I knocked and knocked on the door to the artist’s studio, beside the plastic logo of a painter’s palette. It had been so hard to find the address of this musty commercial building on Hong Kong’s Wyndham Street, I was beginning to think it was time to give up on finding my old friend Ng Tak Tung there.
In 1997, just a few days after my college graduation, I moved alone to this island in the South China Sea to work at a business magazine. Much had been made of the British handing over control of their colony to the Chinese, which for many marked the symbolic end of an empire and an era. I wanted a little history, a little adventure and a little excitement, and ended up with more of all three than I was prepared to handle.