I was introduced to Nigel Ong when the Animal Style program was practically finished, and was only able to squeeze in one of his latest shorts. But he really deserves his own film festival. That’s I.T. (2006) not only documents one of Hong Kong’s much-loved and missed spots, but pretty much maps out the territory’s entire scene–not to mention visiting rippers including Kien Lieu, Koston, Janowsky… Yet Nigel is no scenester; his follow-up work, Skate First (2009), showed Chinese groms how to rip and his latest work, Skateboarding Is Love (2010), is 100 percent local without the locals-only vibe.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting and interviewing a lot of top-shelf skaters for the pages of Giant Robot: Don Nguyen, Daewon Song, Kenny Anderson, Eric Koston, Shogo Kubo, Steve Caballero, Willy Santos, Peggy Oki, Richard Mulder, Kien Lieu, Chad Tim Tim, Jamie Reyes, Daniel Castillo, Pat Channita, Jimmy Cao, Lincoln Ueda… (I know there are more and if I forgot you, I’m sorry.) Truthfully, the topic was probably lost on many readers but hopefully the culture wasn’t. Streetwear, street art, and even punk rock–so much of that stems from skateboarding and no one should forget that.