Category Archives: Breathing Space

Accentuating the essentials of an artful lifestyle to include homes, cars, dining, beauty and much more

Have Homtruck Will Travel

Chinese automaker, Geely Holding Group’s commercial vehicle brand, Farizon Auto, has revolutionised electric-vehicle trucking when it launched its new electric semi-truck, The Homtruck, recently.

As its namesake suggests, it is literally a home on wheels. Knowing that drivers spend a great amount of time on the road and in their vehicles, the concept of the Homtruck is simply creating a driving and living space to make long-haul journeys more comfortable, efficient and safe.

It comes installed with a single bed, bathroom (toilet, sink, shower stall), kitchen, washing machine and a kettle and refrigerator thrown in for good measure. The ergonomic seat design and HD cameras ensure drivers are well-rested and well-focused with soft-touch fabrics, sustainable plastics and bamboo grain materials extending into the sleek driver’s area. 

This next generation smart new energy semi-truck offers L4 autonomous drive functions, Over the Air (OTA) software updates and different powertrain options including range extender, methanol hybrid and pure electric with battery swapping capabilities. “The Homtruck represents a significant move towards a net zero-carbon freight transportation system and opens the door to a new era for the logistics industry,” says Eric Li, Chairperson of Geely Holding Group.

Slated for production and deliveries by 2024, The Homtruck will be marketed globally in addition to its home ground, China.

All images courtesy of Geely/Farizon Auto

Small Sharks Making Big Waves

Fossil records have shown that sharks have been around on earth 400 million years ago.  There are currently more than 1000 species of sharks that are known to mankind with many new species being discovered every year.  With movies like ‘Jaws’ and ‘The Meg’, these majestic top predators have been perceived to be killers and hunt humans from the ocean.  However other than shark attacks or the Great White, there are other shark species that do not carry the normal traits. 

The Walking Shark © Jonathan Bird

The Walking Shark 

The walking sharks discovered not too long ago in Northern Australian regions and as well as some areas in New Guinea do not really swim around but actually walk with their pectorals and fins to move across the ocean floor.  Rather small in size, usually a metre-long, they feed on small fish and invertebrates.  Scientists to date have found nine species of walking sharks and believe that sharks do have a remarkable evolutionary adaptation to environmental changes. 

The One-Eyed Shark

The One-Eyed Shark

While one thinks about cyclops as an ancient mythological creature from Greek legends, a one-eyed baby shark was found inside a pregnant dusky shark near Cerralvo Island in the Gulf of California. Another of such ‘cyclops’ shark was found in Maluku Province  by an Indonesian fisherman among the other normal babies inside the stomach of the mother shark.  Initially when cyclops shark first made news, many were sceptical and believed that it was a hoax.  However scientists have confirmed that the shark’s condition is a rare congenital disorder – known as cyclopia – resulting in the baby shark having just one single, large eye, right in the middle of its forehead.  Due to the fact that no adult cyclops shark has yet to be discovered, marine experts believe that the animal is unlikely to have survived in the wild due to its deformity. 

American Pocket Shark © Michael Doosey

Super Rare Shark with an adorable name

Found in 2010 and stored in a freezer by scientists for three years, researched for another few and only officially identified as a new species and finally given a name in 2019 is the ‘American Pocket Shark’.  Netted by a trawl survey in the Gulf Of Mexico, this is the only one of its species that is captured making this a super rare find in the history of fishery science. This tiny shark species measures only 14cm. 

Heading for Extinction

Extinction happens when a species dies and disappear completely from the face of the earth either from human interference, evolutionary issues or natural disasters. Some argued that extinction is a natural phenomenon but nowadays many believe that humans are the main culprit. Incidentally,  it is also humans that are the only saviour that can save and protect these endangered species. If nothing drastic is done soon, it will be an unfortunate fact that future generations can only be reading about these beautiful species or visiting them stuffed in museums. Below are 8 remarkable species heading for extinction.

