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Before I met Arber and Rina, all I know about Pixelsergeon are a gradient green portal interface with up to date news, cool splash pages, and designers + artists interviews. On Sunday night, 23rd Sept 2001, I eventually got a chance to see the surgeons, Arber and Rina in H.K. Their impression to me is super funny, creative and kind to others. No wonder, Pixelsurgeon is so successful!

When did you arrive? How long would you stay in Hong Kong? What is the purpose of this trip?

ARBERNAUT: On the planet: 33 years ago. In Hong Kong 4 days ago. This is my frist visit, but I’ve fallen in love with the city from the skyscrapers to the buddhist temples.

REEN: 20/09/01 Thursday. I was born in H.K.. I stayed here till I was 14 then I went to UK to study. But without counting those, 14 years. 4 days :).

ARBERNAUT + REEN: The main purpose of this trip to the orient is to visit Rina’s family and go to Sydney IDN Fresh Conference. We will be joining Oz Dean from for the week doing crazy stuff like snorkeling, drink XXXX and throwing shrimps on the barbie!

Where have you been in these few days? Found any interesting things?

ARBERNAUT: We have been to: My Grandfather-in-law’s Flat, My Mother-in-law’s Flat, Repulse Bay, Stanley, Central, Causeway Bay, Chi Lin Temple + other Buddhist temples.

REEN: Shopping in Causeway Bay, Temples like Man Mo Temple, Kwan Yin Temple, Chi Lin Temple, Stanley, Repulse Bay…etc.

What is your impression to Hong Kong? or the people in Hong Kong?

ARBERNAUT: My impressions of H.K. before I visited were based on H.K. movies and what Rina told me, but seeing it in person blew me away: So beautiful! In NY there are tall buildings + skyscrappers, but in a really orderly way – Hong Kong is CHAOS! I love CHAOS! People are really cool, and my wife’s family very welcoming.

REEN: HK is very busy; packed with people. Everyone one is rushing around!

Have you met any designers from Hong Kong before? Have you visited any web agency in Hong Kong?

ARBERNAUT: Only on the internet.

REEN: No, you are the first. Not yet. If only we could stay in H.K. for a bit longer.

What do you think about the state of web industry in Hong Kong? Any suggestion? Do u know any web site from H.K. and what do you think about them?

ARBERNAUT: My impression of Hong Kong web design is based on various personal websites + portals such as panism, shellmoonsite, db-db,etc… And they rock. My experience of corporate web sites is united to a handful of sites such as,…etc. Probably not enough to formulate a clear picture of what H.K. web design is really like.

REEN: I think a lot of H.K. sites are great. They have great potential and very creative. Although by cultural experience, being a designer may not be seen as good as being a doctor, lawyer or accountant. But, everything around us are enhanced by creative designers. Without good designers, life would be very boring.

If you have to do a Hong Kong issue for Pixelsurgeon. What would you do? How would you apply the elements/stuff you have seen in Hong Kong?

ARBERNAUT + REEN: We are going to create a special feature on Pixelsurgeon about H.K. design. Similar to the “women in design” feature by Rina. Our starting point will be the handful of H.K. web designers we know: such as Francis Lam ( Pixelsurgeon are contributing editors), Benna Lo (, Mlee (, and Pan Chan (, but still branch out to include as many H.K. designers we think are cool. Pixelsurgeon is already very sympathetic to Asian designers (Rina is from H.K.) and we have links and contributors from all over the world: Jemma Gura ( | NY), Andrew ( | Australia), Jade ( | Australia), Erin ( | Japan).

Before the feature we’ll be doing a world tour special showing all the photographs from Hong Kong + IDN Fresh in Sydney. We’ll introduce elements of Chinese typography + design into the feature, but we’re not quit sure how yet!! Until I sit down at the Mac, I usually have no idea how the design will turn out!!!

“・jエb・J Design” – Possible title for feature on Hong Kong designers!

About Pixelsurgeon

ARBERNAUT: Pixelsurgeon is a web portal aimed at designers creatives + people who like the strange end of the web. We use a lot of humour in our news postings – we’ll news strange stuff not just cool websites. So we appeal to a broader section of the web community than surfstation + k10k + DiK. We also have broader interview subjects such as bands (DJ VADIM, ORGANIC AUDIO, THERAPY? etc) As well as designers.

We work on Pixelsurgeon night + weekends as we all have Day jobs (Jason-web designer, Rich-illustration, Rina-print designer) but we spend EVERY waking hour on Pixelsurgeon + Dream about it at night!!!

REEN: Pixelsurgeon, based in London UK, Jason Arber, Richard May and Rina Cheung. Pixelsurgeon is a friendly design portal for designers, packed with the latest news, gossip, hot tips for everybody. Because it’s a friendly site we don’t believe in “titles” as such but we all specialises in different areas such as Jason (new media), Richard May (illustration), and Rina Cheung (print graphics).

Thanks to Jason Arber and Rina Cheung for doing this interview! Wish there will be another chance seeing you in H.K. again!


Text and Photos: Mlee from Shellmoon

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