A few weeks ago I went to an exhibit at my friend Arnault’s shop in the Tin Hau neighborhood of Hong Kong Island. Tin Hau is sort of a sleepy area located across from Causeway Bay, on the opposite side of Victoria Park.
Arnault has been the distributor for several hip brands and he decided to open this shop as a showroom, as well as a showcase for other cool products he’s discovered. The selections include many unique items from France, a solid music section, iPod mixers, and miscellaneous, but cool Japanese art books.
The shop is called Kapok – named after a kind of tree. There’s actually a huge kapok tree growing in the center of the street where his shop is located, so it’s not a bizarre choice!
Interesting, unique shops like this are not easy to find in Hong Kong. Because land is so scarce, rents are extremely high throughout the city. Prime shopping areas like Central and Causeway Bay are too pricey for small shops to afford – particularly for street level spaces. Some shops open on higher levels, but it’s more difficult to get walk-in traffic and the rents are often still prohibitively expensive.
Anyway, on this night, Arnault had organized an exhibition of t-shirts from graphic designers and artists throughout Asia. The shirts were mounted from the ceiling, and the partygoers could mingle among the hanging shirts.
All the shirts on display were available in short, limited-edition runs. Even the package design was excellent. The shirts were folded into thin green boxes (bearing the color scheme of the store,) and stacked near the front window, adding to the stylish look of the space.