Cover Clockwise, from top left: Peter Cheung, Douglas Young, Ray Yeung and William Lim (Photo: Anna Koustas for Tatler Hong Kong)

Together with William Lim, Ray Yeung and Douglas Young, Peter Cheung reminisces about Hong Kong—from the heyday of Hong Kong cinema down to our evolving skyline

Those who have grown up in Hong Kong often feel they have lived many lives. The city is one of the most transitory international hubs in the world and the skyline is always changing. However, a lack of available land and rapid urban development have generated little incentive to protect and restore heritage buildings. Now, all that is left to remember the sights and monuments of a bygone era are memories and the artists who capture them.

In the most recent edition of Tatler’s House Stories panel discussions, Peter Cheung, Tatler’s regional advisor on engagement, PR and business development, took a trip down memory lane with William Lim, Ray Yeung and Douglas Young, who reflected on the city’s past—and its future.

Lim is the managing director of CL3 Architects: his portfolio includes H Queen's in Hong Kong and the interiors of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. For the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture, he brought five bamboo scaffolding experts to Italy to build an installation inspired by the traditional Hong Kong construction technique.

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Yeung is a film director and LGBTQ activist. His most recent film, Suk Suk, won a slew of local and international awards for its boundary-pushing take on Hong Kong’s queer community.

Finally, Young is the man behind Hong Kong heritage brand GOD, which is famed for its cheeky “delay no more” slogan—an anglicised play on a Cantonese profanity. Young says: “I remember when you’d travel, people would bring back items you couldn’t find in Hong Kong and vice versa. But the world became so globalised, it was nearly impossible to find items you couldn’t get elsewhere. Especially something that was uniquely Hong Kong. GOD was a reaction to that.”

Inside the Sky Lounge at The Upper House, the panellists laughed as they reminisced about everything from the golden days of Hong Kong cinema, to only being able to travel by ferry from Hong Kong to Kowloon before the cross-harbour tunnel and MTR arrived, to how the skyline has evolved.

“Individually, the majority of buildings are really quite mundane,” says Lim. “But that’s something that’s unique about Hong Kong. It’s about these individual characters that might not be that flamboyant, but when you put them together and form a cityscape, it’s magnificent.”

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