Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. In our weekly 27 Questions column, we get up close and personal with the city’s notable personalities, learning about their whims and aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all in roughly the same amount of time it takes to sit through a casual speed date. This week, we speak to Jerry Haha, founder and producer behind creative studio, ARTIFICIAL DUST.
There’s one word to describe Jerry Haha: Sandalwood. Perhaps fitting, because it’s his favourite scent. Also fitting because there are, in fact, so many words to describe Jerry Haha — what he does, how he does it, why he does it so well — that there’s little use trying to condense it all into a convenient set of cleverly worded liner notes. So, yes, sandalwood it is.
Jerry, an omnipresent force in Hong Kong’s daylife, nightlife, wherever-there-are-cool-kids-to-be-found art, fashion and music scenes, manages to spend half his time wherever the most interesting things are happening — and the other half? He’s the one putting it all together.
He formalised the process a bit last year, launching ARTIFICIAL DUST, a creative studio that specialises in creative direction, production and brand consultancy, whether it’s throwing parties with The Arca, Belowground and Censu to working with a client roster that includes Chanel, Levi’s and MATCHESFASHION. He also cites an “unforgettable” project working with Hong Kong-slash-Parisian ready-to-wear label, ANAÏS JOURDEN.
There’s no shortage of zeal when it comes to Jerry. He’ll greet you with an enthusiastic “Let’s gooooooo!!” — his personal motto, and yes, every “o” is accounted for — and extend the same warm joy to friends both new and old as he makes his rounds through the function, meeting his constituents like Hong Kong’s own Mayor of Vibes.
It’s simple, really: Jerry’s around, you’re bound to have a good time. Just follow the scent of sandalwood.
27 Questions: Jerry Haha
Name: Jerry Haha
Neighbourhood: Hong Kong
Occupation: Creative Producer
1. What is your life motto?
2. What was your first job?
Working as a server at a coffee shop.
3. What is your drink of choice?
4. What is one movie everyone should see?
5. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a morning person. I can’t function after 10pm.
6. Which phone app do you think more people should know about?
Pedometer, a step counting app to remind myself to meet my target everyday.
7. What is your greatest fear?
Not being able to do what I like.
8. When did you last ride the Star Ferry? What were you doing/where did you go?
Forgot when exactly but I take the Star Ferry whenever I can or need to cross the harbour.
9. What is your typical Sunday like?
Nowadays my typical Sunday has turned into a sports day. I usually work out or swim in the morning and then ball with my friends in the afternoon.
10. What is one song you know all the lyrics to?
Jay Chou – “一路向北”
11. What’s your favourite childhood memory?
Probably most of it, my childhood was pretty fun.
12. What is your favourite scent in the whole world?
13. Do you have a catch phrase?
14. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Which do you wear the most often?
Probably around 400 pairs, I wear the Birkenstock Boston most often these days.
15. What’s the best or worst career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice was a classic: “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do.”
16. What energises you about your work?
Everything pretty much. The people, process and the outcome.
17. If you could snap your fingers and fix one thing about the world, what would it be?
18. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
19. Where do you go when you want to be alone?
I would go for a swim.
20. How many countries have you been to?
21. What was the best gift you ever received?
Anything my friends create, really. It means a lot when friends give me things that they are proud of.
22. What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten in Hong Kong?
A hotpot. I invited my friends to celebrate the establishment of ARTIFICIAL DUST, one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Shout out to Big JJ Seafood Hotpot!
23. Which moment in your life would you most like to relive?
Don’t think I would want to relive any moment! I like to keep it as how I lived in the first place.
24. Start your life again at age 15 with all the knowledge you have now, or fast forward 10 years?
Fast forward 10 years.
25. What is the best thing in or about your apartment?
The people and my furniture.
26. What is the top destination on your bucket list?
Japan, UK, Paris.
27. If you could do it all over again, what is one thing you would do differently?
I would not do anything differently, everything I experienced in the past made me who I am now.
Keep up with Jerry Haha on Instagram here.