Hong Kong Street Art is something I had read about, but it was not something that I went looking out for. It came to me as I walked around the city.
Street Art is the most visual of art forms, especially in the big urban centers of the world. It is becoming a rage in most cities. Some of them think they are beautifying the city while others add a layer of cities character on its walls. As you walk through the streets – these works of art catch your eye & ask you to stop for a moment to admire them, before you move on.
I found artworks on the streets, mostly in the happening Hong Kong Island – not counting the graffiti that was ubiquitous in the back lanes of the city.
Hong Kong Street Art
Come with me for a virtual tour of the artworks on the streets.
I saw the first street art right outside the Hong Kong Museum of history in the typical color of China – yellow and red. I must say that the treatment of the mural was quite modern though.
Next day at Ocean Park, while walking in the Old Hong Kong Street I saw this door full of Chinese writing. I can’t say if these are some instructions, some story or some prayers, but I found this quite a unique way of painting the doors. In fact, the door is designed in long panels to accommodate this writing.
At another place, I saw this small pole – a chain holder in the shape of a human skull.
On my Kowloon exploration, I loved this long mural in pastel colors outside the bird market. The mural is the most beautiful part of this market.
On a walk around downtown, I found these lovely sculptures – yes, right on the streets.
Hong Kong City Hall Memorial Garden & Shrine
This sculpture is a memorial to those who lives during the second world war between 1941-45. It keeps reminding you of the city’s past that has blood on it.
Bang opposite in the middle of a pool of water stood these 4 panels with some abstract art on them. Every time I thought of interpreting them, I saw something different, negating what I had seen earlier, so I leave it to you the reader to make your own interpretations.
Stephen & Sttit – The HSBC Lions
The Stephen and Stitt are two lions cast in bronze that sit proudly outside the HSBC headquarters. Stephen and Sttit get their name from the then managers of HSBC Bank when they were first created for the Shanghai office in 1923. The ones in Hong Kong came up in 1935. A third pair came up in 2001 for the bank’s London office.
There is a curious story about their installation. Like everything in Hong Kong, they had to be installed at a time prescribed by the Feng Shui masters. The time was late into the night and the HSBC did open its office at night to comply with the Feng Shui.
Stephen is in a roaring pose symbolizing aggression and hunger while Sttit is in peaceful, almost yogic pose sitting on his hunches. Sculptures carry the signature of the sculpture W W Wagstaff.
Bank of China Lions
The Bank of China building which is an immediate neighbor of the HSBC building also has its own pair of Lions outside their building. These are made of stone and look far more Chinese in character.
However, you have to hear the story of their making. The first set of lions created for this building are right behind the building. You literally laugh at the amateurish treatment of lions in these.
With all these stories, you can figure out how important lion guardians are for the banks.
Woman Aflame by Salvador Dali
Acclaimed Artist Salvador Dali claims his space in Hong Kong outside Landmark with his sculpture titled Woman Aflame. It is a curious sculpture that shows a woman in a metal cast hiding her face and pushing the world away, bent backward. Go ahead, make your own interpretations.
Grain of Rice
This tall bronze sculpture standing behind the HSBC building is bound to make you question what this could be. Honestly, I would have never guessed this is an artist’s interpretation of a grain of rice. Could you have guessed?
The soundscape on China’s National Anthem
This is a sculpture based on Xylophone – it is set to the tune of China’s national anthem. It is also a piece of public furniture where you can sit and admire the tall skyscrapers on one side and ocean on the other.
Scent of Spring
This artist tried to tell us that we must sustain the environment for the butterflies. This reminded me of the Art Trail at Changi Airport.
Walking around, I came across these long sitting benches, bifurcated by cardboard style caricatures.
Lastly, I walked on the Hollywood Road with its Man Mo Temple, it’s street markets, its happening cafes and I came across some interesting artworks on the street:
Cafes and restaurants on the streets connecting Hollywood road to upper or lower streets announced themselves with loud murals. There was art standing on the street as statues. T
All these works of art keep you engaged as you walk down the busy street.
More posts on the subject for you:
Bandra Artworks on the Street in Mumbai.
Artworks on the streets in Bratislava, Slovakia.
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