Colourscape by using colourful masking tape and 3D installations in different shapes to create a three-dimensional space.

-> 2017

Jungle All the Way

In 2017, PMQ collaborated with Green Power to promote green Christmas around the large-scale Christmas installations made by AaaM Architects. This project won many international design awards for AaaM Architects.
Jungle All The Way, AaaM, 2018

-> 2018

Floating Christmas

In 2018, PMQ teamed up with AaaM again in Floating Christmas which was made up of balloons floating in the sky.

-> 2019

PMQ Christmas Bazaar –
Gather for Gifts of Love

In 2019, British designer Morag Myerscough presented her signature colourful art world to enjoy the company’s joyful aura.

-> 2020

Merry Apart
Christmas Together

In 2020, Littleurbanmountain Design Ltd made use of a simple approach to connect people in the lighting of the Christmas jungle under social distancing.

Merry Apart Christmas Together, Littleurbanmountain, 2020

Creators’ Words

We express our gratitude to all creators who have participated in PMQ events over the years. The cross-regional and cross-disciplinary efforts have enriched PMQ’s identity and promoted the development of creative landscapes in Hong Kong.

“Each work is an exploration of new concepts.”

Spectra, deTour | 2015
Chromarmonic, deTour | 2019

Co-founder of multimedia company WARE

“For new media design, each work is an exploration of new concepts. This type of design might not be very common in Hong Kong and PMQ has been very supportive to us. Commercial projects are often held indoors incorporating projections to create immersive experiences; In Spectra (2015) and Chromarmonic (2019) created for deTour, we tried to create large-scale installations by using new materials to interact with the viewers with the natural environment outdoors to explore a subtle change of light and shadow. The work airbank® (2020) transformed a room in PMQ into a space selling air in a theme-based and narrative way. These projects are new and interesting attempts to us. We appreciate PMQ for giving us freedom in every process.”

“We worked with the PMQ team to make it more interesting.”

Stickyline, Local creative unit on paper art

Blu Blu Blu, deTour | 2019

“Our relationship with PMQ started from deTour and we submitted entries almost every year. We finally got the opportunities to participate in 2015, 2018, and 2019, respectively. Plus, we also worked on many collaborative projects on various scales with PMQ. For every collaboration with PMQ, we wanted to challenge ourselves to do something that we’ve never done before. Stickyline has been transforming two-dimensional planes into three-dimensional forms. The creation in deTour 2018 focused on lines and it wasn’t really the style of Stickyline. But PMQ still encouraged us to experiment. We also worked with the PMQ team to make it more interesting. For the origami Lion Dance in Chinese New Year 2021, PMQ provided us a lot of advice on marketing and site management and we developed the idea starting from lion head to the entire lion dance culture. The lions revealed a lively and vivid outlook and we all joined forces to put the lion dance on top of the glass lift. The advice and support from the PMQ team always motivated us in every step along the creation journey.”

“It was like going back to school when working with PMQ.”

Website, 10x100
Website, deTour 2020

WEEWUNGWUNG, Web design creator

“We worked with PMQ many times in deTour in 2015, 2016 and 2020, as well as the web design for their daily activities. These were some daring designs using new technology and design approaches. It seemed like going back to school when working with PMQ and we had more freedom to create. We could be a little playful and go beyond the boundaries. In reality, you don’t usually have such an opportunity to try new things. The deTour 2020 was for sure the most unforgettable one as it was held amidst the pandemic. We created a website where visitors could interact with each other in a virtual world. It was something new to all of us. We learned together and finally we achieved a very satisfying result. The trust from PMQ is vital and this project is definitely a milestone in our career.”

“Not only large-scale installation would trigger feedback.”

Sustainable Designer

Revive: Salted Fish, deTour 2018

“I always want to make food as one of the elements in the design spectrum of Hong Kong, and present it as a problem-solving solution. In deTour 2018 with the theme “Trial & Error”, I found that the resources from Taste Library useful for extending my creation on salted fishes. So, I held a food design exhibition using salted fish as the theme. I talked to Andy from Taste Library and we sparked off lots of creative ideas. As a professional chef, he gave me much valuable advice and I also learned from the local residents about their life experiences with salted fishes. What I gained from the creative exchange was more enriching than I expected, and I was glad that this project won the Gold Winner in Asia Design Prize in Korea. This experiment proved that not only large-scale installation would trigger feedback, good contents are also essential.”

“Creativity is not only processed by designers, but everyone.”

Identity Face Shield, deTour 2020

Japanese designer and the founder of NOSIGNER

“Creativity is not only processed by designers, but everyone. PMQ has been making a great effort in promoting design and creative culture in Hong Kong, where I always find a strong connection. Amidst the difficult time in 2020, I had presented PANDAID and Identity Face Shield during deTour 2020. The two creations are attempts to normalize the abnormal that appeared in our society and this act of bringing out alternative visions and perspectives has been my focus. I have worked with PMQ several times, and I would like to express my gratitude to William, the Executive Director of PMQ, for nominating us in the DFA Design for Asia Awards and the Business of Design Week. I feel like the design culture of Hong Kong has nourished me to grow.”

“I kept evolving and modifying the typeface based on the opinions I got in detour.”

Chinese typeface designer

Intense : Intense, deTour 2016

“In deTour 2016, I held an exhibition Intense:Intense with Taiwanese designer Joe Chang to showcase our own conceptual typefaces. From my past experiences, typeface design is generally more difficult for the public to understand. So, it was a valuable opportunity to have space to hold an exhibition. It received an overwhelming response and the audiences were enthusiastic about my “Aero Mincho” typeface. This was really inspiring and it has driven me to continue with this project although it was regarded only as a conceptual experiment. As a designer, the audience members’ feedback has given me great insight. In early 2021, I started crowdfunding for the typeface and fortunately it was well-received. I believe the reason for its success is that I kept evolving and modifying the typeface based on the opinions I got in deTour to make it more complete. The whole set of Aero Mincho typefaces will be officially launched in 2022.”

