Art is not dead in Hong Kong. Many people say that art and creativity are dying here. But Queen’s Road East Carnival (QRE) proved them wrong by inviting a wide range of artists to perform at its carnival. Junior Reporters went to experience extraordinary waffles and Hand lettering. But not limited to them.
This weekend marked the sixth year of the Queen’s Road East Carnival, QRE. Held annually in Wan Chai, the carnival is a celebration of the diverse cultures in Hong Kong and is part of the larger QRE Festival. The festival aims to bring together the Wan Chai community by organising fun-filled activities that teaches young people about the history of Wan Chai and its culture.
From groovy hip-hop dances and soulful music performances to an absolutely hilarious clown show, there was a lot to enjoy. We also got to take part in a calligraphy workshop and try some virtual reality games. My favourite part of the day was getting to try delicious, innovative delicacies that combined flavours from both local and international cuisines to reflected the “East meets West” theme of the carnival.
A foodie’s paradise
The QRE Festival was filled with stalls offering many different activities to try out or see. But the ones that attracted me most were the ones that smelled good.
First, we had some waffles. But these were no ordinary waffles. A simple waffle was transformed into a “lollipop waffle” – an on-the-go snack that was easy to hold and eat as we walked around. It had different fillings mixed with the batter such as nutella or custard with a soft, light layer of icing sugar on top.
Another interesting part of the day was the innovative public art seating. Local artists from Wan Chai designed and created eight different seating areas that were unique because of their design. These outdoor seating areas were dual-purpose; they displayed art, and also encouraged citizens to think about Wan Chai’s streetscape and culture. They collaborated with eight local architects to create the seating areas. These eight areas represent the public developments and urbanisation taking place in Wan Chai. Some of them were inspired by the land reclamation that Wan Chai itself is built upon, while others contrasted the past and present or traditions and modernisation.
While at the carnival, I was offered the opportunity to get a customised calligraphy card as well as the process of English calligraphy, also known as hand lettering.
Hand lettering is not a very common thing in Hong Kong, or at least, Chinese calligraphy is more common than English calligraphy, which focuses more on the “standard beauty”, or the way it looks when it is written, instead of the “spiritual” beauty in the meaning of the words.
Christmas is approaching and I had no clue what to give my friends. But this section inspired me. With nothing more than a little ink and a special pen, the artist transformed once-blank cream-coloured cards into the perfect gift and a precious souvenir of my time here, with the quotes I requested flawlessly written in beautiful, cursive lettering on them.
But our experience was not limited to food. There was a ballet that added a twist to the classic performance. The ballerina was encased in a huge, transparent plastic ball while she attempted challenging positions while maintaining balance and ensuring the bubble didn’t roll around. It was a very unusual twist indeed!
One of the most futuristic parts of the festival was the “VR Universe” game booths. There were two different kinds of VR games such as horse riding and basketball shooting.
For the horse riding game, there was a piece of bicycle-like equipment to make the horse riding experience more realistic. Before mounting the horse, users had to put on a VR headset. Cycling gave the horse “energy” to run, and is also great exercise for the player.
For the basketball game, I didn’t get a chance to play, but it looked hard to score baskets, particularly for beginners who weren’t sure how to control the technology (the control looked a bit like a Wii remote).
Healthy alternative to Coca Cola
As well as all the workshops, we were also introduced to something called “Green Cola”.
A lot of people are addicted to Coca Cola, even though they know it’s not good for them. Now, fans of the soft drink have another, healthier option – Green Cola. It claims to have the same sweet taste without the calories.
The thing that impressed me most about it was that it contains 0 grammes of sugar, 0 grammes of saturated fat, etc. I have never seen so many zeros on a soft drink can! I guess I can now drink as many cans of Green Colas as I want without worrying about getting fat or being unhealthy. Cheers! (These comments do not reflect the opinions of Young Post.)