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August 27 2014

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Hong Kong, They Love You

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This weekend, 28-year-old Pablo Ganguli, the flamboyant curator of culture and creative characters, took his Liberatum festival for the arts to Hong Kong, co-curated with pianist Rosey Chan. Despite the endless black rain, the nonprofit three-day event, which featured lively talks with Pharrell Williams, world-renowned producer William Orbit, and Paul Schrader as well as installations by filmmaker Mike Figgis and a performance piece by Terence Koh, attracted editors and culture enthusiasts from around the globe. On Saturday night, the festival’s participants and spectators joined Ferragamo at Hong Kong’s Kee Club for dinner, dancing, and a surprise performance by one of the weekend’s most glamorous headliners, Spanish actress and Almodóvar muse Rossy de Palma. “As long as I can remember, Rossy has influenced me with her dynamic character,” Ganguli said.

The talk quickly turned to the festival’s temporary home. “When people talk about China these days, they usually talk about money,” said Vogue China’s editor in chief, Angelica Cheung, who turned up in a smart black Lanvin look. “The art scene in China, as everybody knows, is very active. But everything here is often commercial, commercial, commercial! More people should be doing things like this,” she added, noting that she particularly enjoyed Stephen Webster’s lecture, which took place at the festival earlier that day. (Webster, as it turned out, was in Hong Kong for reasons commercial as well as artistic: In addition to the fair, he was in town for a show of his jewels at Lane Crawford. “I brought all my best stuff because I really want to test it out here,” he said.)

De Palma made her grand entrance in a sequined Custo look, fluttering a black fan. “It was always my fantasy to come to Hong Kong. I am obsessed with China!” she said. It was her first time in the city, but her burlesque performance included an improvised homage: “Hong Kong, my darling, I love you!”

Photo: Courtesy of Liberatum

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