The best thing you can say about some hotel art is, 'That's nice'. At Mong Kok's Langham Place Hotel though, two words are not nearly enough. Their stuff isn't designed to fade into the decoration and background. Instead, some of the daring installations and paintings placed throughout its lobby, restaurants, business centre and hallways by art consultant Angela Li (pictured) demand some articulation. That's why the hotel now has its own iPod art tour.
Guests and even non-guests can sign up to listen to Li interpret the ideas and thoughts behind 21 of the most significant pieces from more than 1,500 items in the venue. It helps one to better appreciate contemporary art by the likes of Wu Guanzhong, Yue Minjun, Wang Guangyi and Hong Kong's Warren Leung Chi-wo.
'We talked about it for years and finally got around to it,' Li said at a preview on Wednesday. 'The hotel's own staff did tours before but now we've formalised it. My guideline for curating here was for Chinese-contemporary and not the usual hotel art. They said I can be edgy, so that's brave of them.'
The tour is in English, Cantonese, Putonghua and Japanese. The Hong Kong curator was prodded to narrate the tour. 'The Cantonese and English were fine but when I did the Mandarin I had to do it bit by bit. The person who edited and put it together probably hates me.'