Born and raised on the 30th floor of a Hong Kong high-rise, Hong spends his spare time in Stockholm cafes pouring over travel essays. He is also a designer at Essen.
Tell us something about yourself.
I've come to terms with that beauty really matters to me. That's why I'm always trying to perfect things. I even keep small flower arrangements on my desk just because it makes me a little happier. It’s human nature really, we are an aesthetic species.
What makes you happy at Essen?
For me it is all about the team, they make going to work every day a joy. We hang out in the weekends and having that social context at work means a lot.
What do your days look like?
Working tightly with my team, we are not precious about our work but collaborate freely. Or I’m doing research, testing out different ideas or concepts. Some days there is an after-work, otherwise, I enjoy a nice walk before I get home.
What is your most treasured memory?
One night, around bedtime, my mum taught me a very old song. This memory stays with me, I felt so content in that moment. The song is called “Olive tree” in Chinese, it’s about wandering. The lyrics that stuck in my mind are something like “Don’t ask me where I come from; my hometown is far away; why would I wander; wander; wander”.
What would your job be if you weren’t a designer?
An artisan or a barista. I enjoy working with my hands and creating something tangible. As an artisan, I would have full control of my work and time and get plenty of quality time with my inner self. Being a barista in a low-profile cafe could be a good balance between craftsmanship and social life. Perhaps a combination of the two would be perfect.