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CHAT in Hong Kong

Joining us us at our trade event in Hong Kong? We are delighted to announce that we have an exclusive opportunity for you to experience a cotton mill that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art cultural hub. Situated in Tsuen Wan, the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT) is based in what were originally the three largest cotton spinning mills in Hong Kong. Owned by D.H. Chen (known as the “King of Cotton Yarn”) the mill closed in 2008 and fell into disuse and disrepair until 2014 when his granddaughter, Vanessa Cheung, was inspired to acknowledge the history of the site and to revitalise the mill. Vanessa passionately believes that the mill should display its heritage, but not merely be a static piece of history, and that it should inspire and energise the younger generation.
Working with the Turner prize winning artists’ collective Assemble, responsible for Liverpool’s Granby 4 Streets work, and with Vanessa’s vision in mind, the team behind the transformation preserved the architecture of the mill whilst encompassing the values of Hong Kong: creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation. The whole space is dedicated to re-engage locals by bringing textiles to life and re-imagining what textile art could be. Parts of CHAT will be brought to life by volunteers who have previously worked at the mill who will be on hand to share the oral history of the mill and the textile industry. Other spaces will house resident artists, pop-up exhibitions and kinetic learning zones. Every season, a new programme will be introduced ensuring that the activity remains current, reflective of contemporary trends and of interest to a wide range of visitors.
Along with galleries, workshops and studios, Mill 5 will house Fabrica – a fashion and technology incubator that will give entrepreneurs in wearable tech, innovative fabrics and sustainability a fully equipped co-working space. There are also machines that instantly recycle textiles into re-usable yarn. An interesting new technology that is showcased at the Mills is one that is developed by Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel – machines that instantly recycle used clothing into re-usable yarn.
The CHAT team have kindly offered to arrange tours of the mill for ICA trade event delegates who want to explore the re-modelling of the mill prior to it being opened to the public. Our members also have the opportunity to contribute to the ‘live history’ of CHAT by sharing their own thoughts and experiences around cotton innovation and re-invention with the team that may be included in the gallery.
Co-Director of the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile, Teoh Chin Chin says: “We hope that our visitors would be able to experience the creative energy that once filled this space through our exhibitions, co-learning and community outreach programmes. CHAT is an inclusive art-space that seeks to share and rejuvenate the narratives of the textile industrial history in Hong Kong. Through creative artistic practices of contemporary artists and textile practitioners, we also hope to inspire our visitors with new interpretations of textile arts and fresh discussions on the subject matter of textile.”
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