The Hongs Kong Salon moniker was adopted by Andrew Ingersoll and Jear Keokham as an umbrella term to cover the nuances of (dis)belonging.
As a result of the Opium Wars in the mid-19th century, Hong Kong became a colony of the United Kingdom before its lease expired in 1997. This lease was also met with an interruption of Imperial Japanese occupation during WWII from 1941-1945/6.
Throughout its complicated history, Hong Kong grew to become revered as a modern marvel of Eastern-Western hybridity. People of Hong Kong often negotiate their relationship to Western and Eastern cultures with no universal affirmation. Individual nuances define what it means to be a Hong Konger. As an identity already in flux, the handover of Hong Kong leaves the future of the sub-tropic island-mega-city in the hands of China.
Hong Kong's name was bootlegged by Ingersoll and Keokham as a strategy for disidentification by drawing upon its colonial and imperial history and its current identity crisis as a means to pirate the tensions and perplexities of plurality.1
Hongs was first assigned as neither a possessive nor plural but rather as a sonic spin-off of 'Hong' with a sneaky 's.' But it could still very well refer to the duo in the grammatical form of a plural possessive with the possession being the 'Kong' or 'Kong Salon.'
Kong draws upon not only King Kong, a name associated with a hyperbolized weight of foreign ferocity and a gaze of exoticism, but it is also somewhat of a funhouse-mirror parallel to the Godzilla Asian American Arts Network, the once New York based collective notorious for writing to "David Ross, the [then] newly appointed director of the Whitney Museum, protesting the virtual absence of Asian-American artists from the 1991 Biennial."2
Salon is also a double entendre which refers to the Parisian tradition of art exhibitions in which Académie approved artists were privileged and others excluded but it also refers to the collector's salon in which private homes become recontextualized as a gathering and alternative exhibition space for the arts.
The association of a salon with the prefix of "Hongs Kong" will also inevitably paint an image of a hair or nail salon which alludes to the policitized Asian/Asian-American bodies that can be pictured working in said spaces especially to an audience with a Western point of departure.
While Hongs Kong Salon may be seemingly anchored in some sort of East versus West narrative, it is rather a playful label created by Ingersoll and Keokham to quickly and efficiently trigger a set of shared ideas between the two. Hongs Kong Salon is both a comedic and poetic guise that allows for continued negotiation and interpretation with endeavors and interests that expand beyond polarities.
2 (https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/23/arts/art-expressing-the-hyphen-in-asian-american.html) accessed 15 September 2018