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Here's what Christian Yang and AGA have to say about PROJECT AFTER 6


"Landlords by their very nature don't care," says celebrity chef Christian Yang. "They just want their tenants to pay rent and that's it. But, through Taikoo Place and PROJECT AFTER 6, for the first time ever I saw a landlord care about the quality of life of tenants. It's amazing and it makes sense. Happy tenants stay."

Launched in 2014, PROJECT AFTER 6 (referring to the time of day when office workers can pursue their interests) is an engagement programme created by Swire Properties as a way to bring together the Taikoo Place and surrounding Quarry Bay community through a series of activities relating to art, music, cooking and sports.
Yang participated in PROJECT AFTER 6: Executive Chef back in December 2015, where he played mentor to 18 amateur chefs over a two-month period. They learned how to create their own pop-up concept restaurant, which would serve dishes on Tong Chong Street Market. "It was a really fun experience," says Yang. "There was some very tasty and creative food, some of which I thought would be too complicated to serve at a street stall - like stuffed chicken wings. But, the participants stuck to their guns and I was proven wrong. I'm happy to be proven wrong."
Yang has become friends with all the contestants and regularly checks their progress through social media. "I like seeing everyone's continued passion and enthusiasm. I see dishes that they've made and posted and it looks delicious."

Looking back at the event, Yang fondly remembers the day when his students made their debut. "You can see how happy everyone was, pursuing their dreams and having their friends and family support them," says Yang. "We rarely have cooking competitions like this in the city and it gave each participant real experience and expectations of what it would be like to run a restaurant. Everyone gained something from the process."
Fast forward to now, and PROJECT AFTER 6 has evolved with increasingly ambitious programmes, like the recent original musical comedy PROJECT AFTER 6: Cube Culture. And coming up later this month, we will see the second edition of PROJECT AFTER 6: Busking, where bands and performers in the community audition for a chance to perform alongside Hong Kong pop artists in Taikoo Place.
“The most valuable thing to gain from PROJECT AFTER 6 is remembering your passion”
"If I were to do it again, I would definitely perform acoustic versions of Carole King's best hits," says R&B singer AGA, who performed in the busking lineup last year. Sixteen groups performed in various locations of Taikoo Place, whose musical styles range from rock and folk to R&B and Cantopop. "I was so inspired by everyone's style of music that they brought to the event. And after the show, they just go back up to their offices and resume their jobs. That's dedication. I think the most valuable thing to gain from PROJECT AFTER 6 is remembering your passion and to balance your life."
AGA is one of the most successful young artists in Hong Kong today, having released two full-length albums and having won numerous awards for her songwriting - so we asked her advice for aspiring musicians. "The biggest obstacle is yourself," she says. "In the creative industry there is no right or wrong, but there are going to be a lot of people telling you not to pursue certain things, throwing you off track. You just have to believe in yourself and pick the advice from people you trust. Then, just go for it."

PROJECT AFTER 6: Busking is starting again, so sign up and show the Taikoo Place community what you've got! Find out more here.

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