5 Creatives You Need To Know In Hong Kong

By Samantha Topp

From one of Hong Kong's best-known illustrators to a world-famous tattoo artist, here are five creatives you need to know in Hong Kong

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Cover  Illustration By Little Thunder

A world-renowned tattoo artist, a Central Saint Martins-trained nail technician, a Hollywood actress, a fashion designer and a lauded illustrator. What do they all have in common? They’re all Gen.T honourees in Hong Kong who are leading the way in the creative industries.

Here are five creatives you need to know in Hong Kong.

Celina Jade

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Above  Celina Jade


Best Known For The 2017 box office smash Wolf Warrior 2, the highest-grossing Chinese film ever, which propelled her to new-found fame. She’s also known for her role as the character Shado in the US TV series Arrow.

Need To Know Jade is a triple threat: an actress, model and martial artist.

Quote “When I was 15 years old, I was signed to a Japanese producer called Tetsuya Komuro. I was still in school because my father put me on a contract that said I had to finish my education. Although, once my first CD came out and was successful, the Hong Kong company wanted me to quit school. It was a difficult choice because my dream was always to become a singer. So, I asked myself one question—‘am I becoming someone I admire?’ And I realised the answer was ‘no’. As a result, I let that go and pursued an education in economics and management. I realised that not having an education meant I wouldn’t understand the business behind music—and that would never make me happy,” Jade told Gen.T.

Did You Know? Jade is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. She released a number-one single at just 15 years old and later graduated from the London School of Economics with a first-class degree.

See also: 16 Women Fighting For Fairness in Asia

Stephnie Shek

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Above  Stephnie Shek

Founder, EightyEight

Who? A beauty entrepreneur who is behind the fashion crowd’s favourite nail joint, EightyEight. Shek is spearheading the global phenomenon that is boutique manicures in Hong Kong.

Need To Know Her nail parlour is far from the norm. Expect hand-drawn masterpieces on each nail, 3D details and swarovski crystals.

Quote Shek attributes the success of EightyEight to her team of experienced staff. “For me, being successful means creating a place where my team feels valued, important and loved,” she says. “I encourage my staff to always stay ahead of the curve and know what the latest nail trends are, while making sure the basic skills are well practised, and that we still offer classic styles. So the classics become a foundation for innovation,” Shek told Tatler Hong Kong.

Did You Know? Shek has successfully used social media to grow EightyEight’s business. Its curated Instagram feed of nail art boasts over 46,000 followers.

Cyrus Wong

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Above  Cyrus Wong

Co-founder and co-creative director, IDISM

Who? After graduating from celebrated London fashion institution Central Saint Martins, Wong cut his teeth with Chinese-born, London-based designer Huishan Zhang. Upon returning to Hong Kong, Wong co-founded womenswear label IDISM with fellow Gen.T honouree, Julio Ng.

Quote “Fashion allows me to express myself better than any other form of design. I really enjoy creating fashion shows and developing the craftsmanship of garments. I like the process of making garments myself, of sewing everything. My parents thought I should go into finance but I chose to follow my passion and study fashion and become a designer.”

Did You Know? Together, the design duo have taken to the runways at Paris Fashion Week, been named a Vogue Talent in 2017, and in 2018 participated in Centrestage Elites, which features the pick of Asia’s fashion talents. Both Wong and Ng were named “The future of Asia” by Yoho!, the Chinese streetwear e-commerce platform.

Little Thunder

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Above  Little Thunder

Comic artist

Origin Little Thunder first fell in love with illustration as a young child, thanks to watching anime-style cartoons on TV.

Best Known For Her signature comic book style. The illustrator is currently making plenty of noise on the local art scene with distinctive pieces that superimpose strong, sexually empowered women onto traditional Hong Kong backgrounds.

Quote “Since learning pole dancing a few years ago, I’ve started to pay attention to the female body and its movement. I began to realise how alluring it is to be sexy, and I wanted to translate that into my art. Sexiness isn’t just about having a voluptuous figure or posing seductively. Girls are attractive when they understand themselves well—what they have or might not have. Being vulnerable and honest with yourself is what makes you sexy,” Little Thunder told HypeBae.

Did You Know? Her powerful work has led her to collaborate with established brands like Nike, Dior and Shu Uemura, as well as becoming the first-ever Asian artist invited to perform at the prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival, Europe’s largest comics festival.

See also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs You Need To Know In China

Nicholas Tse

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Above  Nicholas Tse

Tattoo artist

Who? Tse is the founder of tattoo parlour Mei Wah Tattoo. After an informal apprenticeship with French-Vietnamese tattoo master Leon Lam-Hien and a lot of practising on himself, Nic has become a mainstay on the international tattoo scene.

Need To Know Meh Wai, the by-appointment-only studio he opened in 2011, hosts guest artists from all over the world and boasts a serious wait list.

Quote “In Chinese, 'Mei' means beautiful and 'Wah' could mean elegant, illustrious, flowery, and pertaining to Chinese culture, which is what I aim to achieve with my tattoos,” Tse told The 4th Wall.

Did You Know? Tse didn’t get his first tattoo until he was 30 years old.

To see more honourees in the creative industry, visit the Gen.T List 2019.

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