(Hong Kong, 9 May 2023) The Mills will celebrate its fifth anniversary in December this year and is inviting the public to partake in an exciting series of cultural and artistic activities full of local character.
Since its opening in 2018, The Mills has actively curated a wide variety of cultural and community activities through its three pillars – The Mills Shopfloor, The Mills Fabrica, and CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile). The three-pillar approach was carefully crafted and operated such that The Mills as a whole can bond with local communities and offer innovative learning experiences to different age groups.
The Mills also offers a diverse range of dining and retail options that manifest the destination’s unique positioning as a popular cultural and creative landmark in Hong Kong. Over the years, The Mills had welcomed over 7.2 million visitors and received over 30 conservation and cultural awards from local and international institutions, including the 2018 Hong Kong Arts Development Award, the 2019 Hong Kong A&D Trophy Award for Best Professional Architecture Conservation of Historical Buildings, and the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Cultural Heritage Conservation Award – Jury Award for Innovation in 2019, securing its reputation in the international conservation community.
As The Mills approaches its fifth anniversary, Ms Vanessa Cheung, Founder of The Mills, says, “Over the past five years, we have been thrilled to witness The Mills’s evolution from an up-and-coming hub, to its dual role as a cultural hotspot for both local and foreign visitors and an invaluable platform for promoting local cultural exchange and nurturing talent. As we look ahead, The Mills will continue manifesting Nan Fung Group’s SEWIT framework – the five pillars of Social Cohesion, Environment, Wellness, Innovation, and Technology – and inspire the public through a diverse range of activities and community projects, promote cross-generational communication, and continue weaving a uniquely Hong Kong narrative with the community.”
Throughout the past five years, The Mills has collaborated with numerous international brands and well-known artists to promote innovative artistic and cultural experiences as well as sustainable development. For example, during Halloween, The Mills curated the “Immersive Journey with Junji Ito” featuring works by the Japanese horror mangaka master, Junji Ito. The Mills also worked with Designs in Air, a well-known British inflatable design firm, to advocate for conservation through massive, colourful inflatable installations at the space.
For Christmas 2022, The Mills collaborated with international fashion brand agnès b., a partnership fueled by the two brands’ roots in “textile” and “weaving”, to create a giant hanging Christmas art installation woven from recycled clothes and fabrics, as well as an exhibition detailing the process and the brands’ sustainability initiatives, to drive environmental awareness while echoing the history of The Mills.
The Mills has also been dedicated to collaborating with organisations and groups from different fields, drawing inspiration from Hong Kong’s history and its textile past to craft projects that engage the public from interesting perspectives. These include projects such as “Old Textbooks: The Good Old Days” Exhibition, “Nice to Meet You Kapok!”, and the immersive dining experience, “The Myth of It/Eat – Plant Banquet”.
The Mills also organises public and school tours to promote Hong Kong’s textile history and showcase how the project explores the endless possibilities to the intersection of innovation and techstyle (technology and lifestyle). As the first art centre of its kind in Hong Kong, CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) has collaborated with over 130 artists, designers, and craftspeople from various disciplines worldwide to organize a total of 23 cultural and artistic exhibitions related to textile and the textile industry, allowing visitors to understand the cultural landscape through the artistic perspective and broaden their international horizons.
Celebrating the Fifth Anniversary with Extraordinary Happenings
A series of exciting 5th anniversary events will begin in May to kick off anniversary festivities. With full support from Lee Kum Kee and in collaboration with the social enterprise PaterMater, The Mills will hold half-day family tours on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and invite different generations to learn about how the former cotton-spinning factories evolved into The Mills today, as well as the transformation of Tsuen Wan’s textile past into a Techstyle future. They will also be able to harvest fresh vegetables from the rooftop farm on The Deck and use Lee Kum Kee’s high-quality sauces to make summer snacks.
This June, CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) will present With the Sun, She Quells the Night – A Tribute to Rebecca Pan. The exhibition, which is conceived in close collaboration by the curatorial team and Rebecca Pan, will review her brilliant performing arts career spanning three decades through photographs, costumes, music records, news clippings, documents, and personal items, etc. CHAT will also exhibit a large-scale commissioned video installation by local artist Enoch Cheng, has also conceived and exhibited a commissioned large-scale video installation movie for the first time, creating a novel exhibition experience. In addition, video clips that have never been published, which were filmed by Rebecca Pan ‘s long-time pupil Chan Chung Ki over the years, will be displayed through the exhibition to present the audience with a different perspective of Rebecca Pan’s daily life and the cultural heritage she embodied.
Partnering with renowned local musician Vicky Fung, “The Mills Kids Festival” this year will bring the public another unique interactive experience, including a Tea Dance workshop for children to learn basic dance steps and dress up in 50s’ and 60s’ outfits, to bring the dancing culture of old Hong Kong back to life. The Mills will set up a nostalgic dance floor and invite children and adults to dance together to foster intergenerational harmony and communication. The festival also includes a series of family-friendly activities, such as kids’ markets, workshops, and Travel Around The Mills, to stimulate kids’ creativity and imagination through fun, interactive experiences. Cher, the local illustrator has been invited to feature her popular character Cou1mei4 (粗眉) throughout the festival.
One of The Mills’ most popular and highly anticipated happenings, “WeWeave Cultural Festival” (WeWeave), will be making a return this November and December. WeWeave will combine different experiences and elements to weave together unique happenings, inviting the public to celebrate The Mills’ fifth anniversary through exciting local music and cultural offerings.
To celebrate the new milestone, the Wavy Weaving Wall, the iconic artwork at The Mills that tells the tale of the Hong Kong textile industry, will be given a makeover in November, welcoming visitors with a whole new look that continues to embody the community’s collective memories and imagination. The Mills also has plans of upcycling materials of the existing Wavy Weaving Wall into décor for the coming Christmas – as per its long-time tradition of fusing festivities with sustainability.
The shuttle bus connecting The Mills and Tsuen Wan MTR station has also been redesigned. The vibrant design, crafted by local illustrator Bo Law, will be there to welcome visitors on board and keep them company on their way to The Mills!