2015 Carolien PotterCarolien Potter - Hong Kong in Belgium
How a different culture and its environment can be sold in Belgium

Even before Marco Polo travelled and documented his travels to Asia, there has been an interest in other unknown countries, different customs and cultures. Even now, times have not changed. As I wanted to know how one can (re)create the feeling of another country’s culture and surroundings, I chose to study Hong Kong and I tried to bring this experience to my home country Belgium. In order to do so, I studied Hong Kong and its culture as a potential ‘product’ to sell in Belgium.

As a result I have created a store and restaurant, which sells brands that follow the Hong Kong mindset, reflecting its distinct culture and environment. As I did not want to recreate the city literally, I have used metaphors and representations to refer to particular differences or striking elements from that culture that I – and other locals – associate with Hong Kong. Such as the fast pace of the daily life, the continuing constructing in Hong Kong and the more obscure connection with the unknown nature next to the well-known buildings. As well as a reference to the air pollution, the more expensive side of the city and the fight for freedom to refer to the recent events during the Umbrella Revolution. All these representations combined create a wow-factor that one gets while exploring the city and its culture. The result is a retail design concept in which the lifestyle and atmosphere of Hong Kong are portrayed.

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