Life Over Style Volume 1:
Born of the beach, Print House has deep roots in Stanley Market. Dragon boat festivals, HKWalls for all the neighbors, DIY plumbing, a landlord indifferent to termites threatening life and property—awesome times.
Though the beach remains integral to the Print House brand, they’ve shifted their operations to Wong Chuk Hang. They now share a very open-minded industrial space with visual effects production company, The Collective. This makes for an interesting combination of creative energies: cats, a dog, a bird, a direct-to-garment printer, a giant curving green screen, and a balcony overlooking Jumbo to the west and Ocean Park to the east.
Work desks don’t interfere with chill space, though a motorbike and Vespa do add superhero flair to the twentieth floor unit. And the way Hughie talks about his business partner—contributing from a beach somewhere near Fiji—does kinda inspire James Bond vibes. Overall though, this is the industrial unit dream brought to life.
When I first enter their studio, Hughie and his brother Matt are in the middle of a screen printing lesson. A young family of four are learning how to print their own tee shirts. I note the parents are as engaged as the kids. Some racy photos by MyCameraMyRules (NSFW) decorate the walls, otherwise Print House is a super family-friendly operation. It's a family business after all.
Seeing as the brothers are busy I make my way through the length of the studio. Stepping outside, familiar graffiti is easy on the eyes and the pre-dusk natural light is near perfect. Somewhere below me the new MTR station warns everyone to mind the gap. The voice is distant though, and sounds of passing trains aren't invasive. Despite the government's best efforts Wong Chuk Hang maintains it's old-school HK character.
When Hughie joins me on the balcony—drone in one hand, Peroni in the other—the sun is setting without urgency.
“A blank canvas can really intimidate people,” he says.
He sits down to tether the drone to his phone. I think I understand. The first thing you notice when you meet Hughie is not his armfuls of tattoos. It is candid sincerity of spirit. Incidentally, he wears a blank Gildan stock tee, rolled up at the sleeves.
We get a few perspective shots over cigarettes and that’s just about where this episode begins:
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