Clockenflap Music Festival

Five art installations you have got to see at Clockenflap this weekend

To mark the Hong Kong festival’s 10th anniversary, this year’s edition will feature artworks and large-scale interactive installations throughout the site from around the world. Here are our five favourites

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 7:44pm

People often forget that Clockenflap – one of Hong Kong’s largest annual outdoor events – is as much about art as it is music. To mark the 10th anniversary of the music and arts festival, this year’s edition will feature artworks and large-scale interactive installations from around the globe.  

“We are constantly exploring the possibilities of art in the context of festivals,” says Jay Forster, artistic director of Clockenflap, adding that the company has allocated “a healthy chunk” of its budget to the art programme.

Over two dozen artists and groups have responded to the open call and here are five art installations you need to check out at the weekend event from November 17 to 19.

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Narcissism: Dazzle Room

Unlike previous editions, where the installations are mostly concentrated in one area, this year, the art is spread throughout the site. One of them is the Dazzle Room by Japanese artist Shigeki Matsuyama, which is built on a mobile platform, touring the harbourfront. 

True to its name, the Dazzle Room is meant to trick your eyes. Painted in black-and-white patterns – an optical illusion used on ships during the first world war to make it difficult for enemies to target them – the artwork alludes to the blurring boundaries between people and the image they create for themselves. 


Although the exterior of this cave-like sanctuary space blends into the background like camouflage, Footprints is a work you will not want to miss. Architectural firm Hassell has worked with three other groups (Greater Group, S & Techs, and TRO) to construct this transitional passage. Take a step inside and motion detectors will capture your movement, then project them onto the wall – a reminder of the digital footprints we leave behind everyday and how we use them to tell our own story. 

#Holy Tech

This is a satirical portrayal of people’s addiction to technology these days, especially the obsession with sharing on social media. Brainrental, a group of three local artists, has collaborated with design agency Marc & Chantal to build a temple for people to “worship” technology, complete with a throne in the shape of an iPhone. 

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“People worship technology. It is a new religion to us. We believe it can bring us a good future,” says Kevin Leung from Brainrental.

While #Holy Tech is meant to be a sarcastic piece of commentary, Leung already foresees the irony being lost on some visitors who will be taking selfies and Instagramming in front of the work. “Which is even funnier,” he adds.

Balloon Chain 

When Robert Bose joined Burning Man, a festival held in a desert in United States, in 2006, he and his friends attached helium balloons to their bikes so they could locate each other from afar. Since then, he has become the Balloon Guy and has taken his installation – a long string of helium balloons that are lit up at night – to Coachella in California, See You Festival in Germany, and even Anne Hathaway’s wedding.

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While Bose has created strings more than two kilometres in length, it is not known yet how long the Balloon Chain will be at Clockenflap as it will depend on the venue and the weather conditions. People, however, will get a chance to hold one end of the line and interact with the balloons – just be sure you don’t let go.

Cave of Denial

Jason Dembski from creative consultancy Current Projects spent a month scouring industrial areas in Kowloon to collect discarded plywood. Dembski then used a laser cutting machine to turn the wood into interlocking pieces, which are assembled to form the Cave of Denial. It may be shaped like a temple so people can pay homage to the garbage gods, but really, its designer wants us to sit inside and reflect on how much rubbish we generate. Time to face the truth.

Clockenflap, Nov 17 to 19, Central Harbourfront, HK$980 (Friday general admission) to HK$1,830 (three-day general admission),