Infinite opportunities for Hong Kong
Interactive exhibition in Central invites residents to appreciate city's growth and potential through rich sensory experience
On a recent Monday morning, a group of secondary school students were cutting through a huge Möbius strip structure to reach the City Gallery in Central when vaguely familiar objects along the way caught their eye. Some slowed their pace, exchanging amused expressions.
The students, meaning to attend a guided tour of the “Hong Kong ∞ Impression” exhibition, were momentarily sidetracked by the mosaic artworks of egg tarts, Cheung Chau’s bun tower and a fire dragon dance, created by internationally recognised local LEGO® Certified Professional Andy Hung and his team. They had stumbled upon the exhibition’s thematic zone, aptly named Playful Hong Kong.
The message of tradition and culture behind the exhibits leapt out in the neo-futuristic setting embodied by the “Infinity” steel structure, but that was not all. An abstract digital art installation named “DynamiCity”, by local media art group XCEED, showcased the past 20 years of Hong Kong through data collected from various sources, including iconic events.
“Hong Kong ∞ Impression” is jointly presented by the HKSAR Government’s Development Bureau and Planning Department to showcase how city planning and infrastructure development have shaped Hong Kong into “Asia’s World City”, according to the Director of Planning, Raymond Lee. This is also an event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.
There are four thematic zones: in addition to Playful Hong Kong, there are Liveable Hong Kong, Visionary Hong Kong and Cultural Hong Kong. The Möbius display had turned out to be the students’ entry point to the entire exhibition.
Moving on from Playful Hong Kong is Liveable Hong Kong, located on the ground floor of the City Gallery. Visitors are greeted with a series of impressionist-style brushstrokes that transport them back to the recent past, one that speaks of the city’s dynamic transformation in enhancing the quality of living via six areas: Housing for All, Our Green and Blue Space, Managing Our Water Resources, Keeping Hong Kong Moving, Connecting to the World and, finally, Care and Support for the Community.
The Liveable Hong Kong zone makes full use of audiovisual media, but with an impressionist touch to complement the city’s changing landscape.
A beautifully produced 11-minute video, divided into six sessions, summarises how Hong Kong has evolved to become a better place to live. From the first-rate Hong Kong International Airport to the city’s superb bus and Mass Transit Railway network, from its many leisure parks and protected heritage facilities to the reliable water and drainage network – all these contribute to a convenient and highly satisfying lifestyle for the more than seven million people in the SAR.
At the same time, this exhibition is also forward-looking. Following a summary of the past two decades of development is the Visionary Hong Kong zone, which is designed to help visitors visualise the city’s ambitious blueprint – the “Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030”.
Residents may have frequently come across sweeping planning ideas like “Energizing Kowloon East into Hong Kong’s CBD2”, “Central to North Point Harbourfront”, “North Lantau”, “Kwu Tung North and Fanling North” or “Hung Shui Kiu and Yuen Long South” in news reports, but how these development projects will actually change life in Hong Kong can often remain unclear to all but the trained urban planner. The zone, equipped with interactive models, aims to be the perfect place to provide insights into how these mega plans will change Hong Kong’s future.
The fun-filled zone, designed in a postmodern style, features five 3D models showing the above-mentioned plans being projected onto 2D screens. Visitors get plenty of opportunities to activate each site with a range of hand movements, and in one case with a tablet, to learn and experience the full picture and details of the various development projects.
These installations explain how Hong Kong 2030+ can integrate Hong Kong to become a more liveable, competitive, sustainable and world-class city.
In short, Visionary Hong Kong is an exhibition zone themed around architecture and infrastructure – which may form the physical identity of a city, but it is culture that shapes the soul of a great metropolis. This is where the Cultural Hong Kong zone takes over. With some of the most important buildings in the West Kowloon Cultural District, including the Hong Kong Palace Museum, Xiqu Centre and M+ visual culture museum, to be completed in the coming years, Cultural Hong Kong tells visitors what will be in store for art and cultural appreciation.
The highlight of this zone is its virtual reality (VR) presentation of the Xiqu Centre, scheduled for completion in 2018. The five-minute VR experience gives an exciting tour of the impressive building designed by Bing Thom Architects and Ronald Lu & Partners, and even includes a virtual Chinese opera performance in the 1,100-seat Grand Theatre and 200-seat Tea House Theatre.
Trained professionals from the arts hub are on hand to offer visitors information on its buildings as well as initiatives and programmes now undertaken by the cutting-edge cultural sector of Hong Kong.
Apart from these four inspiring thematic zones, an array of community activities is scheduled during the exhibition period in and outside the Möbius structure, home of the Playful Hong Kong zone.
To get the most of this exhibition, take a look at the official website www.citygallery.gov.hk before visiting and choose your preferred extra session, so your trip will be as meticulously planned as Hong Kong has always been.
“Hong Kong ∞ Impression” exhibition
From now till November 30, 2017
City Gallery, 3 Edinburgh Place, Central
Guided tours are available throughout the exhibition period. For bookings and more information, call 3102 1242.
Participating government organisations:
Liveable Hong Kong: Transport and Housing Bureau; Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department; Architectural Services Department; Drainage Services Department; Highways Department; Leisure and Cultural Services Department; Water Supplies Department
Visionary Hong Kong: Civil Engineering and Development Department; Energizing Kowloon East Office
Cultural Hong Kong: West Kowloon Cultural District Authority