“Each space design is a painstaking experiment.”

Slow Sculpture — Mountain Water People Creature, deTour 2018

Architect and founder of Littleurbanmountain Design Ltd

“When I first started my company, I consulted with many veterans in the design industry. Mr. To (the Executive Director of PMQ) was one of them and he suggested that I participate in deTour to gain exposure. Then, there was Slow Sculpture – Mountain Water People Creature in deTour 2018 and it was the first official creation of my company. For us, space design is something that can’t be duplicated, and each work is a painstaking experiment. The experience from deTour actually inspired me to start combining architecture (hardware) and interactive concept (software) and there have been more collaborations with PMQ coming in thereafter such as Coffee Agenda, PMQ Seed and the Christmas installation in 2020. I met a lot of people in the coffee industry at Coffee Agenda which brought me many coffee shop design projects.”

“We can observe audiences’ interactions and this is helpful for our creations in the future.”

Co-founder KaCaMa Design Lab

Pause Rec Play, deTour 2019

“We originally engaged in sustainable design and conducted education programmes in different institutions. We found that most of the students only focused on the ‘outcome’, while creators emphasized more on the ‘process’ of making attempts. The theme ‘Trial and Error’ of deTour 2018 sounded interesting to us, and we created the installation Flawless Failure based on our observation, and we continued the exploration on failure in the summer interactive installation Bamboo- Copter Pavilion later. For Pause Rec Play in deTour Special 2020, it was more about an experiment to explore the inspiration of sound with old and new devices. PMQ is not only a platform for presenting our works, but also allows us to observe audiences’ interactions with the works. This is the nutrient for our creations in the future, and also the inspiration for us to explore the space between the community and art.”

“PMQ has pushed the boundaries in recent years and it’s so valuable to have such an organisation in Hong Kong which is open-minded with an adventurous spirit.”

Resonance Aura IV, deTour 2016
MEMOR/ The Book of Ashes, deTour 2020

New media artist and artistic director of XCEPT, XCEED and XPLOR

“As I engage in new media art, ‘experiment’ is a must in every creation. In deTour 2016, I continued to explore the aesthetics of the universe in my installation Resonance Aura IV. I later had two other installations in deTour 2020: The Book of Ashes explored the writing and the dissemination of knowledge, while MEMORI was a response to the way of communication during the pandemic. All these were new attempts to me, especially the magic part of the burning ceremony in the former installation. I felt really grateful to the PMQ team for working with us on the safety approval issue, and also allowed us to make new and daring experiments. PMQ has pushed the boundaries in recent years and it’s so valuable to have such an organisation in Hong Kong which is open-minded with an adventurous spirit.”

“This was a powerful, respectful, joyful, and trusting experience.”

British designer and artist

Make Happy, deTour 2019

“I created a huge public art installation Make Happy in 2019 to continue my mantra from an old Chinese proverb ‘to bring happiness for those who are near, and those who are far will come’, in which I hoped to bring joy to the audiences. This collaboration was unforgettable for the enthusiasm and passion we shared during the process. Together, we wanted to make the best possible work. The joyful aura and good karma projected from the artwork will rub off onto the people encountering the work, which I believe we had achieved. This was a powerful, respectful, joyful, and trusting experience and I am happy to work with PMQ again.”

Curators’ Voice Review of Design Exhibition Highlights

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In addition to the annual design festival deTour, PMQ also maintained a close connection with the creative communities to organise in-depth exhibitions. It covers a wide range of topics by joining hands with renowned curators to enrich the exchange of creative issues on both local and regional scales. These significant exhibitions and events became highlighted events in the city that further express and communicate the creativities of this city. Which ones impressed you most?

Graphic Designer & Curator

Here is Zine. Here is Hong Kong, 2016
Hanzi Exhibition, 2018

“I always want to bring good designs to the public through well-curated exhibitions. The two exhibitions, Here is Zine. Here is Hong Kong and Hanzi Exhibition, curated at PMQ were the extension of this intention. I believe that a good exhibition is not merely showcasing works, but also the participation and interaction of the audiences which lead to a deeper understanding of the exhibition’s purpose and content. 

Every curation is a new challenge to me. It’s closely linked to the essence and how it is presented. In Here is Zine. Here is Hong Kong, I kept in mind that the works are the highlights while the display area could be unconventional. Wooden stacks were used to construct a mobile display platform in various heights. Viewers could focus on the works under the lighting in the dark to appreciate and read in different postures naturally. And in the Hanzi Exhibition, I regard the works as music notes. We decorated the venue like the way a jazz musician improvised and we changed the locations of posters every week. It relied on the support from the PMQ team and the flexible space of the QUBE and its well-equipped facilities that made all these attempts possible.

As one of the reviewers on PMQ’s tenants, I always reflect upon the image of PMQ during the screening process. For me, PMQ is a versatile site composed of retails, large-scale exhibitions and various events. It’s like a complete source of nutrients that nurture the creativity of public audiences.

Here is Zine, Here is Hong Kong | 2016

Zine is a hip synonym in recent years for independent and self-publishing. It is also a medium for urban observation and the expression of the author. As a response to this unique Zine culture, PMQ brought the renowned Japanese Here is Zine exhibition to Hong Kong. Curated by Honorary Programme Advisor Benny Au, 60 local creative minds – from creative domains such as design, photography, literature, architecture, art, multimedia, and fashion were invited to create their unique versions of zine to express their own ideas and preferences. Through exhibitions, sharing sessions and workshops, the public could get a glimpse of the independent city to fully experience the humanity of this city. The exhibition also showcased selected works from Here is Zine Tokyo and Here is Zine Shenzhen, allowing the audiences to appreciate the creative landscape of the three cities.

