My Moleskine Project


It’s just a little black notebook. But because of its pocket-size, iconic
elastic strap and illustrious history, the Moleskine has become the Platonic
Ideal of little black notebooks. Used by Vincent Van Gogh for sketches, Ernest
Hemingway for prose and Bruce Chatwin for travel notes, the Moleskine notebooks
have been the favorite for creative minds for nearly two centuries. To continue
this tradition, Hong Kong-based design studio Working Unit recently collaborated
with Page One Bookshop and East Touch Magazine to launch the "My Moleskine"

Starting in autumn of 2004, more than thirty creative
professionals from Hong Kong and beyond were invited to fill a Moleskine of
their choice with anything they liked, and return the notebooks by spring of
2005. On April 30th the results were presented to the public in an exhibition at
the newly-renovated Page One Bookshop in Causeway Bay– in a uniquely hands-on
fashion. Each notebook was displayed in a clear plastic box with an opening for
the audience to reach through and turn the pages (wearing gloves so as not to
damage the artworks). After the opening ceremony, which featured special guest
local indie rock star Anthony Wong Yiu-Ming, the aisles of Page One quickly
filled with spectators, eager to flip through the eclectic array of


Because of the diverse backgrounds of the participants (writers, painters,
graphic designers, musicians, photographer and architects) as well as their
global provenances (Singapore, Sweden and Japan besides Hong Kong), each
notebook showcased distinctive styles and content. From the cute drawings of
comic artist Chi Hoi to the Southeast Asian newspaper collages by illustrator
Tak, a range of personal visions emerged from the same little black notebooks.
Some contributors even deconstructed and re-fashioned their notebooks
completely, one memorable example being the Moleskine-turned-music box, complete
with crank wheel and hole-punched strip of paper (unfortunately the music box
did not actually function).

Arnault Castel, whose Working Unit design
studio organized "My Moleskine", said that the project is focused more on the
creative process than completed works. Through gently leafing through each
creator’s notebook, the audience can explore the individual nature of
creativity-watching ideas grow, page by page.

My Moleskine
Date: April 30 – June 5, 2005
Place: Page One Bookshop
9F, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Text and Photos:
Samantha Culp