A Hawaiian monk seal swims in the French Frigate Shoals in the northwestern Hawaii. Monk seals have become critically endangered because of increased ocean pollution, coastal habitat loss, and fishing gear that entangles them.
©  Photograph by Bill Curtsinger
A black and white ruffed lemur climbs a tree in Madagascar’s Mantadia National Park. Their ability to thrive in captivity makes them ideal candidates for reintroduction into protected habitats.
©  Photograph by Kevin Schafer
A western lowland gorillas sits in Tchimpounga Reserve in the Republic of the Congo. The species has declined by 60 percent in the last 20-25 years, mainly due to commercial hunting and the Ebola virus.
©  Photograph by Michael Nichols
Joel Sartore photographed this bog turtle as part of the Photo Ark project, which aims to document all of the world’s 12,000 captive species. Bog turtles’ wetlands habitat is threatened by extreme weather connected to climate change.
© Photograph By Joel Sartore 
A wild Iberian lynx stands in Sierra de Andújar Natural Park in Andalusia, Spain. The decline in Spain’s rabbit population—the lynx’s main food source—and habitat loss threaten the lynx’s survival.
© Photograph by Wild Wonders of Europe
Indian white-backed vultures swarm a rhinoceros carcass in India. Vultures across Asia are declining as a result of feeding on livestock carcasses that contain the poisonous veterinary drug, diclofenac.
© Photograph by Steve Winter
A submerged Cuban crocodile raises its head above water. Interbreeding with native American crocodiles has resulted in hybridisation and the loss of the Cuban crocodile’s genetic identity.
© Photograph By Steve Winter
Rapunzel, a Sumatran rhino, was rescued and lived at the Bronx Zoo until her death in 2005. Largely due to poaching, Sumatran rhinos are now on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 200 remaining in the wild.
©  Photograph by Michael Nichols


The amount of thoughts that can go through my mind in five seconds can join the dots between thirty, forty or fifty things, which is brilliant, but when it doesn’t work it’s like a big bang without anything being formed together again.” – Heston Blumenthal

Housed in an unassuming cottage in the village of Bray, around an hour’s drive from London, Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck is anything but ordinary. Being awarded three Michelin stars since 2017 saw it join an elite group of the world’s best restaurants. Described as a dining experience rather than simply dining, the menu comprises of an itinerary with no details of the meal itself, adding to the mystery of the experience. 

Oak Moss
Just The Tonic
Walk in the woods centre piece  by Jose Luis Lopez de Zubiria

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in Melbourne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a theatre show that revolves around the next generation, that being the children of Harry Potter and others.”

Multi-award theatrical show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child celebrated its first birthday in Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on the 1st March 2020. Due to the overwhelming response, this sensational record-breaking show has announced its 7th extension until 13th September 2020. Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp in her speech welcomed the good news and said that more than 300,000 from near and far have seen the show making this a premier attraction of the state.

It has been 23 years since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling. The story started off with a boy named Harry whose parents were killed by Voldemort, the Dark Lord who is also known as He Who Must Not Be Named. Harry was later recruited into Hogwarts where he became best friends with Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Even though Harry was slightly lost at first, his unwavering courage and persistence lead him to become a great wizard. With the help of his friends and allies, he successfully overcame countless obstacles that came his way. In the end, he recovered the truth of his parents’ mysterious death, defeated Voldemort and fell in love with Ron’s younger sister, Ginny Weasley.

Unlike the Harry Potter we know from the book series and shows, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a theatre show that revolves around the next generation, that being the children of Harry Potter and others. In this show, parenting, family bonding and friendship are the core take home values. Have you ever imagined the sons of Harry Potter and his sworn enemy Draco Malfoy becoming good friends? In this show, Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy did exactly that, leaving their parents in frustration. Harry struggled communicating with his son whereas Albus felt like he had an obligation to fix the wrong his father had done that caused Cedric Diggory’s death. The author has cleverly integrated the issues parents and their children face today into a world filled with magic, fantasy and drama. The 2 parts to this show will definitely leave one in awe!

However, one would have to have a brief idea of the original Harry Potter stories to be able to fully understand and enjoy the show or they might be left confused. On another note, many might be a bit lost at the beginning as the Hermione we all know who is ‘White’ is instead ‘Black’ here. The creator explained during an interview in The Observer that Olivier-award-winning actress Noma Dumezweni was the best actor for the job.

In conclusion, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a must watch for those that grew up with Harry Potter! It gives fans some sort of closure, especially for those craving to know what happened after Harry fell in love and started a family. The storyline, performance and special effects were extremely well portrayed and professionally executed! It is definitely of world class tier! 

A Screw In Creative Art

It is usually a taboo for an artist to mix business in the past as most believe that artists should be ‘pure’ to create. However, when talking to Iven Lee, a renowned multidisciplinary illustration artist from Xiamen China, founder of Xiamen Yan Tan Orange Culture Creative Co. Ltd and Fearless Trend Art, his answer was that he is different from a normal artist, creator or businessman in general as he sees himself as an all rounder that blends art and business into his artistic journey. Creator of SummerMew, IVEN, SCREW and many more, this artist described himself as a typical Gemini. When it comes to work and creativity, it is not only about passion but also the persistence to meet the end goals. 