Hanzi Exhibition | 2018

After thousands of years of evolution, Hanzi (Chinese characters) still endures and proudly poses as an interesting cultural symbol across Asia. Curated by designer Benny Au, the Hanzi Exhibition focused on the close linkage between Hanzi and our lives. The exhibition showcased the Hanzi works of more than 100 designers from Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Macau, Japan, and Korea. Alongside the works from neighbouring regions in Asia over the past two decades using Hanzi as an important visual element, there are various sharing seminars, children’s workshops, and guided tours that allow public audiences to come in person. Revelers can enjoy the journey of Hanzi design, arts and culture and completely experience the unique aesthetic beauty of Hanzi.

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, HKU

10 × 100 Exhibition, 2017

“The exhibition linked Hong Kong and mainland China by presenting the architectural works from the two regions. We wanted to promote young architects and also further discussed the architectural experiments through different types of activities such as forums or exhibitions. My studio was located at PMQ by the time I curated this exhibition, so it was a very beneficial experience for me.

Architectural exhibitions tend to be academic, targeting a group of niche professionals. But 10 × 100 Exhibition was held at PMQ which is a location open to the public. We also designed many programmes especially for children which attracted a large number of participants. PMQ is a hybrid space which closely connects the nearby community and business sectors to promote culture of creativity. The impact has been influential and beneficial to a larger group of people. The venue QUBE is extremely flexible for the exhibition and we also held various forums in the open area at the Courtyard & Marketplace emphasising its publicness. This multi-type activity model is actually an experiment – it seemed to be a professional exhibition, yet there were also various kinds of parent-child exchange activities to realise a social innovation vision. I hope that the up-and-coming architects would sow the seeds of creativity in their hearts by participating in the exhibition and the activities.”

10 × 100 Exhibition, 2017

The 10 × 100 Exhibition – Hong Kong Edition, organised by PMQ and co-organised with architecture magazine Urban Environment Design (UED) Magazine, brought together 100 well-known architectural projects (50 from Hong Kong and 50 from Mainland). The exhibition offered a fascinating reflection on cities and their architecture over the past 10 years by many architects and aimed at fostering a dynamic dialogue between architects of the two regions through a wide range of projects in areas such as urban design, planning design, architectural design, interior design, and landscape design. The exhibition was curated by Gao Yan, the Assistant Professor of the Department of Architecture, HKU, with forums hosted by an array of overseas experts and famous architects. The Archikidecture Kids Zone set up by ohmykids inspired the imagination of the architectural environment for the next generation with a wide range of parent-children activities.

Interdisciplinary Designer and Curator

Re-edit Hong Kong Showcase, 2020

Re-edit can be regarded as an extension of my previous exhibitions focusing on the exploration of Hong Kong’s creative ecosystem. But I added my thoughts on PMQ’s positioning of entrepreneurship for young talents in it. We focused on designers with five to ten years of experience and asked them to review and express their thoughts on their creative journeys and designs after reaching a certain milestone in their careers. Apart from my own research and knowledge, we also enlisted a number of high-quality projects through an open call by PMQ, which further enriched the contents of the exhibition.

The exhibition explored the use of traditions to nurture innovation, which was in tune with the identity of PMQ as a revitalised historical building with its own history that reflects the past and the future. We hoped for a breakthrough in the presentation of the exhibition so we thoughtfully worked hard with the design team to present it in an unconventional way. We narrated the 2D drawings in a continuous and multi-faceted approach. Traditional Bun Mountain is unique with its enormous height. But Bao Shan this time, created by Hong Kong Interior Design Association, gave a horizontal and organic take on its flat presentation. Aries Sin created her installation with recycled fabrics. The installation presented an image that the ocean nurtures live and that it must be protected. The participating young designers were motivated, and I particularly remembered our long discussions on how to make it better. 

For me, PMQ is a place for the public and industry to cultivate a deeper understanding on design topics. Through a wide range of events and exhibitions, it also helps further consolidate and intensify the future development and expertise of the industry.”

Re-edit Hong Kong Showcase, 2020

With an aim to nurture Hong Kong design talents and showcase their works to the major global platform, Re-edit was first held at PMQ with local exhibitions and later tour to Milan Design Week to expand the creators’ horizons and encourage local exchanges. Curated by Amy Chow, with the theme of “personal identity”, emerging design talents and design units in Hong Kong created works to express the past, present and future. They probe into the individual characteristics shaped by language, place, community, media, technology, social and political consciousness, heritage, sustainability, craftsmanship, customs, beliefs and more. Apart from the physical exhibition at PMQ, a virtual online exhibition was also held to realise the spirit of a cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary, and cross-media dialogues.

Creative Director of PMQ

Curator of Smart Fashion Runway 1, 2016
Curator of Smart Fashion Runway 2, 2018

“The concept for Smart Fashion Runway was very clear. As a platform for combining showpieces on the runway technology, the event showcased the individual and brand’s DNA of local fashion designers. Compared to other fashion events, our positioning was more experimental. We collaborated with The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel in Smart Fashion Runway 1 and set “Smart Textiles” as the theme. For the second edition of Smart Fashion Runway in 2018, we invited visual artists from different sectors to create works by adopting new media as the medium.

For me, it’s important for audiences of different ages to get what they want. The most difficult and interesting part of the process was how to conceive a theme with imagination and depth of thought. The event aimed to induce different stories by designers and reflect the current context of society, as well as broaden the imagination of discussion on certain issues. As an exhibition held at PMQ, its visual impact and preference should be up to standard in order to live to the brand identity of PMQ.”

