Japan's beautiful shrines and picturesque scenery have been impressing tourists for years, but many keen-eyed visitors have also admired the delicate designs of the country's drain covers, which differ from place to place and capture the unique character of each area.
Many are brightly coloured, making those in Hong Kong seem boring by comparison. However, Towngas is seeking to add a bit more character to our city's urban landscape by organising the Street Art x Pit Cover Design Contest with the Hong Kong Education City website.
Contestants can choose one of three themes - 'Hong Kong story', 'warmth, laughter and joy' and 'low carbon footprint' - and enter their design in the open, primary or secondary student categories. Winners will receive a cash prize of up to HK$20,000 and see their design adorning a Towngas drain cover that will be kept as a permanent artwork.
One of the contest's judges, designer Stanley Wong Ping-pui, says he is looking forward to this new 'street revolution', adding 'the most touching designs usually reflect our everyday lives'.
Joining Wong on the judging panel will be Alex Fung, principal of the Hong Kong Design Institute, Lee Tak-chi, associate dean (external relations) of Polytechnic University's school of design, and James Kwan Yuk-choi, executive director and chief operating officer of Towngas.
Contestants can use any method they like to create their entries, although they must be submitted on a design template. The contest's website, streetart.towngas. com, features an easy-to-use design tool and themed graphics.