Iven and partners started a design studio from scratch and began with just some small advertising jobs. The break came in early 2002 when he was selected to create SummerMew, the Xiamen Tourism Ambassador for BRICS and was later interviewed live by CCTV (China Central Television). He believed that his dad was proud and happy for him although the latter was very ill and passed away three days later. They were very close. Another milestone was the formation of Fearless Trend Art Exhibition In 2018 where he answered the calling to contribute back into the society for the creative art industry. “It was not an easy task and I funded the project myself as I believe there is a potential for this but only time can tell,” said the artist. 

Iven is of the opinion that artists today are no longer just about creating but must be equipped with EQ, IQ and AQ (Art Quality). Unlike the old traditional one-direction artists, Iven believes that artists should behave like a tricycle and have three wheels where one represents EQ that is the study of society, second is about communication and last but not least, there should be a team involved business of creating value to one’s artwork. It is no surprise that Iven has very high expectations as he is benchmarking himself to his idols namely Murakami Takeshita, Andy Warhol and Jeff Khoons. His ideology is to bridge both Eastern and Western art from different perspectives including lifestyle, culture, business, etc. “Western art is usually more positive that involves continuity, whereas Eastern art is more about looking to the past and focusing on traditional culture,” he opined. He continued saying that Western creatives are more matured and the Eastern presentations are still very much in the development stage. He is a regular speaker in Tsinghua University and conferences including those organized by Alibaba and many more. He believes that creative art is very important in today’s hectic and intense world as the former can help balance and ease the tension between real life cruel expectations and the harmony within. Ivan advocates the up and coming generation to stay focus and stay original of what one has set out to achieve. “Don’t be too emotional and end up killing the enthusiasm!” he continued saying “Learn to respect both the consumer and the market. A Coke is a Coke, all Cokes are the same and as good.”  

Lastly when asked about the future of creative art, Iven answered with confidence that the future of creative art looks promising as it is not only about trendy culture and art, it is also about patriotism. “It is a good sign when a country has its own cultural identity and spirit. This shows that the upcoming generation have achieved its very own branding and will no longer blindly follow big brands but quality brands that communicate in the same wavelengths”. Iven believes that with the current fast communication systems and platforms, creative art has already started its penetrations and influences into the society. It is inevitable that soon this industry will play a very important role in the sustainability and the future of the society and the world. 

Welcoming A New Year 2020

Welcome the year 2020 with a celebration meal at Maple Palace

The flair that truly put Maple Palace on the world map of Asian delicacies are found in its ability to serve an intricate recipe using fish maw. A signature and traditional dish in Chinese cuisine, it warrants hyperbolic merits for its distinctive aromas known to have been passed on from generations ending with eastern dynasties centuries before. Its ingredients may still mystify the modern tasters of today.  

Fish Maw Soup with Crab Meat & Dry Scallop

This mouth-watering dish wraps the most festive of sea delicacies, the abalone, matched with the buttery meat of the Grouper – are much tastier than the title suggests. The trick may well be the sauce, or gravy, which is prepared to dress this match made in heaven. Extracted from the essence of stewed abalones, the sauce blends fermented beans, fresh eastern condiments and sweet baby bakchoy converging and heightening its flavors just from steaming these beautiful ingredients together. If you are hungry, indulge it with a bowl of piping hot rice.

Steamed Estuary Grouper with Fresh Abalone

Rice cooked to perfection using claypots, fired up with intense heat from charcoal, are found to taste simply glorious. A method that continues to be many’s favorite, today, its supporting ingredient play an equally important role; the demands in its precision as a soulfully satisfying dish. Paired with juicy stewed mushrooms and sweetness from the Chinese sausages, it’s a heartening dish that stirs the soul for all things wistful and good. 

Exquisite Chinese Dining in Yue

Tucked away from the hustling and bustling city center of Hong Kong in the North Point lies a very special 1 Michelin Star restaurant located on the first floor of the Hong Kong City Hotel. ‘Yue’ meaning Cantonese in Chinese, is the name of this restaurant serving contemporary Cantonese cuisine. 

