王敏德 – 親近生活的步伐
Image: Dennis Yong Wardrobe: Kent & Curwen Venue: Dada Bar+Lounge
To me, Michael Wong is, above all, an artist. And oftentimes, when describing Michael Wong, what follows is a slew of other roles in brackets following the title of “artist” – musician, designer, pilot, husband, father, etc. Wong’s latest foray is a collaboration with luxury watch brand, Bremont, where he has designed his very own wristwatch, but to him, it’s all just a part of life, “I hope to someday build a nest-like hideout for my family and I – a space where I can work hard and play hard, and also use to enjoy time with my friends,” says Wong.
這些年來，都看到王敏德生活得樂趣無窮，喝最好的酒，製作最喜歡的爵士樂碟片，跟許多品牌互動合作，也會駕駛直昇機在天空飛翔 ── 事實上，這是玩樂，同樣也是一種建構，是自己的將來，也是為了孩子的將來。「全天候工作是否就等於做得好呢？我不相信的，我覺得這不可能會健康的人生，當然，換個來說，只玩不做就更糟糕，講求平衡是最重要的，好像我近年少了喝酒，這並不是因生厭，反而是因為太喜歡，才會講究把什麼東西放進胃裡，不會隨便去喝，追求的是質，而不是量。至於我現在所做的，一切都是自己的最愛，當你遇上一些可以繼續開拓的機會，很理所當然就會去想，若多走一步的話，會有怎樣的光景呢？我覺得要一直保持這種狀態，最好當然是把這些嗜好都轉化成自己生活的一部份，彼此密切，不能分割，會令人思考將來的發展，我跟許多不同的品牌合作，了解到那些令人佩服的成就背後，最初的動機都是從自己喜好出發，繼而由不同年代的後人們將之發揚光大，我是一個很清楚自己位置的人，也很擅長看出市場的需要，經過了這些日子吸取的經驗，我希望創作屬於自己的品牌，把我的生活品味和哲學灌注入內，我們現在龐大的大中華市場，美國可以孕育出例如 CK 這樣的著名品牌，為甚麼我們不可以呢？這個建構不單止是為了我，也是為了我的家族成員的未來，我承認這是不容易的事，但有困難才會逼發潛能出來，不是嗎？克服困難是最強的動力，可以令人保持青春，頭腦靈活，好像我每一次駕駛直昇機，都覺得自己是年青人，是個充滿很多可能性的小伙子，這樣令人心跳不已的計劃，令我每天都充滿能量。」王敏德說得歡天喜地，手舞足蹈，臉上展現充滿孩子氣的笑容，但同樣地，他的眼神流露出自信堅定的光采。
Building a Foundation
The past few years have seen Wong really enjoying life – from drinking the best wine to producing a jazz CD, collaborating with brands, and learning to operate a helicopter, it all seems to be merely fun and games for the actor, when in fact, it really is a foundation of sorts, whether for himself or for his kids. “Is working 24/7 a good thing? I personally don’t think that’s healthy, though on the other hand, all play and no work isn’t a good thing either. I believe it’s all about balance – for example, I’ve cut back on drinking recently, not because I grew tired of it, but because I love it too much. I won’t drink just anything now – I’m looking for quality, not quantity,” says Wong. “As for what I’m pursuing now, it’s everything that I love. When you stumble upon something that has potential to be developed, you naturally wonder how far you can run with it. And to maintain this thought process, it’s best to incorporate these interests into your life, to make it a part of you, inseparable. Having worked with different brands, I’ve noticed that their success all started with a passion, which was later developed by following generations and successors. Knowing where I stand and what I believe in, I am also quite perceptive to the market’s needs, and with the experience that I have gained, I hope to one day create my own brand, something I can infuse my tastes and philosophies into. With the huge potential of China today, and through the success of American brands like CK, I’m thinking, why can’t we do something like that too? This foundation that I’m building is not just for me, but for the future generations of my family. I admit, it’s not easy, but how will you discover your potential without a bit of challenge? Overcoming obstacles is a strong force and motivator, and keeps us young and our brains active. Every time I fly a helicopter, I feel so young, exhilarated, and recharged. I feel like a kid who believes that anything is possible!” Wong’s face lights up with joy, speaking with his whole body and carrying a grin of a little boy, while his eyes emanate the confidence and strength of a man.
發展項目眾多的王敏德，剛好完成了跟腕錶品牌「BREMONT」的合作，交出了首枚自己設計的作品，一枚採用了直昇機物料去打造的腕錶，可想而知熱愛飛行的他，會是如何心滿意足，加上能夠藉此紀念香港飛行歷史100 年，彰顯王敏德一夥紮根香港的心。但最令他無比享受的，是因為飛行而衍生的友誼。「這品牌的兩位擁有者 Nick 和 Giles，本身也是機師，為何他們這對英國人兄弟，會為自己的品牌改了一個法國名字？其實這也是奇妙的緣份，話說他倆有一次在飛行途中遇上引擎故障，被逼降落在法國巴黎南面的一個農場之內，因此認識了農場主人，而這位農場主人也是一位戰時機師，這兩位英國兄弟決定紀念這位前輩，採用了他的名字去成為品牌名稱，而我亦因為自己的機師身份而認識了他們，更親自駕駛直昇機帶他們在香港的天空欣賞風景，彼此成為好友後，便決定合作製造這腕錶。」
The ever-busy Michael Wong has just finished a collaboration with Bremont, designing a watch using helicopter materials. For an aircraft lover such as Wong, it’s easy to see why this project piqued his interest, and with the upcoming 100th anniversary of aviation development in Hong Kong, Wong’s ties to the city are also fittingly apparent. The best parts of the experience for Wong, though, are the friendships that have grown from his love for flying. “The founders of the brand, Nick and Giles English, are both pilots. Why then, did two English brothers use a French name for their brand? Apparently, during one of their flights, the brothers encountered an engine problem and were forced to land on a farm in south of Paris. They met the owner of the farm, and learned that he was also a wartime pilot, so they decided to honour the owner by naming their brand after him. I also met Nick and Giles as a pilot, and was able to take them on a helicopter tour of Hong Kong. We became very good friends and decided to produce this watch,” explains Michael.
“What were your philosophies or inspirations going into the design of this piece?” I ask. “I believe that regardless of anything that you do, you absolutely can not forget the heart. The excitement, thrill and cautiousness that I felt on my first helicopter flight – I really hope that I will be able to hold on to that feeling until I’m 70. I often notice that others are quick to forget their initial emotions about certain things when everything is going well in their life – to forget the original intention for anything sort of makes everything else meaningless, don’t you think?” Wong picks up his glass of red wine and clinks it against mine, then downs the entire glass. Returning his glass to the table, he says, “Life is like drinking a glass of wine – it’s all about balance. Without family or friends to enjoy it with, even the best wine won’t taste any good. On the other hand, drinking too much is just a waste – wine should be savoured and enjoyed, not to be used as a numbing agent when things aren’t going well, because at that point, nothing will really taste very good at all.”
With a set of philosophies and beliefs as firm and positive as Wong’s, the future seems as bright as ever.