This Summer, I was honoured to be invited to submit a design for Elephant Parade. Elephant Parade is a global conservation, awareness- & fund-raising NGO set up to protect the elephants. They have had Parades all over the world but this is the first time they were bringing the show to Hong Kong (courtesy of Swire Properties).
I love elephants & recently came to understand more about the threats facing the Asian Elephant after spending time at the amazing Lek Chailert’s Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai ( the best place to get close to them in all the right ways http://www.elephantnaturepark.org & an unforgettable experience). EPN allows feeding & river bathing (no riding ) whilst educating its visitors about the elephant’s endangered status & dwindling numbers.
Which leads me to Hong Kong. Self-proclaimed ‘Asia’s World City’, Hong Kong should have long-outlawed ivory-trading, instead it’s a hub for it. All the more reason to be involved in Elephant Parade. I’d love to think that the parade spectacle & it’s mission, can go some way to educate & impact on the cultural tastes that still find ivory acceptable.
I dressed my elephant in a pattern of all my favourite Hong Kong things. She’s yellow as a homage to the city’s famous delectable & bright yellow egg custard tarts 蛋撻 ( a delicacy I thought made a great breakfast for many years, until they began to threaten my waistline & cholesterol levels). I was in good company though, the last Governor of Hong Kong - Chris Patten - was equally fond of these tarts & grew in a similar fashion during his time here ( google them both for clear pictorial evidence). Locally, he was nicknamed “Fatty Pang’ as result of his appetite for these delicious yellow tarts. His favourite tarts came from the famous & much-missed Tai Cheong Bakery on Lyndhurst Terrace. My favourites too. Almost as good as Lord Stowe’s Portuguese egg tarts in Macau. Mmmm….
Anyway, back to the elephants.The entire herd of more than 100, are being auctioned for Elephant Parade’s charitable worls & you can bid online now right here.http://www.elephantparade.com/index.php/hong-kong/exhibition-auction-buy-nowbid/
The exhibition & auction ends 13th September.
As a result of the Fatty Pang connection, I decided to name my girl ‘Custard Chan’. Look for her on the auction list.
Chris Patten, if you’re out there, this is the HK souvenir you’ve been looking for.
Here’s Custard at Citygate. First shot, her enormous backside, standing as a warning to the dangers of the humble custard tart & below, posing with her young colour stylist.