Arts in the wild

Arts in the wild

Home to a wealth of world-class art galleries and exhibitions, Hong Kong is without a doubt one of Asia's most leading art hubs — but there's no reason why art has to stay within four walls. From urban parts of town to the wild countryside, we’re surrounded by an abundance of creativity that often goes unnoticed every day. Be it outdoor art that blends seamlessly into nature or hidden architectural gems unbeknownst to daily commuters. So, step outside (or just look up from your screen), explore, and discover the splashes of colour that paint the city.

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Blending arts into the city

Blending arts into the city

A giant floating rubber duck in the harbour, 1,600 paper mache pandas at landmarks across the city, 100 life-size Doraemon figures outside a busy shopping mall, and a 37-metre-long float by American artist and designer KAWS — these are just a few of the most breathtaking public art initiatives that Hong Kong has played host to, thanks to Hong Kong-based creative studio AllRightsReserved (ARR).

Founded in 2003 by Lam Shu-kam, better known as SK Lam, ARR has helped curate and bring numerous larger-than-life art installations to the city. "Hongkongers have a great appetite for vibrant public art initiatives," says Lam, who sees Hong Kong as a prime public art destination. “In a city as vibrant as Hong Kong, we have a number of fascinating places to discover,” he adds.

Art projects such as Viva! River and Hi! Flora, Fauna, organised by the Art Promotion Office, are excellent examples of how public art connects with the community. These initiatives, whether through exhibitions, installations, or workshops, encourage the public’s involvement, enabling them to engage with different artworks, and appreciate art in a familiar setting. Even a mural like the colourful masterpiece by local artist Zlism, which covers the exterior wall of Leighton Centre in Causeway Bay, provides a delightful art-viewing experience for anyone and everyone who passes by.

“Public art can create a more dynamic city and even a landmark,” Lam shares. “Hong Kong definitely needs more public art that’s accessible to everyone and resonates with the community,” he adds. Aside from what Lam and his team have brought to the table, there’s a lot of interesting and exciting places to discover. From the small island of Yim Tin Tsai that boasts an array of large-scale artworks, and the scenic trail lined with outdoor paintings in Ha Pak Nai to hidden gems such as Oil Street Art Space and Asia Society Hong Kong Center, along with many more public art hubs and projects that have popped up in recent years, Hong Kong’s unique landscape provides endless opportunities for public arts.

Naturally, as the demand for innovative art grows, artists and designers face the difficulty of producing pieces that are outside of the box. But for Lam and his team, their passion for creativity fuels their drive to create. “We just look for anything interesting and do what we want,” he shares. “There is no standard and boundary for creative projects. Nothing is impossible, just challenging.”

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Written by Time Out Hong Kong
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