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Space Out Competition Invites Hong Kongers to Zone Out Together

By Sophie Pettit 26 March 2018
If you've ever been shamed for daydreaming during a boring staff meeting, or zoning out while your friend is chewing your ear off (come on, we've all been there), then you'll be relieved to know that you now have the perfect excuse to space out — without judgement — because The 6th International Space Out Competition is coming to Hong Kong this March 31.

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Between 2pm and 6pm, eighty participants will battle it out at the AIA Vitality Park in Central to win the competition and receive a "special prize" sponsored by Samsung. Now this may sound like a hoax, but we promise you it's not — there's a trailer and everything ...   The off-the-wall initiative was created back in 2014 by Korean visual artist Woops Yang, who believes that taking regular breaks from our daily life is the best way to deal with stress and encourage emotional health hmm, not a totally crazy idea in our non-stop metropolis! Yang herself will be judging the finalists on the day, based on the heart rate of those taking part. Again, we're not pulling your leg — really. The twenty finalists with the lowest and most stable heart rate will proceed to the final round, where three winners will be chosen and eventually, one overall champion. But that's not all, as the general public are also invited to challenge themselves and space out for one minute in the Space-out Experience Zone between 5pm and 6pm on the day. We must warn you though, there's a strict no mobile phones, chitchat, sleeping, or singing rule — so you'll have to control yourselves people! Now this may all sound a bit loopy, but the concept behind the competition is far from a joke and actually springs from psychological research which suggests that if we calm down and allow ourselves to "empty" our brain, we are better equipped to handle our emotions and avoid anxiety and stress. The competition is also supported by local charity, Joyful (Mental Health) Foundation, which aims to raise awareness of emotional disorders and reduce misconceptions and discrimination against people suffering from them. [caption id="attachment_113284" align="aligncenter" width="660"] We reckon she's in with a good chance.[/caption] With mental health remaining a big taboo in the 852, we're all for a bit of zoning out from time to time, and it seems we're not the only ones, as the competition has proven to be a huge success in other major cites around the world including Seoul, Beijing, Rotterdam, and Taipei. It also has the support of Hong Kong actor, singer, and swimmer Alex Fong, who is doing his bit to spread the positive message. "When we wake up every day, we almost never stop moving, and now we have cell phones which are always with us so we can be contacted at any moment, meaning we can never fully switch off," Fong says. "We cannot space out while driving, or when our boss is looking at us in the office — we can't relax and be empty. "Often, it's not necessary to deal with our troubles immediately, sometimes it's better for us to sit still and allow ourselves time to think clearly, because the solution today may be different from the one tomorrow. The Space Out competition allows us to space out together and space out to be happy." So what do you say Hong Kong, are you ready to part with your phone for one whole minute? Catch The 6th International Space Out Competition this March 31 at the AIA Vitality Park in Central and join in the fun between 5pm and 6pm.
Read more! See what else is on in the Weekend Ahead, and check out the biggest events this year.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.