Each month, a number of enthusiastic colour watchers post the colours of the month in their particular part of the world. For the month of May, my travels are giving me the opportunity to do the monthly colours from another part of the world – photos from Hong Kong in the last week in May.
If I have to name one colour, it is going to be black although black is not really a colour, I am told by my art teacher. My primary impression of Hong Kong is black. In wikipedia the definition of black is as follows:
Black is the color of objects that do not emit or reflect light in any part of the visible spectrum; they absorb all such frequencies of light. Although black is sometimes described as an “achromatic”, or hueless, color, in practice it can be considered a color, as in expressions like “black cat” or “black paint”.
In any event the idea of black is a subject all in itself. Early on in my visit I went to a dinner party at the Hong Kong Cricket Club. I knew about this dinner party in advance and had carefully purchased and packed my “party frock”. A very flowery spring type light number from Cath Kidston. But as I dressed for the party, it stayed in my suitcase and I chose another combination instead. A Cath Kidston dark skirt and a bright pink top, also newly purchased for the trip. For readers not familiar with Cath Kidston, it is a fashion store based in London and its items are easily recognisable and admired for their distinctive cheeriness. I have been a fan since they first opened in Dublin over a year ago. At first their items seemed a bit quirky but now I feel that many other brands are copying them.
The dinner party was a fun celebration of the big 40 for one of my sons. As I looked around the table, it slowly dawned on my that almost everyone was wearing black, in some form or other. Well, after all, they were bankers. The appearance of dark colours was only relieved by the late arrival of one guest who, surprise surprise, was wearing a white dress. Only relieved I say by the guest in white, and also by me wearing my pink top and what I thought was a dark skirt but not dark enough in that company. I could only think to myself, I should have worn black – and very relieved that I had not worn my Cath Kidston summer garden party more light hearted number. Not that any one would have cared – after all, I was not the center of attention and it was a good hearted gathering of close friends.
I was reminded though of a friend here in Dublin newly married years ago who went to a traditional Irish funeral. In her case possibly it mattered more. She had been told that times were changing in Ireland then and that mourners no longer wore only black so she decided on a bright green outfit, newly purchased. To her mortification, she found she was the only person not in black and the mourners walked behind the hearse through the streets of the town. She felt that she, initially so proud and pleased with her green outfit, stood out like a sore thumb.
Well, not only was black the predominant colour at the private dinner party but also I was very conscious of the general population busying themselves about the streets and stores of the central area of Hong Kong. Not that brighter colours were not worn and not in the shops, but black was certainly outstanding for its omniprescence.
Now for a few photos but they won’t necessarily be black.
This is an advertising billboard in Happy Valley, near the center of Hong Kong. A year ago when I was here the billboard had a big picture of Obama.
View of Hong Kong from the Matilda Hospital, Victoria Peak, high above Hong Kong
view from the apartment in Tai Tam
view of a container ship – Hapag Lloyd, in a busy shipping lane far below the hospital
the downtown area is a bit like a Lowry painting, with people moving everywhere
lush vegetation and flower pots in a very densely populated area
laneway in the middle of Stanley Market
the buildings are so tall and built so close together – when one is downtown one tends to be looking up quite often, or looking along narrow laneways