GBA Lifestyle News
By Andrea Lo | January 10th, 2017

Hong Kong 30 Under 30 2016

Co-founder, Liar’s League; managing editor, Art Asia Pacific; art and literary critic

Ysabelle Cheung is the co-founder of the Hong Kong chapter of Liars’ League, and edits contemporary art and culture magazine Art Asia Pacific.

A branch of a literary night featuring actors reading out original stories, Liar’s League was first founded in London in 2007, and also has outposts in New York and Portland.

Cheung’s media career began after she completed internships at The Times and the New Straits Times at 14 and 16 years old. After moving to Hong Kong in 2011, she worked a variety of art-related roles before taking up jobs at lifestyle publications Tatler and Time Out Hong Kong. In 2013, she co-founded Liars’ League, a literary night featuring actors reading out original stories.

“Liars’ League was really a project that I embarked on because I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms of literary events in London,” she says. “Hong Kong’s lit scene is quite different to London’s, so we adjusted LLHK slightly to adapt to that. For myself, even before we started up LLHK. I wanted to see and hear the writers and actors specifically experiencing Hong Kong, whether through their narratives or through their expressions and gestures.”

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These days Liars’ League boasts dozens of actors and writers, and Cheung says it’s grown beyond what she originally envisioned.

After a spell in New York City, Cheung is back in Hong Kong. There’s been plenty of personal setbacks for her over the past year, but she’s positive about the future. “I now work at a magazine that is challenging but fulfilling.” Her mantra? “Do what’s right by your own moral barometer, not what others expect of you.”

Her very first job? Taking inventory for couture baby clothing at a boutique in London at 12 years old.