Rolling up to Chungking Mansions on a Friday night, we had no idea what to expect. The sprawling complex of hostels, immortalized in Wong Kar Wai’s film Chungking Express, is the domain of “copy watch” salesmen, miscreants, and brave budget travelers.
Located at the bottom of Nathan Road, during the day it’s filled with a melting pot of immigrants from developing countries looking to hustle up business of one sort or another. In the shopping arcade there are rows of stalls offering up numerous ethnic cuisines, sundries, and snacks. Shop 102, an African restaurant, was our destination for the pop-up put together by local indie brand OKOKOK and the Yeti crew.
Located on the ground floor along one of the building’s side corridors, most of the shops were already closed for the night. In fact, the place – which is typically teeming with people during the day, was eerily empty.
Bumping into friends on the way in, we knew we were in the right place when we turned a corner and caught a blast of music.
Guests were congregated in the hallway, chatting, dancing, and drinking. The unique location, a place that the majority of young Hong Kong rarely goes, was refreshing and fun. This wasn’t a derogatory invasion, but instead a celebration of one of Hong Kong’s many pockets of subcultures.
As the music played, guests mingled freely, popping into the tiny shop to take a turn on the dance floor, or get a quick shot of the DJs in action. The interior of the shop was bathed in blue light, giving it an exotic atmosphere, and triggering flashbacks from Wong Kar Wai’s film.
Taking advantage of the latest trend, the get together was broadcast on Facebook Live, allowing friends and music fans around the world to tune in.
Creative organizers, OKOKOK x Yeti Out
OKOKOK is a small indie clothing brand with a cult following. They sell at skateshops and other street wear boutiques around town like Loading in Tsim Sha Tsui. Yeti Out is a DJ crew and an events organizer with branches in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Gaining notoriety around the region over the last several years, they have held numerous interesting events including the Cakeshop pop-up in Hong Kong. They are known for bringing of-the-moment and up-and-coming talents to sophisticated nightspots around Asia.
The music for the night ranged from Reggae and Afrobeat, to indie dance cuts, and the stylish crowd, along with the addition of a few local bystanders, got into the groove. The turnout was strong, with a good number of skaters, streetwear designers and scenesters in attendance.
This is the first in a series of gatherings that will take place in unique, nontraditional locations. Follow Hong Kong Hustle, Yeti, and OKOKOK to get information about the next one, or catch the livestream online. We’re excited for the next episode!
The lowdown: good vibes, friendly crowd, unique location, authentic influencers, streetwear cognoscenti, indie locals, skaters, underground dance music, cheap drinks