art · asia · culture · festival · hong kong · illustration

Just like “Picking Flowers”. Hong Kong’s Really Really Free Market.


Today I went to a Handicraft market at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Center (JCCAC) in Shek Kip Mei. I had seen in advertised in the MTR station and was surprised that I had not heard of this place before. I went with no expectations, due to the poor weather I guessed there wouldn’t be too many people. I found the building a very interesting inside-out space. There are eight floors and a rooftop. The building is part exhibit, part cafe, part outdoor courtyard, part artist retreat.

Traders gearing up.

Inside, there are multipurpose rooms used for pottery, metalwork, glass firing, art therapy and life drawing. There is a theatre on the ground floor which was converted into a bazaar for the day. Traders, artists, illustrators and artisans were selling their wares. I had a nice chat with one Illustrator; OnemouthLi. I bought one of her awesome postcards to send to my brother. Amongst the poorly disguised toot from Taobao on some stalls, there were many stalls selling genuine handmade clothes, cosmetics, jewelry and bags. Everything was whimsical and sparkling.

Edward Scissorhands appeared.

On the rooftop there was a live band from 2pm onwards, who sang in English and Cantonese, very linguistically diverse of them. The rooftop had a few more stalls and was also the location of the Really Really Free Market. This area reminded me of a good old fashioned British Car Boot Sale. Except everything was free! Some rowdy grandmas were fond of using their elbow as a weapon at times. However, the organisers found a way to combat this as they opened the market in shifts. I guess that was to make sure everyone had a chance to have a rummage without the whole area getting pillaged by a Greedy Gus.

The glorious free clothing rail.

I found myself a second-hand, stripy, Scandi style shirt. (That alliteration though). I talked to one of the organisers, a very pleasant lady who explained that she wanted to encourage sharing with others. She told me that she organised such events in Japan and they were very successful. Additionally, she explained that the organisers also held free workshops and a free cafe which I will be checking out too! The organiser explained she wanted the free market to be “Like picking flowers”. I liked her attitude so much as it reminded me of England, when people pass things down amongst friends/ neighbours/ cousins/ colleagues. A friend of my mother’s who worked in London kindly provided most of my wardrobe from 2003 – 2006. (Thanks Michelle).


This event had so much to offer and I felt a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t been here before or that I had allowed my interest in art slide. Perhaps living in a culture where money is worshipped so openly, I have let myself be indoctrinated into that regime. I needed to air out and remind myself of what’s important (again). Anyway, everyone is an artist.

IMG_20170311_141744 (1)
This piece “Fat Girl” spoke to me on many levels.


If you can, head down to the Handicraft fair tomorrow. If you miss it, there will be another in June, which I will be attending! For more pictures, check out my Instagram page.


Thanks for reading!



OnemouthLi on Instagram: onemouthli

My852life on Instagram: my852life

Hong Kong Really Really Free Market:





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