Flash mob? This guy thinks it's a flesh mob

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 January, 2011, 12:00am

It was a chilly way to welcome the new year - but it was all in the name of art. A topless sunbather was part of a 'flash mob' demonstration on the West Kowloon waterfront promenade to support plans for the area's development as a cultural district.

About 30 artists turned up for the hour-long display at noon yesterday, which also included sights such as a 'human dog being walked by its owner' and an empty lemon tea carton being transformed into a camera.

Organiser Cheng Yee-man, of the political art gallery C&G Artpartment, said that all along, the government had been working on the policies for the West Kowloon development at an internal level. It had spent little time focusing on 'software' - arts and culture for the public.

'We want to let our voice be heard calling for the best use to be made of the cultural district,' he said. They chose New Year's Eve to hold the 'flash mob' - an event in which a group of people suddenly appears in a public place and performs seemingly meaningless actions for a short time before vanishing - because they wanted to leave people with a pleasant memory of 2010.

Ho Yuen Leung and fellow demonstrator Lawman Lo Man-lok dressed as two paupers 'begging for more culture'.

An artist giving his name only as Yuen led another, nicknamed Manson - who was wearing a mask of a foreign dog breed - on a string.

Cheng said it was a play on the sound of the name for a foreign dog and the short term for West Kowloon in Cantonese, sai gau.

Meanwhile, Martin Cheung turned an empty lemon tea carton into a pinhole camera by inserting photographic paper.

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority said it would explore opportunities to co-operate with different arts and cultural organisations to make good use of the land.

'We will present performances of various kinds and hope to cultivate substantial audiences,' a spokesman said.

The government will conduct a third public consultation on the project next summer and is expected to publicise the results before the end of the year. The latest proposal was unveiled last August.