PMQ Corner #08

Sky’s the Limit in Open Quote

Open Quote

Written by Linus
Translated by Derek Leung
Photos by Open Quote

It is a bit bizarre to see such a shop name: Open Quote. And yes this is simply one half of the quotation marks that look like two locks split open.

So, what can you find from the unlocked Open Quote?

"There’s no single content and culture here. It can be anything and it is everything. I just wanna make a new world," answered the owner Ricky in a more bizarrely mysterious manner.

Indeed, this shop tastes like a cocktail, with a vast variety of elements mixed together: household goods for daily living, stationery and accessories, and even food ingredients. Interestingly, besides piles of books and records placed in the middle of the shop, you can also find in the inner part a small display area where regular exhibitions for local artists as well as lectures, workshops and concerts can be held.

How will you define such a diverse and complicated space?

The shop is furnished by local designers with wood from boats and old furniture shipped from Europe.

An exclusive display area is catered to regular exhibitions of artwork by local artists.

The positioning of Open Quote is just a mirror of Ricky's own experiences. A couple of years ago, the former graphic designer left the cozy Hong Kong and headed for London to study design in order to give himself a breakthrough.

"I was totally worn out at work, and I couldn’t see any passion in my life," said he calmly.

Surprisingly after the course and the intake of some innovative inspirations, he even made a more amazingly dangerous move. He travelled to Iceland and Greenland as a vagabond and once talked to his inner self in a snow-capped mountain with only a torch on his hand in the middle of darkness.

While others find these two destinations an extremely harsh environment, he thinks they are good places for self-reflection. "Greenland is particularly gloomy and the suicide rate there is very high. I felt death was approaching...... but on the contrary I was forced to see how far I could go, and where my limit was."

He put such an unmatched experience into detailed writing and here comes the travel log 69°N 51°W, representing the exact latitude and longitude of Greenland, reminiscent of the let-go yet inspiring wander.

After publishing the book, he chose to stay in his hometown Hong Kong, but this did not mean the completion of his journey. His experimental shop which sells cultural and creative products would probably be another even longer and more unpredictable journey.

Abandoned write-off books are collected from a bookseller to design this distinctive table. // Theatre seats are found from India.

When the final destination is still far, Ricky hopes to contribute a bit more to the city in his own journey. "In fact there’re many excellent artists and designers here, and what we do need is just a platform to express ourselves."

Anyway, the quotation marks are open-ended, representing the-sky’s-the-limit energy and possibilities.

Ricky performs on the Opening Day.

Address: Open Qute, S401, 4/F, Staunton, PMQ

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