Handsome Bags Re-Designed by Billy Potts

So now that Detour madness has settled down a little bit I'm just getting the chance to talk about something a little bit different- our bags. Yes, we started out doing bags and we still do them- but we do them even better than we did before.  Here is a sneak preview of Handsome's new look - better product shots to come!

The Ng Family from Tung Chow Sofa by Billy Potts

This morning we filmed two interviews with two separate film crews at the same time- one with Dim Sum TV from Taiwan and one with the Shue Yan College film students. We got the chance to interview Mr. and Mrs. Ng (not Joseph's parents), who run Tung Chow Sofa with their son.  It is from this little family business that we get many of our taxi seats.  They gave us our first seat covers and without their support and patience there would be no Handsome Bag Co. and therefore no Handsome.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Ng.

The Porcelain Has Landed - Thank You To The Whole Team by Billy Potts

After one car crash, one replacement van, 2 storage spaces, 2 trips to Shenzhen, one successful trip through customs and a taxi ride the porcelain shells have finally made it to Hong Kong and are now safely at Detour for installation - we weren't sure it was going to make it - thanks to our new friends and co-workers: Victor who made the molds and fired the porcelain and went well out of his way to make sure that it got to us in time, Julian and Mr. Cheng, who helped us order and hack the NUD lamps, Mr. Lam, who transported our setup materials to Detour,  Tammy, Nickleby and Jayne, who helped with display materials and set up and my Mom (Clara Potts), who dropped me off in the car and waited while I moved the crates. An especially big thank you to the Shue Yan Student film crew and their dedicated teacher, Joanne, who helped me with carrying 2 hefty crates across the border last night- couldn't have done it without those guys.

Set Up At Detour - 23 November, 2011 by Billy Potts

Victor managed to get our porcelain artifacts down as far as Shenzhen and I'm going up there to get them tonight - after I give a guest lecture on design research at Polytechnic University with Erica Young.  Really looking forward to the lecture!

Luckily I've got some help down here in Hong Kong with Mr. Lam, our contractor, the Zixag guys and Tammy - we set up our display stands at Detour last night.  I think we shifted it about 15 times but finally decided on diagonal.  We're lucky because we've got a whole car parking spot to ourselves on the ground floor - completely unobstructed and next to Kacey Wong and Wong Tinyan's sculptures.

I've also got three student film makers from Shue Yan College shadowing me - with all these helpers and a student film crew, we're starting to look like a funny little parade.

Giving these away for free at Detour 2011 by Billy Potts

This is a sneak peek at our submission for Detour (25th of November to 11th of December) - we're making 21 of these 'Artifacts'.  They're made of porcelain and were made in 景德镇 (Jingdezhen). They were fired in the same kiln that Ai Weiwei used for his Sunflower Seeds.  They've each been fitted with a white porcelain NUD lamp - each with a different coloured chord and an energy efficient bulb.  They can be used as a number of things - we're displaying them as lamps.  Make of them what you wish:  soap dish, pencil holder, plant pot, just as long as it's useful- they'll be available to take on a first come first serve basis on the last day of Detour, that's Sunday the 11th of December 2011. So what is this all about?  Read on if you're interested

Detour is an annual event that celebrates design in Hong Kong.  This year Handsome was invited to design something to exhibit at Detour in our Designer Exchange with Berlin (remember when we sent our chair to Berlin?). We were given the themes "Useless" (Use Less) and "東西" (a pun on the word "Thing" which literally means "East West").

We've taken a very ubiquitous industrially produced shape (I don't think we need to say what it is) and re-interpretted it as an artifact that says something about our  culture.    There was a time when objects were treated with respect.   They were made to last and taken care of.  In today’s consumer culture, objects are made to be disposable and consumers are wasteful; they don’t see the value in things.  Often craftsmanship,  thought and attention to detail are overlooked.  We want viewers to rethink what they might otherwise have regarded as disposable or useless.   We invite viewers to take these objects, free of charge, and to do with them as they please- as long as they put them to some good use.

We chose to make our artifact out of porcelain and in 景德镇 (Jingdezhen) because of the historical significance of this material and because of its connection to local craft and culture in that area.  Porcelain was invented in China and was widely traded as a commodity with the West.   Jingdezhen has been producing porcelain for 1700 years and used to craft it for Emperors.    Using an ancient Chinese invention to re-create a modern Hong Kong (read Chinese) icon in a dialogue between East and West is interesting to us and (I think) fits the bill for "東西" (Object / East West).


Dressing Like Grownups, Acting Like Kids by Billy Potts

We did our second shoot with tcny yesterday- this time we featured Nigel Ong, film maker and stalwart on the Hong Kong skateboarding scene.  We caught up with Nigel yesterday  in Chai Wan so Justin and Lincoln could fit him for a suit. A few years back, Nigel made a film called ‘That’s I.T.’ – a documentary about the skateboarding scene around Immigration Tower.   It seems like yesterday when my friends and I were watching That's I.T. on our holidays from school so it's kind of surreal that we're now working with this guy.

We know this project might look a little random at the moment but just wait!  This is going to look great when it’s done!


SCMP Style Magazine by Billy Potts

Thanks to Frances Moxon for featuring us among many other Asian designers in this month's Style Magazine.  I'm still hunting around for a copy of my own so if anybody has one to spare I would gladly exchange it for a coffee.


tcn:y A Brand New Project by Billy Potts

Handsome is now officially 1 year old - what a year!  Since Joe and I started this project we've been to Tokyo and Berlin, designed bags, watches, bikes and furniture, hired our first intern, spoken at numerous events and moved into a new studio. The best part of all this is all the great people we got to meet. SO  with the start of Handsome's second year we're doing several COMPLETELY different things.

The first completely different thing is we're working with tcn:y a clothing company that is from Hong Kong and proud of it - they make classic made to measure suits and we're going to be following them along the way- click the photo for an example of some of the stuff they are doing!

As for the other different things... they're secret!  For now.

Riot Gear by Billy Potts

It's always nice and surprising to see what uses people find for their bags.  TC Chow from Zixag sent us a photo of himself with our Kevin Messenger Bag in front of all these riot police down in Central- Thanks TC.