A Romance with Indonesian Cooking
A few months ago, we received an email from one of our former design interns, Lilian Liem. She got in touch to see if we’d be free to meet up with her mother, who was planning a visit to Hong Kong from Melbourne, where they are based. We sat down with Irene one day last November and a very interesting conversation ensued. She introduced the cookbook, “A Romance with Indonesian Cooking” that she wrote, and designed with Lilian’s help.
The hardcover book, is beautifully designed and tells the story of their family and how Irene’s late husband, Dr. Liem, loved to cook. When he passed away, Irene spent every day for a year, in the kitchen, cooking his recipes from her memory, as he had never written any of them down and invited their friends over to share stories, and to taste his cooking. We decided that afternoon to see how we could promote the book, and we began a dialogue to put together a small event and host a lunch for friends in Hong Kong.
The result of a few months planning and numerous email exchanges resulted in three days of shopping, preparation — chopping vegetables, making spring rolls and grilling satays ahead of the cooking demonstration and lunch on Sunday April 14th. The lunch featured recipes from the cookbook. Guests arrived at Salon No. 10 and enjoyed a casual lunch with dishes such as Gado Gado (mixed vegetable salad and peanut sauce), Bakmie Goreng (Dr. Liem’s Hokkien noodles), Babi Kecap (Braised pork in sweet soy sauce) and Sayur Asam (Sour Vegetable Soup). It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday.
Special thanks to Paola and Ignacio of Tangram, and to Alex and Ellis of Moustache for their support and enthusiasm for this event. Thanks as well to all our friends and guests who attended the lunch. We hope you enjoyed it!
A Romance with Indonesian Cooking is a mother and daughter collaboration. Together they used their writing, photography and design to capture the story of two people: Irene, the mother, and Dr BK Liem, the (late) husband and father, whose love of good food, and love of each other, inspired them to cook and present the dishes they loved. Irene’ and BK’s pathways may have been different but it was the human spirit and determination that made their respective dreams come true.
The book comes in two parts, the first detailing Dr Liem’s family history and his journey from his humble beginnings in Indonesia, through to communist China during the Cultural Revolution and finally, to starting a new life as a practising doctor in Australia. The second part relates how Irene, his wife from Hong Kong, who did not know how to cook Indonesian dishes, attempted and succeeded in bringing alive the much loved recipes he cooked for his family and friends.
A Romance with Indonesian Cooking — What Dr Liem Ate at Home by Irene Liem. Design and photography by Lilian Liem @2012
We have limited copies of the book for sale at the studio. If anyone is interested in purchasing a book (HK$250), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and details.
some assembly required
One of us from Whitespace was fortunate to experience their first Rugby Sevens in the South Stands this year, dressed as a Lego Man.
Mixed in with the US Postal Service Team, Hong Kong Taxis, Words with Friends, Pure Fitness instructors and morph suits, Team LEGO stood out in their boxy outfits and realized that the bright yellow head served as a target as well as offered some protection from the rampant beer tossing happening all over the stands.
Here are some of the highlights of our Sevens, from transforming some basic household objects into one of the most iconic costumes at the event. LEGO will never look the same to us!
The Revival of Hong Kong Night Market
Born in the era of prosperous night market, I went to the night market in Sham Shui Po with my mum every week, when I was a kid. I still remember every piece of memory of people holding a torch to check out the items, hawkers yelling to offer a bargain, etc. So, The Night Market Project is like a look back at my childhood.
The project is established by a group of Creatives & students in Hong Kong. They picked a spot, exhibited & sold what creative things they did, as means to promote Hong Kong’s unique night market culture. Owing to Hong Kong’s rapid urban development, the traditional night market is rarely seen here. It is good to have some people step up to do something, in order to conserve this culture, especially in Hong Kong who is always called as “culture desert”.
During my walk at the night market, I heard so many hawkers saying,
“Why is it so crowded tonight? What happened?”
“WOAH, I am so happy to see the revival of Sham Shui Po! Sham Shui Po forever!”
I believe the Night Market Project’ curators have made a big step!
The crowds were checking Creative City‘s map, conceived & developed by Whitespace founder Danielle Huthart and former journalist Louise Wong.
CNY Summit Assault in South Korea
This is a documentary about 17 old riders, average age in 81 years old. 8 of them have heart diseases, 2 of them were suffered from cancer and all have joint degeneration. And they made a remarkable round-the-island motocycle journey in Taiwan, and completed the impossible dream of finishing 1178 kilometer in 13 days.
When someone lived for more than 80 years, I believe they all have wonderful stories, no matter it is with full of sadness or happiness, or both of them. During the trip, the grandriders shared all their secret stories, and you can feel how much that meant to them, it is all beautiful and with full of love. One of the grandrider, he put his wife’s photos in the front of his motor cycle. Always clean it with care, surrounded it by fresh flowers. And the reason he joined this journey is because a promise to his wife: If I can still ride motorcycle when I am 80, I will still bring you to round-the-island! Even though, his wife can’t wait until that time, he still kept his promise, and bring her to join this meaningful journey.
This documentary is using an optimistic and cheerful approach to film the journey. Even a lot of sad thing has happened on those old riders, but the film didn’t exaggerate their pain and sorrow. They tried to focus on how happy and energetic that the old riders can be, and how they eager to fulfill their dream in this journey. For me, they are just like kids, they are simple, happy, kind and with lots of hope. This documentary really changed the perspective of people on old people, they are not only about sickness, old and pessimistic, but with passion, happiness and hope. What they need is just more care, love and support from everyone. They can do something that you and I can’t imagine and able to do too!!!
Cheerful and cute Chinese calligraphy teacher
The energetic 17 old riders
The sweet couple, and the lady is having cancer
The movie is still showing!! Please spare your time to watch it!!