Smart Fashion Runway 1 & 2, 2016、2018

The textile industry was once the lifeblood of Hong Kong’s economy. What will it be in the 21st century? In 2016, PMQ and The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel co-organised the first press conference of Smart Fashion Runway and collection exhibition. With the theme of “Material Translation”, 11 Hong Kong fashion designers were selected to showcase a new breakthrough in a creative approach by using smart textiles developed through scientific development. In 2018, the second edition of Smart Fashion Runway was themed “Canvas of the Night Sky”. The judging panels selected 10 fashion designers and 10 visual designers from an open call. They created a brand new fashion stage under the guidance of mentors from the industry. Through exhibitions, design seminars, and sharing sessions, the event promoted the possibilities of interaction and coordination between fashion design and visual communication.

*The above exhibition is sponsored by CreateHK


Creation is an Experiment

Creation is an Experiment

Since 2014, PMQ has officially become the organiser and the venue of deTour. As the most significant annual design event in Hong Kong, deTour seems to be a borderless and cross-disciplinary creative laboratory which provides a platform for local and overseas creative design talents to refine ideas and present their works. Through a series of exhibitions, workshops, dialogues, debates, and industry events, PMQ links local and overseas design communities in deTour and makes itself a stage for engaging the industry and public to participate, exchange ideas, and deepen their knowledge in design.

A series of creative experiments have revealed the insights and the expectations of the PMQ team and curators on Hong Kong design. Shin Wong, the mastermind of deTour, has been involved in organising this event for many years. Michael Leung and Trilingua Design made their debuts as curators to bring unique interpretations in deTour in 2019 and 2020, respectively. With multiple roles as curators, designers and creators, what are their thoughts about deTour and the relationship between the PMQ events and the development of creative design in Hong Kong?

The Past and
Present of deTour


I have been the curator of PMQ since 2015, and therefore involved in different projects including deTour, Smart Fashion Runway, and various independent projects. I’m glad that we’ve started the alliance since 2019 to invite curators to join us. We have Michael first, then Adonian and Chris from Trilingua Design. We want to continue this practice, and look forward to having more curation talents who are interested in joining us.

PMQ is a platform which connects people from different design sectors. My job is to coordinate different participants and help them present their efforts and design ideas. It can be a conceptual design, a product or an innovative design and we hope that more audiences in Greater China can get in touch with us and collaborate with us through the platform of PMQ.

deTour means “design tour”. You might remember that in the deTour once organised by the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design (now named Design Trust), was an ad-hoc festive event held in a nomadic way for several days at different interesting sites in Hong Kong such as Wan Chai Police Station, Victoria Prison, PMQ before its revitalisation, and even took place on a tram. Such a way shaped deTour as an organic and creative event. When PMQ became a landmark in 2014, William (William To, the Executive Director of PMQ) and Victor (Victor Tsang, the former Executive Director of PMQ) believed that PMQ should be the permanent venue of deTour. The lack of resources and space had been the biggest problems for curating events in Hong Kong. Furthermore, there was no large-scale local design event in Hong Kong other than deTour. Since 2014, with the funding support from Create Hong Kong, PMQ has become the official site and organiser of deTour.


I was involved in the deTour held on a tram in 2013, and ever after I was just a visitor. In the past, deTour was a mix of art and design. But in recent years, it has changed its focus mainly on design. It’s a good move as Hong Kong was lacking regular large-scale design events. deTour has the potential to develop on a scale like Dutch Design Week. In Europe or Japan, Design Week has always been the channel for everyone to understand the level and positioning of local design.

I’ve been thinking about how we can create a healthier city through design. The topic of deTour 2019 was about heritage, which looked into the mutual influence between “new” and “old” during the creation process. By understanding the definition of “new” and also the design traditions of Hong Kong, the development of the entire design sector can be accelerated.

Chris Tsui — Left / Michael Leung — Middle / Adonian Chan — Right

The Witness of Growth


My first experience was deTour 2010 at Victoria Prison. It took you to unknown places in the city or locations that you seldom visited, and it was very exciting. deTour is fun because it’s ever-changing. Its relationship with the city is also fascinating. It has matured with Hong Kong over the past decade.

The first time I officially participated in deTour was in 2015 when Shin was the chief curator. She knew that I was researching Beiwei Calligraphy and Type Design, so she invited me to do a poster exhibition. But giving it some thought, I wanted to create an installation instead. deTour was awesome in that participants could constantly ask questions and make suggestions. Untitled Speech was my final work, and it’s an installation combining fonts and sounds. It was an experiment I’ve never tried before, and deTour is a platform for us to try. It required mutual trust.


A successful platform always results in discovering. deTour works with different international organisations every year, but promoting local talents has always been our focus. We provided an opportunity to Tommy Fung (from Surreal HK) to hold his first physical exhibition, and we also discovered talented designers including LAAB, Trilingua Design, AaaM Architects and more. Many of them got invited for commissioned works soon after participating in deTour. In 2017, there were many new faces such as the architectural firm Bloom, and they were all very young.

After showcasing their LED installations in deTour, they received many invitation inquiries and gained much attention. Japanese design studio Whatever collaborated with deTour 2020 to create the art installation FLOCK which was later adopted as the main visual element in the concert of a famous Taiwanese band.

deTour is a platform allowing designers to present large-scale individual works so that potential clients and audiences can discover their names and works. By involving in deTour, they will also get opportunities to promote their brands with the help of professional PR companies. We’re happy to see that the number of visitors in the previous deTour was about 60,000 in a ten-day period, and it surged to the peak of 120,000 in 2018 after we took over.

deTour has shouldered a great responsibility but the glory is not all on us. The reason is that we don’t have other design festivals here. Hong Kong design is indeed strong, and it does have the potential to be qualified on the global stage. William and I always want to promote deTour overseas, like bringing deTour to Milan or other significant design weeks. This is one of our dreams.

