Zolima CityMag for non ordinary families was founded in October 2015 by Nicole Andrianjaka de Surville, a creative and business-oriented mother of three. It is a passion project aimed at taking families on a journey of discovery around the world’s most vibrant cities – in an inspiring, innovative and unconventional way. Hong Kong is the first stop.
We believe there is a globally-minded audience of readers who are hungry about opportunities and experiences that take them closer to the soul of the city. We are not a typical travel magazine or city guide; we don’t provide simple lists of child-friendly tourist destinations. Instead, we are passionate about diving deep into the essence of the city to find stories that span the human spectrum.
Zolima CityMag covers art, history, culture, design and people. We believe there is always something meaningful to learn or rediscover about a destination, either as a first time traveller or local resident. We hope that parents can share our insights with the next generation, inspiring them to see the world with fresh and curious eyes.
Nicole Andrianjaka de Surville is the founder of Zolima CityMag. French, born to parents from Berlin and Madagascar, Nicole came to China the first time 20 years ago. She has been here ever since, working in Hong Kong for the silk division of the Hermes group and the French design and trend agency Carlin International. She built up her own lifestyle brand, Zolima, including a line of designer clothing for children and a boutique villa in Bali. Nicole loves to explore, absorb and re-discover the art de vivre of the world’s most inspiring cities. Over the years, she and her family have explored numerous fascinating cities, Paris, New York, Berlin, London, Moscow, Rome and more. Nicole’s passion and a team of seasoned and enthusiastic contributors are the ingredients that make Zolima CityMag whole.
Christopher DeWolf is a Canadian journalist who has lived in Hong Kong since 2008. He was drawn by the contrasts of the city’s street life: quiet lanes filled with stray cats and potted plants; sleek glass-and-steel footbridges; frenetic markets where rainbow umbrellas shelter fresh vegetables and flopping fish. Christopher’s work on urbanism, architecture, design, art and culture has appeared in the South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal, TIME, LEAP and many other publications. He hopes to bring a ground-up sense of place to his work for Zolima CityMag. More of his work can be found on his blog urbanphoto.net
Sarah Karacs’ first window into the world of Hong Kong came from a memoir of a young girl whose family fled to the Fragrant Harbour from Tianjin. A polyglot, avid reader and tireless writer, she has always loved words and how they help us explore new landscapes, ideas, and conceptions of the world. Born to Norwegian and Hungarian parents, Sarah moved to China after studying German and Czech at the University of Oxford. With a further masters in journalism she has written for publications including Der Spiegel, the Prague Post, the London Times and the South China Morning Post. She plans to get to the heart of the Hong Kong arts scene for Zolima CityMag as the city steers itself towards a new, fascinating and complex chapter in its cultural and sociopolitical story.
France born Alice Miquel is a lover of words who recently moved to Hong Kong. She is fascinated by the art of paper-making and she loves indulging in the pleasure of writing. She trained under one of the most demanding literary curriculums in France before earning a master’s degree in economics at Sciences Po. She lived in Tokyo for more than 10 years, where she founded Aoyama Notebooks, which are bound by hand according to a traditional Japanese method. In Hong Kong, Alice continues to make paper products in her atelier. With fresh eyes, Alice contributes the Slow Hong Kong column to Zolima CityMag, which she hopes will be a way to celebrate the passing of time with attention to detail and a hint of humour and poetry.
Catherine is an independent British architecture, design and art critic based in Hong Kong. Having trained as an urban planner, the process of building and creating spaces has always held a fascination for her. She hopes to share her passion for design with Zolima CityMag’s readers. Catherine contributes to a wide range of publications including Interior Design, Wallpaper*, Design Anthology, and the South China Morning Post, and is the Asia-Pacific contributing editor for Metropolis magazine. Catherine is the author of the Wallpaper* Tokyo City Guide and recently updated the Louis Vuitton Hong Kong City Guide. She loves Hong Kong for its wild country parks and beaches cheek by jowl with gleaming skyscrapers.
