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People often ask about my inspirations and how I developed @the14thfactory. This is my story...


Along with pre-production work, The14th Factory was planned in 2014 for the bare land that would become M+ in West Kowloon but after a year of work, we failed to get permission from the government. We did design work with KplusK and Norman Foster, drawings, renderings, budgets, proposals but to no avail.
The failure to secure sites in Hong Kong, pushed me to different cities and I decided New York and scouted many locations.
This was going to be costly but all or nothing, right? Follow your dreams? So I used my life savings and anything I could liquidate was sold (bye sports car) and went hunting for a location and a team. I felt strongly, with a little luck and intelligent planning, we could make it happen. Cash was limited but felt I could sell the vision to rich people in my network, crowdfund, hit the big brands for sponsorship, hunt for patrons and grants. But the space would be the ignition.
I was offered the, then-empty, Post Office at Penn Station, a million square feet, as our venue. KplusK flew over and did all the layouts, renderings and we got moving with budgets. But after some months things got sticky with the lease. They venue bought in an agency to manage the deal, a woman who immediately charged 1 million in USD which we simply didn't have and overnight we were shut down (she crashed her plane into the Bermuda triangle some years later and died).
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Penn Station Post Office
Fortunately, a better site showed up, 23 Wall Street, the original JP Morgan bank, and swiftly signed the lease. Poignant to put art into this huge old bank, once the heart of capitalism. We spent months planning, layouts, budgets, building the team, introduced ourselves to New York, raised money from friends and clients.
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Fund-raising dinner for the 14th Factory Project in New York
We threw a big dinner, catered‍ by noma (Copenhagen) in the venue to generate interest with Tommy Hilfiger speaking, but it resulted in zero financial support.
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The dinner was catered by Noma, one of the best restaurants in the world
I took a keen interest in New York and met some brilliant initiatives like Robin Hood, Brooklyn Combine and many charities, which we could give back to with show’s income. I met the heads of Sotheby's, Morgan Stanley, Met Gala, all kinds of crazy corporate social networking to find support. None came, meaning cash. Lots of people did support in other ways.
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Rendering plan of the 14th Factory
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