Shin Wong — Middle

Experiment is the Cultivation


deTour has the other meaning of a roundabout route. When we walk around in the city sometimes, we don’t have to take the quickest path. It’s actually quite fun wandering around and exploring without purpose. We can have a better understanding of the creation and discover the relationship between the work and space. Since deTour has been held at PMQ, its style and space have been shaped, but at the same time we also retained the walking-around element. I particularly like the deTour in 2019 curated by Michael which used the remains of the Central School as the exhibition space. The implementation process was challenging as it involved a lot of decision-making by various government departments. Yet, this experiment was a chance for the public to discover the possibility to look at historical sites from a new perspective. That’s extraordinary. We often say that deTour is a trial ground for experiments, and we can implement our ideas here.

Design is closely related to workshops, research, and experimental developments. Many great interactive works overseas are the result of integration with engineering. It’s not true that Hong Kong designers don’t have this ability, but there is no platform or opportunity for them to try. Therefore, deTour is also a mechanism especially developed for designers to practice some of their long-standing ideas with the provision of resources and funding. Creation is a process with continuous tests and evaluation, and this may be the most valuable part of deTour.


I can say that these are the extensions of the theme “Trial & Error” of deTour 2018. The ending of deTour every year is another extension. A failure once doesn’t mean a failure forever, because the goal lies in the future.

The uniqueness of deTour is its different position from other trade shows. Commercial connections are certainly important, but deTour pays more attention to the role of “cultivation” to provide crucial trial opportunities to the young designer.

Heliocentric Spiral, Keith Lam, deTour 2017


I set the theme “Trial & Error” for deTour 2018 not only because creation is a constant trial and error process, but the theme also represents the concept and form of deTour. For us, the process and ideas are more important than the outcomes. deTour has always presented ideas or prototypes. This is a seed project that allows everyone to sow the seeds of ideas. If the idea succeeds, it can be produced by a better manufacturer in the future. Even if it fails, designers would know how to excel next time. Designers can also understand other people’s thoughts on their works through deTour, and I think that’s very important.


Apart from participating in exhibitions, we also worked on the main visual design for deTour 2016. The theme was “Game Changer” that year and it was really fun. We designed a table tennis table as the main visual symbol, as well as the on-site table tennis installation which allowed everyone to experience the theme while playing. In deTour, we won’t be refrained by the existing roles. We’re not only the service providers, but we also generate new ideas through interactions in the project.


The table tennis table of “Game Changer” provided a new perspective by changing the playing rules of this sport. The insight taken from this process led us to rethink sports, and also affected our design concepts for the Kai Yip Recreation Centre project later. For participants, design units and curators, deTour is a starting point which allows us to cultivate more new ideas.

Trial & Error, deTour 2018

The Experiments on Curation


We worked in different positions before, so when we curated the event in 2020, we tried to start from the perspective of “what do designers need when experimenting” and arranged a schedule with relatively sufficient time and resources to help them complete their works.


The common curation approach is to observe the current ways of creation, and then come up with a theme depicting the present situation. It’s advanced, yet it’s limited by the existing creation situation to a large extent. deTour is interesting because it’s theme-based, and everyone creates works based on the theme. It’s a brainstorming moment every year. Design is often based on clients’ requirements. Perhaps, there are some small breakthroughs throughout the process that challenge the current practices, but there is very little space for creation from scratch. That’s why deTour is also the “roundabout of mind” every year.


When we took over the event, deTour was operated in a relatively organic mode. Today, it has started to establish a clearer operation mode. If possible, I would like to keep the organic aspect. When people try to respond to the theme, it’s not good to have too many limitations or procedures. It’s a challenge on how to continue deTour’s organic and improvising spirit at the early stage under certain guidelines.

We also hope to strengthen the connection between deTour and the community, making it a platform for dialogue between people of different ages and classes. For example, Craig Au Yeung led a team to learn about the food culture in Central. It’s also a challenge for the curators on how to extend to a certain type of audience every year.


It’s essential to know how to strike a balance between drawing attention to present our intentions, and pushing the boundaries of design. 

Game Changer, deTour 2016

Broaden the Future Possibilities


For the future of deTour; frankly speaking we need funding to make deTour better. We also need talents to join in. In the past two years, Curator’s Choice (deTour’s main programme) presented a fine standard of academic contents and visual quality. The future selection process will be stricter. Especially when funding is limited, we can only choose the finest ones. It’s fair as the entire selection process is open to everyone and there are strict procedures for ensuring equal opportunity.


It’s not easy to find participants with high-quality works. As a curator, apart from inviting design applicants, we also need to assist them to continue the creation process, build up confidence, and deliver something they have never experienced before.


Finding a venue was the biggest challenge of every deTour in the past. PMQ now provides the venue for deTour to continue its development and growth. Without the trust and freedom from PMQ for the curation team, deTour wouldn’t succeed today. Freedom to create is crucial!


Without PMQ, there would be no deTour. Actually, PMQ also needs deTour.


The early preparation stage for deTour 2020 was amid the pandemic. I remembered that someone left a message on social media saying “why should we discuss design at this time?”. It’s obvious that some people still have misunderstandings about design. They probably think that design was about being unique and it’s something impractical. That’s why our roles are important as we have to know how to deepen the public’s understanding of design.

In 2020, we took “Matter of Life” as the theme because design has a profound impact on living and life. From a tiny screw to the entire urban planning, they are all about design. Bad design will waste your life — If the road isn’t well designed, there’ll be traffic jams every day. Through “Matter of Life”, we hope to bring out the essence of design.

PMQ is one of the few organisations that focus on introducing design to the general public. Design is not just what you see, but more importantly the way you think. The big reshuffle under the pandemic enables a process for rethinking and deepening our minds. PMQ is an open door to welcome events of various levels. The first level could be about lifestyle, something that can be easily consumed and accessed. Then it comes to the design logic and mindset. PMQ can take the lead in doing this and promote a design renaissance.


PMQ adopts a relaxing way to talk about design, making it easier for the public to accept. The strength of PMQ is that it has easy access to the public. Besides the rigid design theories, you can also find interesting experiences here, like deTour and many workshops. In 2020, a workshop used hardware materials such as branches and screws to design tools, perfectly combining design and fun elements. Introducing design to the public via a softer approach is exactly another strength of PMQ.