Its master chefs create unique delicacies that incorporate the fundamentals of traditional Chinese cooking. Yue Restaurant has been receiving the 1 Star Michelin Awards for many years consecutively, showing its persistence towards the spirit of maintaining its quality of food and customer satisfaction. Not only is Yue a Michelin Star restaurant, some of its dishes have also won various awards in the culinary industry presented by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

 ‘Steamed Minced Pork with Foie Gras and Scallops’ 
(Gold with Distinction Award, 2015 Best of the Best Culinary Awards by Hong Kong Tourism Board – Minced Meat Dish Category)

This very clever dish is served with an impressive sizzling hot stone pot where the carefully selected ingredients each compliment another to achieve an ultimate taste. Fresh spring onions, salted egg, South Australian scallops, braised red wine foie gras and well minced pork crowned with a gastronomical sauce ball are all steamed to perfection. One would have to break the sauce ball to allow the sauce flow out from its mold. This dish is ready to be tasted once the sizzling sound is heard.

‘Gold Coast Starlight’ Shrimp dumpling, golden crispy taro dumpling and baked puff pastry
(Gold Award, 2011 Best of the Best Culinary Awards – Dim Sum Category)

Gold Coast Starlight is not one dish but a combination of three very uniquely crafted dim sum servings served on one plate. The shrimp dumpling comes in a bamboo steamer whereas the golden crispy taro dumpling is made with cheese and seafood sitting on a flower shaped cracker. Last is the baked puff pastry with egg custard that is moulded into the shape of a very cute little chicken. 

‘Seared Star Garoupa Fillet with Fish Maw on Egg White with Truffles Sauce’ 
(Gold with Distinction Award, 2010 Best of the Best Culinary Awards – Seafood Category)

This award-winning dish consist of many unique and vibrant colours, allowing diners to easily mistake this dish for a dessert at first glance. There are four layers to this dish. Sitting at the very top is a perfect combination of freshly cooked sea caught Garoupa and fish maw with a pinch of fine black truffles. Beneath this lay three striking layers of colours where the top orange layer is made from carrot, followed by a green layer from green vegetables and pure egg white as the cushioning.  

Finest Catch of The Day

Seek the indulgence and you shall find. For as old as time, the ocean has played an essential part in the survival of the human race. Roused by the evolution of taste from the Orient, seafood has always been fashionably favoured in the fine dining world found in classic Chinese recipes. At Maple Palace, we recognize the highly delicate flavour and the therapeutic potential of abalone for the body. Double-boiled with fish head and Cordyceps flower, this abalone-infused soup is a modern approach to pristine nourishment for the skin and soul.

Double-boiled Whole Yellow Melon Soup with Assorted Seafood

Let the oomph in the Double-boiled Whole Yellow Melon Soup complete your gourmet journey of the East. Infused with an array of fresh assorted seafood, the melon, simmered in slow gracious steam, provides an enlightening near-heavenly consciousness found only through delicate and refined exposure of century-long methods. Albeit its delicate and mild aroma the melon takes on center stage — setting the mood before the eyes — an ocular prerequisite to the feast before the taste sets in.  

Tomato Seafood Pumpkin Soup served in Stone Bowl

Wondering how tomato, pumpkin and seafood can be an absolute triumvirate made for goodness? Bask in ‘superfood’ wholeness with Maple Palace’s very own appetizing and fragrant infusion of the Tomato Seafood Pumpkin Soup served in stone bowl. Resist not the temptation for an oceanic feast right here at Maple Palace. 

FENDI & FENDI Casa present “Back Home”

by Cristina Celestino

In collaboration with world famous architect and interior designer, Cristina Celestino, FENDI is proud to present their latest project “Back Home”. This unique collection is a celebration towards FENDI’s iconic Pequin striped motif, logo-non-logo, which immediately evokes the brand’s heritage of elegance and sophistication with authentic discretion. 

The “Back Home” collection was showcased to the public at the new FENDI Casa Exhibition Space during the Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2019, also known as the Milan Furniture Fair, which too place on the 9th-14th April. A special installation will showcased FENDI’s latest pieces designed by Cristina Celestino for the Roman luxury house, produced by Luxury Living Group.

Cristina Celestino has successfully reworked the Pequin with her strong style and delicate touch, creating a refined and creative range of statement pieces. Rooted in FENDI’s legendary sophisticated aesthetic, the “Back Home” collection shows an intriguing combination of materials, spanning from timeless and elegant marbles and onyxes, to fascinating metallic surfaces showing surprising tactile and colour effects.

Silvia Venturini Fendi, Men’s and Accessories Creative Director, has also designed an exclusive luggage set worked in the Pequin motif to complement the interior design collection. It is available both in the classic tobacco and black colour match, as well as in a new blue, beige and powder pink combination.