Edith Terry grew up in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and the United States. First visiting Hong Kong in 1959, and living here since 2000, she has been a foreign correspondent for Business Week magazine and the Toronto Globe and Mail Newspaper, opinion editor and columnist for the South China Morning Post, and is the author of non-fiction books including How Asia Got Rich: Japan, China, and the Asian Miracle (M.E. Sharpe, 2002). She writes about Hong Kong arts, culture, and sustainability.
Elizabeth Kerr is a native of Canada who has lived in Hong Kong since 2004. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (Cinema), she has worked in the film industry since finishing university, in production and for non-profit festivals, and she has written about cinema since 2002. Elizabeth has covered various international film festivals in South Korea, Berlin, Toronto, Shanghai and Tokyo. She is also a contributor to trade publication The Hollywood Reporter, China Daily Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post and The Peak among others. Her media career highlight to date was attending San Diego Comic-Con. (She describes herself as a nerd.) Her work on and off set, combined with a dedication to devouring Hong Kong movies back when they could only be found in the dusty corners of niche video stores, make her Zolima CityMag’s resident movie expert, snob or geek – whatever your chosen adjective.
After earning a degree in drama, Elle Kwan thought she might spend a life playing others but soon discovered writing about people was even more satisfying than speaking their lines. Since moving from London to Hong Kong almost a decade ago, she has been writing about artists, performers, culture and creatives for stories that have appeared in magazines and newspapers including the South China Morning Post, Prestige Hong Kong, Tatler and Travel and Leisure, and she remains an avid fan of the performing arts.
Half Italian, half-Chinese, Gabriella was born and raised in Hong Kong until leaving for studies and work abroad in London, Paris and Beijing. She recently completed an overland journey from Brussels to Hong Kong in 306 days and is now working on a cookbook and travelogue inspired by the journey across the Eurasian continent. Travelling long-term showed her how you can become tired of landscapes and the 100th temple, but never become blasé about people. The most interesting experiences from the road have been through engaging with people along the way and learning their history, culture and politics from personal stories. Gabriella is eager to explore the stories behind Hong Kong’s everyday forgotten icons and delve back into the Chinese language for Zolima CityMag. Part of the duo behind the award winning blog he Funnelogy Channel (www.funnelogychannel.com), when she is not on a bus, train or plane, you will most likely find her trying new foods street-side, preferably with her hands. And chatting to the cook.
Originally from the UK, Helen Dalley worked as a music and lifestyle writer/editor before moving to Hong Kong for an Asian adventure in 2005. More than a decade later, she still appreciates the heady pace and unparalleled convenience of the city after growing up in a small town in the English countryside that only had two bus services a day. Helen initially worked as an editor on inflight magazines and luxury lifestyle titles before going freelance. She writes about Hong Kong for publications including Travel + Leisure, South China Morning Post, Business Traveller and Hong Kong Means Business, where she regularly profiles the city’s most innovative start-ups and lifestyle trends.
Having interviewed everyone from fledgling fashion designers successful business owners, she brings a keen understanding of the city’s creative community to Zolima CityMag
Jason Wordie is an established local historian and writer. He has made his home in the New Territories for more than twenty five years.
He conducts historical walks in Hong Kong, Macao, Canton (Guangzhou) and Humen as well as giving historical lectures for a variety of local community groups and cultural organisations, in addition to various well-known corporate bodies.
Jason has had a series of regular columns in the South China Morning Post. His current column, Then and Now, appears every week in the Sunday Morning Post’s Post Magazine. Jason has written several books on Hong Kong and the region.
Laine Tam is a graphic designer and illustrator who has worked for Kahoko, The Bottle Shop, Young Master Ales and other Hong Kong brands. Raised in Hong Kong and Vancouver, she lived in Montreal before returning to Hong Kong in 2008. She loves hand-painted signs, food, markets and textiles. Her favourite kind of wool is alpaca. Laine contributes a unique graphic sensibility to Zolima CityMag through maps, illustrations and graphics.