PMQ lets Hong Kong designers survive by selling their works or providing design services to them. As a creative landmark, it helps to make these things happen. In the long run, PMQ will continue to advance and broaden the design possibilities, and reconnect us to the post-pandemic world.

shin wong

A curator and creative influencer, Shin Wong has an eccentric professional background and eclectic experience in the entertainment, creative and arts industries for over 15 years. She is an expert in creative and conceptual thinking, artist liaison, curatorship and arts management. Since 2015, Shin has been the mastermind behind deTour, an annual flagship design festival in Hong Kong organised by PMQ and sponsored by CreateHK. The festival has drawn total traffic of over 600,000 visitors to its Soho site between 2015 and 2019.

Other notable exhibitions and creative projects curated by Shin include The Way You Look by Yamaguchi Soichi, Unparalleled Madness by Wang Qingsong, It is NOW by Tom Binns, PEDDERZINE Uncatalogued by JOYCE, Born To Be A Witness by G Cheuk, PMQ’s Smart Fashion Runway I & II and many more.

michael leung

Founder of Studio AA, Michael Leung is now based in Hong Kong after completing his IM Master Course at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. 

He explores different aspects of design from crafts and industry to design system and sustainability, spanning across the scopes of 2D, spaces, and exhibitions. His works have been showcased in Milan and Dutch Design Week, DMY Berlin and Vitra Design Museum. He has won the DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award and Perspective’s 40 Under 40 Awards, and he is also the co-founder of MOLTON, Hong Kong Department Store and MOON Laboratory.

trilingua design

Trilingua Design is a multidisciplinary design studio, established by Adonian Chan and Chris Tsui in 2010. Its design services include branding, visual identity, website design, publication design, exhibition design, and spatial design. They are also the curator of deTour 2020. 

The typeface design of Hong Kong Beiwei Zansyu is its ongoing, self-initiated project to document and research Hong Kong’s visual culture. To Trilingua Design, graphic designers are “visual culture participators”. They hope to build the foundation for Hong Kong’s design through active research and conversations on Hong Kong’s aesthetics.

Click the image to zoom in




An experiment, with its many trials and errors, is a way to pursue advancement and perfection by constantly putting methods or concepts to practice and questioning one’s art.

An experiment cannot be accomplished in just one go. It can only happen whenever you have changes, time, and resources. deTour is an annual flagship design festival at PMQ. In conjunction with various design exhibitions, events, and workshops, it aims to promote and refine creative experiments. Designers and public audiences can expose themselves to new designs and social issues, and they can also exchange ideas and take action to practise. Through continuous experiments and amendments, they can gradually work out an ideal design blueprint.

PMQ provides an environment as an open experimental platform to foster dialogues and opportunities to create good designs.


Cultivation in The Past Harvest in The Future

Since its establishment seven years ago, PMQ has continuously interacted with local and regional creative culture to promote and shape a more dynamic ecosystem with development opportunities for young designers. PMQ does not exist as an independent unit. It is a member of the greater design community, actively engaging in plenty of exchanges and collaborations while working with like-minded peers to harness the power for creating a better city.

As William To, the Executive Director of PMQ, says, “A creative landmark is a dynamic concept. It requires constantly new contents and spirits to keep up with the times, while the sharing of experiences can help us move forward into the future. Here we had Marisa Yiu, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Design Trust who is based in Hong Kong with a global vision. We also invited Emily Ong, the Deputy Executive Director of DesignSingapore Council who constantly looks out for Hong Kong and promotes design in Singapore. We talked about the two cities and discussed issues around design. We also explored how to move forward with PMQ for a more dynamic and better future.” 

William To — Left / Marisa Yiu — Middle / Emily Ong — Right

Promote Talent Development


Design is a macro ecosystem with interactions. We come from three different organisations that represent different scopes of works in promoting design. PMQ is a landmark for the creative industry with more than 100 young designers stationed here. Design Trust, which is led by Marisa, is a platform to fund different projects and advocate design researches and creative projects. Emily works in the DesignSingapore Council to develop design policies and is currently pursuing a Master of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has been engaged in creative industry in Hong Kong for many years.

The design industry in Hong Kong has gone through many changes in recent years. Regarding your working field, could you share your thoughts on the development of creative design in Hong Kong and in the region?


When I moved back to Hong Kong in 2007 after living in the US and UK as a trained architect, I became an academic professor in The University of Hong Kong. I joined the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design as a board member in 2008 and became a member of the Advisory Committee of PMQ in 2013. During my teaching in the university, I was always very impressed that there were so many talents but there weren’t many opportunities for them. Therefore, Design Trust was born out of this desire to build up funds and offer opportunities for designers.

This was an agitating journey. I always hope to break through the barrier between ‘professionals’ and society so as to explore how design can drive positive development. During the process, we continuously worked with multiple stakeholders to support local and international research and design projects. Based in Hong Kong, we also promoted a culture of design free from regional boundaries. We believe that we can build up a vibrant and vital ecosystem of design through multi-disciplinary and cross-regional collaborations.


I came to Hong Kong so often before embarking on my studies because of my work and family and I also regularly participated in Business of Design Week. People often say that Hong Kong and Singapore are two sides of a mirror and we compete with each other. But I don’t feel that there is such competition as the fabric of the two societies is so different. However, we speak the same language and there are so many synergies that we can come together fairly seam.

I have been in the public sector for 18 years now. I incubated the DesignSingapore Council 18 years ago and then I worked at different departments responsible for arts and heritage policies. I officially joined the DesignSingapore Council later in 2016. Unlike the Hong Kong Design Centre, we are fully funded by the government and we literally set up and drive the policies as part of the public sector. For talent development, we create jobs and promote skill development for designers. We have strategic plans covering children at preschool all the way to adults in the workforce. Talent development is the core of the DesignSingapore Council.


