No, you can't see the art you've paid for

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 20 May 2019

A new auction house is inviting the people of Hong Kong to pay big bucks for art that doesn't exist.

The "Special Sale of Shen Qin's Upcoming Works" calls for bids for unspecified stuff the Chinese artist may paint in the future.

If you win the bidding for one of the non-items, you get promises that: 1) A piece of art will be delivered; 2) if it's an oil painting it won't be more than 300 square feet in size; and 3) it'll arrive within three years.

There's "no limit" on the number of pieces you can buy, says the auction house.

Oh, joy and bliss!

Where's my wallet? Must head to the Grand Hyatt hotel in Wan Chai next Saturday, to feast my eyes on, well, er, nothing.

"This special auction event requires bidders to have a sense of trust, curiosity, imagination and patience," says Holly's International, a mainland auction house starting operations in Hong Kong.

Trust and imagination? They're not kidding, are they?

Next: Dutch tulips.

* * *

Among the run-of-the-mill misdemeanors such as "running an unlicensed guesthouse" listed in court records last week was a Hong Kong first.

A man was charged with running an unlicensed guesthouse for dead people.

The 69-year-old was fined HK$30,000 for renting out memorial spaces for cremated bodies in Cooke Street, Hung Hom.

Did one of his ghost tenants tip off the police?

* * *

Commerce secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah gets the Mixed Metaphor award for his speech on Friday: "The headwind and trade disputes remain gusty with the resurrection of tariffs as a weapon of trade conflicts."

He sounds like fictional character Zapp Brannigan, who once said: "If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards."

* * *

Organizers of the pet adoption festival at iSquare in Tsim Sha Tsui next weekend say they welcome rabbits and reptiles, but don't want cats and dogs. Why? Cats refuse to sit still, and dogs would simply eat all the other participants.

* * *

If you are so drunk you cannot stay upright, please crawl to the wall and read the important information on this poster. The picture was taken by Cammy Yiu of Culture magazine at Yau Ma Tei MTR station.

* * *

A Hong Kong start-up provides Google Map type directions for people who get lost inside stations.

What a great idea - when Hong Kong Station first opened, I was lost inside for weeks. Thank God for the food shops.

Members of the Hong Kong Science Park team who launched the app, called Pokeguide, are taking it international, being featured at a tech conference in Canada today.

I had a Kowloon friend who bought a house in Toronto that was so big he got lost on the way to the kitchen.

* * *

How come English speakers claim they can't pronounce Hong Kong names like "Mr Ng" but have no trouble pronouncing Daenerys Targaryen?

* * *

Government statisticians last week revealed the four people who make Hong Kong rich.

They are, in order, 1) the Goods Trader; 2) the Banker; 3) the Professional Suit (ie, lawyers and accountants); and 4) the Tourism Staffer.

People in these four categories provide at least 57 percent of the GDP of Hong Kong.

The rest of us are largely decorative.

In my case, not even that.

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