On the first day of Christmas Hong Kong gave to me: a faux Swede in a faux tree

Faux Hairy Swede

Seeking to avoid predictable Christmas decor, Sha Tin’s Home Square shopping center has plastered its central atrium with photos of this hairy man.

A little male cleavage for the holidays anyone?

On closer look, he is on display not just because of his festive “heavage“, but also because he is some designer called “Michael Young.” Despite being English, he shuns Cath Kidston-type patterns and embraces the “naturalness, simplicity and elegance” of Scan-design. He has created this “Scandinavian Tree House” for the shopping mall’s Christmas display:

"Hytta" Tree House

From the promotional literature:

“Michael Young’s masterpiece tree house is named “Hytta” (meaning “hut” in Scandinavian dialects).” … “Hytta” and its surroundings enable visitors to appreciate art and beauty in a casual and relaxed setting furnished with a selection of Michael Young’s masterpieces… Once inside “Hytta”, visitors can also view the exquisite Christmas forest art installation, and gain an inspirational new perspective on the Christmas season.”

I’ve taken the liberty of creating a supplement to their promotional copy:

“Michael Young, also known as “Skäggig Bondfångare” (meaning “bearded con-man” in Swedish), is a year-round “Movember” participant who also supports several “bring back the 70s” charities by permanently displaying his chest hair. He regrets the loss of his vintage gold chain collection several days prior to the photo shoot.

“During the post-Christmas season, “Hytta” will be rechristened “Skurk Hule” (meaning “villain’s lair” in Norwegian) and positioned over a sleekly clean-lined pool of sharks for use in a future James Bond film.”

(Source: photos and the original promotional quote are from the Home Square website.)

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16 responses to “On the first day of Christmas Hong Kong gave to me: a faux Swede in a faux tree

    • In a city filled with shopping malls covered in evergreens, baubles and reindeer, I’m sure they just wanted to stand out….but should have edited out the hairy chest!

  1. Even as a person with a background in art and design, I would still rather see a mall filled with reindeer and Santas rather than a Scandinavian Tree House!

    And why is he not wearing a shirt under that sweater???

    • Never fear, most of the other malls in HK have traditional Christmas decor (all completely overblown, of course).

      And why no shirt, indeed! A furry, bare-chested man is quite a strange sight to appear amongst the holiday decorations..

  2. How funny and so Hong Kong! Before we moved to Shanghai, we spent Christmas in HK and it was odd, to say the least, but way back then, Christmas was more evident there than in Shanghai. We did finally find a British Pub where they were celebrating in a more “traditional” way. All the quirky things you come across makes expat living so delightful and I do miss it….

  3. Wow! This strange sweater cardigan with his hairy man cleavage… That’s so wrong! He should put more effort into designing his own looks!
    And I agree with you all, this tree house seems… odd. Well, at least they are trying, I guess. Here it is all blow-up Santas and snowmen under the torching sun or purple plastic trees.

  4. We’re loving the Christmas spirit to be found around and about in Hong Kong – its EPIC here, especially compared to Korea where they don’t get into it half as much. Skäggig Bondfångare just kinda confirms it, really…without him, this hilarious blog wouldn’t have existed, right?! Ahahahahahahahahaha.

    • Hong Kong is great for Christmas, isn’t it? Who would want to travel back “home” for the holiday and miss all this merriment and insanity! Glad you’re enjoying it all. For something tasteful, but also different, check out the ski gondola display in the Landmark Building in Central.

  5. Woah… I’m just trying to imagine a humongous poster of this man-heavage in the atrium of a HK mall… gosh I miss HK at Christmas and all the joyous “discoveries” you stumble upon each day! Yeesh… a tan bathrobe thingie sans undershirt… very edgy. Still chuckling!

    • By mentioning “bathrobe” you’ve made me realize that he is totally going for a post-coitus look. Ewwww!

      And to be fair to Homesquare, it isn’t one big picture of this guy, but lots of small promotional posters spread all over the mall (one even appeared in my mailbox last week).

  6. Pingback: Oxford Shoe on Ice! | Expat Lingo·

    • I just spotted a Vivianne Westwood ad in Shatin that also featured a very hairy man showing off his chest and unkept body hair. Apparently it’s a thing… At least in Shatin.

  7. Pingback: Male cleavage and drunk Santa: a look at Christmases past | Expat Lingo·

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