I agree that talent development is essential and creativity has to be cultivated at an early stage. That’s why we started our summer creative camps for children as we’re so lacking in creativity in our existing education system. We can’t change the system as we are totally an outsider. But we still want to make changes for the society, so we participated by running different events and programmes so that the children could learn directly from young designers and architects. I strongly believe that creative education at the early stage is very important to the development of a child’s mind.

Collaboration with Various Sectors in the Society


A strong leadership is the success of Singapore. For me and PMQ, it’s our fundamental operation practice on how to cooperate with the design industry, the government, private sectors, the community, and the local grass-roots. Perhaps every city has its own practical changes and revolutionary approaches.  


To many people in Singapore, design was all about a bohemian way of life. But definitely, society’s recognitions of creative design has improved over the past 20 years. Our Prime Minister always says that Singapore is a nation driven by design. Everything that we have comes from design. Design is a very powerful tool for us, and that’s why the DesignSingapore Council is part of the Economic Development Board.


We have made efforts through different channels to convince the government on how important design is for burgeoning economic development. The government has set up CreateHK and we work closely together. We’re fortunate to have the support and funding from them for our projects. However, the government has an existing system to evaluate creative projects and our role is to explain why these projects are important, and why government funding is vital. It’s a learning process for both parties. The creative industry is unique in its own way and we need to use a guideline different from other industries to manage it.


That’s why we tried to promote the Thought Leadership. We collected official data of people working in the creative industry through national surveys and such data serves as the facts we can present to the government and schools. We have an alliance with all the educational institutes in Singapore and this is the coordination among the whole ecosystem that only we can do. Whereas for the industry, you guys are the best to run different programmes. If there is such a platform like PMQ in Singapore, I’ll be happy to provide funding for designers to do what they want. We need different organisations to develop the vital parts of the ecosystem together.

Creating Experimental Opportunities


I have been working in the design industry over the years and what resonates with me so strongly is the fact that we’re lacking opportunities for experiments in Hong Kong because the cost of time and space is too expensive for the average artist. Fortunately, we’re able to provide a creative site in PMQ for young designers to experiment and realize their dreams and our annual programme deTour, for example, serves this purpose. deTour allows designers to go beyond the regular practice and try to explore the concepts and projects that they don’t normally have the chance to materialize. We’re facing a new future – especially in the virtual era driven by social media. We desperately need new ideas and these all come from the opportunities to experiment.


We always say that Singapore is so boring and the government tells us everything on what we should do. We think that Hong Kong people are so effective, agile, adaptable, and always think out of the box. We always look up to you guys.


It’s the lifestyle here that drives us to have such qualities embedded into our DNA. You have to adapt to the environment as everything happens so fast. We have that DNA but we don’t have enough opportunities to innovate.


William is one of the most important friends of mine when I returned to Hong Kong and we’ve been through a lot. There are a few people like William who make efforts in lobbying and bringing back global experiences to encourage change. On one hand, Hong Kong people are agile and flexible to get things done, but perhaps we have to slow down and think about what this city is missing. Let’s say there were no archives on neon signs and so Design Trust committed to helping on this. And if Polly Ho from Loom Loop didn’t get her studio in PMQ, she couldn’t have the experiment on Canton silk. Our foundation funded her filming in Guangzhou to look at the 400 years of Canton silk.

In my opinion, design is borderless. The city can become more prosperous only if we connect with the past culture and interact with the neighbouring cities. How can we play a  significant role in this ecosystem? I think this dialogue is valuable as it’s not only about Hong Kong but on a regional aspect.  

"DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade" Prototype Exhibition, Design Trust, 2020

The Hong Kong DNA of PMQ: Connecting the Past and Future


When talking about the past and present, I really love the buildings in Hong Kong. Singapore is so clean that every place seems identical. But in Hong Kong, Wan Chai is different from Mongkok, while Mongkok is not the same as Sham Shui Po. It’s messy but yet it’s authentic. Hong Kong people might take it for granted, but for Singaporeans it’s just so beautiful.


“Real life” is fascinating to me. I spent a long time in New York and it was dangerous and gritty during the early 90s. And now, the city has become healthier with all the gentrification and development. But I do miss the locality and that’s something vital about Hong Kong. PMQ, to a certain extent, possesses this kind of vitality and spirit.


There would be no PMQ without open minds. With the generous donation from the Musketeers Education and Culture Charitable Foundation and Debbie Lo Creativity Foundation, the site, which has been locked up for 12 years, now becomes a new space to nurture young designers and let them run their businesses. This was a completely new approach at that time. You have to take risks sometimes and nothing would happen if we always played it safe.

PMQ has made continuous efforts in working with young designers to accelerate the development of creative projects. Michael Leung and Trilingua were the curators of deTour 2019 and 2020, respectively, and we took a chance on these young designers who didn’t have much experience in such a capacity. We let them try and experiment and they did a wonderful job.


William is one of the members in the nominating committee for Design Trust: Critically Homemade, which was a response to the challenge of the pandemic. We asked the designers to craft an object from home that could be a way to bring our community together. There were so many innovations including an antibacterial door handle, Lego set and the Canto silk scarf by Polly Ho etc. The outcome was not the key but the most powerful part was the organic spirit of creating things together. We got support from commercial companies to turn the works into products and sold them in retail stores. We also had the support from PMQ to host a pop-up exhibition during Chinese New Year. All these works demonstrated the resilience of the design community. The whole community is more generous and united than I expect.

The Spirit of Creative Landmark


I also want to talk about the role of PMQ as a creative landmark and its development. Apart from PMQ, The Mills and Tai Kwun have also opened recently and l often say these examples are the epitome of the “revitalisation” of old sites. We have to bring new value to it rather than merely fixing it up and then reopening it. We hope to set a good example for the rest of the world. Ever since its opening, PMQ, as a case study, has attracted almost every cultural department of countries and cities around the world. Personnel members came here to learn about our business model and how we created new value to an abandoned site.