Nicolas is a French documentary, travel and food photographer. He has previously worked and lived in Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, UK and Belgium before recently deciding to put his bags down in Hong Kong. He loves exploring new and familiar places to unfold the extraordinary found in everyday life. Everyone and everywhere has a story to tell and the “everyday” is where you often find the best ones. His focus is on documenting socio-economic and environmental change with a focus on people, providing portraits with a strong sense of place. He is the other half of the duo behind The Funnelogy Channel (www.funnelogychannel.com). He likes mangoes, old records player, the Swahili coast, and chinese knife-cut noodles (刀削面).
Payal Uttam is a Hong Kong-based journalist who has been covering contemporary art across the region for the past eight years. She returned to the city after a long stint in Chicago where she studied journalism, sculpture and art history. In addition to her role as the editor of My Place magazine, Payal contributes to international publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Art Newspaper, CNN Style and Women’s Wear Daily.
A third-generation Hongkonger with roots in Shanghai, London and Newfoundland, Ryan Kilpatrick has always been drawn to the ships and sea routes that bind together both his own family’s story and that of his hometown. After studying Chinese history he made the move from academia to journalism, writing for the Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, TIME, Fortune, and others. His favourite stories fuse his passions for heritage, conservation and the ocean, and remind readers how much Hong Kong owes to its rich maritime inheritance.
German native Stefanie Ball is a well-travelled journalist who is new to Hong Kong. She loves to dig out stories about places and all the subjects that cover the human spectrum. She was a political editor for the German daily Mannheimer Morgen, wrote from and about New York City and is now a fervent Asian contributor to various German media. As a mother of three space-and-nature-loving sons she has learned how life-saving it is to know where to take them in Hong Kong. Stefanie brings a fresh and inquisitive eye on family outdoor expeditions.
Tom Billinge has spent a large part of his adult life exploring the globe. Coming from Cambridge in the UK with an English father and a Cypriot mother, Tom has been fascinated by different cultures from an early age. With a background in archaeology he is the founder of The Temple Trail, a website that highlights the world’s beautiful religious buildings and the cultures that created them. Having lived in several countries, including China and Hong Kong, Tom has acquired a treasure house of knowledge, particularly about Eastern Religions. Tom has written for several history and travel publications and has told stories from all over the world. As the content editor of the Hong Kong Temple Map, he has visited and documented countless places of worship in Hong Kong. Tom aims to bring his cultural insights to Zolima CityMag to inspire readers to learn more about the incredible traditions and temples of Hong Kong.
Vickie Chan, born to a British and a Chinese parent, and raised in the UK, is a woman of many talents, is a writer, illustrator and artist. In 2006, she chose humid Hong Kong over the blustery UK. Since then, she has worked a stint in toy robotics, played in four bands, developed her Cantonese, dabbled in Mandarin, become obsessed with diving and figured out how to screen print in a tiny apartment. She has also written for the South China Morning Post, China Daily, Gafencu and Hong Kong Means Business. Her main focuses are art and design, education, culture lifestyle, travel and digital
Originally from the pinpoint town of Hana, Hawaii, Viola has freelanced for a mix of publications, photographing the island life for the Maui News and city life for Yes! Magazine in Seattle. Viola has a passion for photographing intimate pieces on people, places, their culture and their stories. The intricacies of form, light, shadow, and expression inspire Viola to capture the raw imperfect beauty this world is made of. Alongside photography, she loves fruit, urban exploration, hiking, yoga and being in the ocean.
William Furniss has called Hong Kong home for more than 20 years. A dedicated urbanist and photographer, he works to depict enhanced versions of the forms and functions of our metropolis. Also a keen on conversation and hanging out with humans, William enjoys shooting portraits. His work can be seen at www.williamfurniss.com
Zoe was one of the first people to help create Zolima CityMag. Born in Canada, she has lived in Hong Kong most of her life. Zoe is particularly interested in the origin stories of Chinese food. Currently a freelance writer, she was one of the founding editors of the now-defunct travel website CNNGo. She has been published in CNN, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel, Insight Guides, and more. She loves that every time she thinks she has seen all there is to see in this city, something new and surprising always greets her around the corner