And to sustain them!


Yes, we have to sustain this spirit. It’s also another experiment that we strive to improve ourselves. For me, revitalisation is not about visuals of a historical building. I also want to know your thoughts on revitalisation and creative landmarks.


The relevant department in Singapore is going to “digitalise” some of the old towns. Of course, it could be one of the approaches in revitalising the neighbourhood. But can we look into the characters of those towns? You have to understand the characters and build up a system, rather than forcing digitalisation in every shop.

We don’t have something like PMQ and The Mills in Singapore. The Gillman Barracks was a total failure in the past decade as people didn’t understand how to use this place. There were lots of problems on the creative sites operated by the government and we don’t have strong support from private sectors like Hong Kong to drive it. The business sector would make donations to hospitals and educational institutes but not to the creative industry. They will just ask: Is there any profit? Do you have government funding?


They need to see the value behind creativity. People always think that PMQ is fully funded by the government, but we’re not. And we’re not civil servants. PMQ is funded by the Musketeers Education and Culture Charitable Foundation and also the Debbie Lo Creativity Foundation.  


If we learn from history, the city is actually driven by many different landmarks. In recent years, Hong Kong has many new landmarks coming up. I think it’s not just about the physical shape of the structure but the soul and spirit within the place.

There are many new museums coming up in China every day and some of them don’t really have enough content. It’s about the reassessment of the values of Hong Kong and how we present the true culture but not simply a nostalgic touch to the audiences.

Emily speaking at the Design Education Forum
during the 2019 Singapore Design Week.

Local Connection with Global Vision


I want to know about the interaction between design institutes and PMQ.


Hong Kong Design Institute, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design and The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture have all been collaborators of ours in different form. We are very close.

So, what do you think of the interaction between Hong Kong and Singapore? How could we strengthen the collaboration of the two regions?


I keep looking for more opportunities for collaboration. Singapore is a gateway to Southeast Asia, while Hong Kong is the gateway to China. We can think about how to build a bridge between us and the result could be very powerful. There is Business of Design Week every year in Hong Kong. In the past few years, we have run the Brainstorm Design with the financial magazine Fortune to invite thought leaders and designers from all over the world to share the insights in the forum. We can’t change the social fabric of Hong Kong, but we can offer advice and exchange ideas through this kind of platform.

Another possible approach is the collaboration between the President’s Design Award and the Design for Asia Award in Hong Kong. DFA is an international award, while P*DA is an award for local talents. I believe that a strategic collaboration of the two parties could bring great influence on a regional scale. 


We can showcase the winning designs at PMQ and we have done similar events in the past for young talents to gain more exposure. We have been using PMQ to connect with other design cities. The Korean Cultural Center in Hong Kong and the Nordic Innovation House are both located in PMQ. We also maintain a close connection with countries like Poland, Japan, Belgium, Italy and Sweden.


PMQ is also a place for finding talents and I met One Bite Design here.


Apart from nurturing designers within PMQ, we also devote ourselves to creative education for kids as well as initiating collaborative projects with external creative units so that young designers can showcase their talents here. PMQ’s effort in nurturing talents and its influence are not bounded within this site. Every project is a creative seed. Once it’s sown, it will grow. We will continue our mission of cultivating design and creative talents, providing shelter for them to grow and attract global attention.

william to

Executive Director of PMQ

A veteran talent in advertising and the Executive Director of PMQ.

William joined the Hong Kong Design Centre in 2005 and was responsible for their flagship events – Business of Design Week (BODW), Knowledge of Design Week (KODW) and Design for Asia Awards (DFAA 2006-08).

In Aug 2012, while retaining his role as a senior consultant to Hong Kong Design Centre, William joined PMQ – a newly launched creative site for design entrepreneurs.

marisa yiu

Co-Founder & Executive Director of Design Trust

A registered architect and the CoFounder and Executive Director of the charitable organization DESIGN TRUST, Marisa aims to support creative research in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. She is also the Founding Partner of ESKYIU, an award winning multidisciplinary architecture and research design studio. She was the Chief Curator of Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture. Her works and writings have been published in many internationally renowned publications. She was often invited to different global forums as a speaker.

She has taught at London’s Architectural Association, Parsons School of Design, School of Architecture at HKU and CUHK. Yiu is also an AIA member, HKIA associate, member the Board of Advisors for RTHK and formerly a Board member of the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design.

emily ong

Deputy Director General of Singapore Design Council

As the Deputy Executive Director of the DesignSingapore Council, Emily Ong is responsible for the development of creative policies and projects under the Design 2025 Masterplan, which aims to make Singapore an innovation-driven and lovable city by design.

Emily has more than 25 years of private and public sector experience in the infocomm, media, design and arts & heritage. She also took up key positions in the Ministry of Communication and Information, Economic Development Board, Media Development Authority and the advertising industry. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the National University of Singapore and Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia. Emily is currently pursuing her Master of Design (Design Strategies) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Bring The Brand To
The World

From 2014 to 2020, PMQ has organised around 2,400 events which attracted over 20 million visitors and linked local and overseas design talents through design, creative living and education, introducing international masterpieces to the city as well as showcasing local creativity to the world.

The Creative
Composition Of PMQ

The Place Where Creativity Coverages



PMQ NOW: In Between

PMQ NOW: In Between

The story of PMQ originated over 100 years ago – from the 19th-century Central School interlinked with Chinese and Western academics to the former Police Married Quarters in Hollywood Road and today, the first creative landmark for design in Hong Kong. The stories that happened here are all about people, those who had and have the foresight, the will, and the determination to drive the city forward.

As the bridge linking up the past and future, the local and international, design communities, we invite people from all walks of life to collectively compose the future of PMQ and create inspiring miracles together with us.