Hong Kong’s shopping malls get imaginative for Christmas
Delightful range of ideas will raise the entertainment factor for the public this festive season
How many interpretations of Christmas can one city have? Answer: As many as there are shopping malls.
One of the busiest shopping seasons is upon us and the city’s biggest and most luxurious commercial centres are prepping their garlands.
More than just beautifying their interiors, the creative minds at each location have come up with novel ideas to bring merriment to adults and children alike.
Emphasising family enjoyment, Tai Koo Shing’s City Plaza features a five-metre long and two-metre wide slide for parents to take a spin with their little ones. If that is not enough, the “Delightful Christmas Wonderland”-themed mall has a variety of Buzz wire games that cater to all ages in the presence of a 14-metre tall, bright LED-lit Christmas tree and Santa Claus in his sleigh for that perfect selfie.
Pacific Place has a “Christmas Spectacular” with performances from renowned local companies such as the Hong Kong Ballet and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, that are expected to delight shoppers with live shows until January 1 at the shopping centre’s Garden Court, which has been transformed into a “fairy-lit Christmas Theatre” accompanied by a curated selection of seasonal pop-ups and an assortment of Christmas workshops. Sweet tooths will be delighted by the Theatre’s Candy Bar which is one floor up from the stage area. Here they sell artisan popcorn from New York in all kinds of signature flavours, such as Toasted Coconut, New York Christmas and Tropical Mango to the Classic Caramel, Chocolate Drizzle and Rocky Road bestsellers.
Talking about “nibbles”, snack-named comic book figure Peanut and his friends are making Times Square their home this winter. The Snoopy-themed décor is a great hit with fans of all ages, and celebrations will continue until Boxing Day. Also from December 4 to 29, the Snoopy Photo Booth allows you to capture a moment with your favourite cartoon friends. It’s a great opportunity to snap that Christmas family picture.
Nearby, Lee Gardens has set up its own charity-infused theme to celebrate the holidays. Launching 800 limited-edition sets of Christmas Baubles that can offer customised messages and designs on a dedicated website, the occasion is said to be Hong Kong’s first custom charity Christmas bauble event as part of their “All is Joyful, All is Bright” theme. Each set contains two baubles 15 and 40cm in diameter, with the larger personalised one being hung at the Lee Gardens area as part of its Christmas decorations and the smaller bauble to be taken home. Proceeds will go to Helping Hand, a charity dedicated to serving Hong Kong’s needy elderly; a great way to capture the holiday spirit.
Harbour City is also raising funds for the Hong Kong Blood Cancer Foundation over the Christmas holiday season.
This year, Tsim Sha Tsui’s premier shopping arena has invited renowned London-based designer Klaus Haapaniemi to decorate the mall’s Gateway Arcade and Kids Zone at the Ocean Terminal this month. The Finnish artist brings a Scandinavian Christmas Forest to the shopping centre themed “Giants of Christmas Forest”. Other “giants” on parade are the three enormous Santa airships to welcome shoppers into the shopping haven’s forecourt until January 1. The largest is 20 metres wide by 7 metres high, spruced up with more than 2,000 LED lights. You cannot miss it.
There is also a chance to go on board one of the airships and meet its Santa captain. That is not all. Harbour City is hosting the first public drone show in Hong Kong as part of its “Christmas in the Air” theme. Unmanned-aerial-vehicle expert George Chan is the talent behind the drone show. This will be his first public performance using drones in a choreographed aerial routine in the city. Hong Kong’s only LED violin band, La Luz will be performing on weekends, together with 2017 Hoopie Award winner
Artistic expressions are also a theme at Telford Plaza where Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí is centre-stage this year. The shopping mall has collaborated with world-class Gaudí museums and The Gaudí Research Institute in bringing a reproduction in the artistic style of Catalan modernism.
Festive decorations in the form of his two masterpieces, Park Güell and Casa Milà, set the scene for a romantic Christmas. There is also a large-scale reproduction of Casa Batlló at Telford Plaza Phase 2 where the Walking with Gaudí exhibition is making its official debut and showcasing architectural models and precious artefacts from two renowned museums and the Institute for the first time in Asia.
If that doesn’t “unlock your imagination”, The Landmark aims to do just that with its 2017 Christmas campaign. Acclaimed French illustrator Gwen Keraval has created a landscape that seeks to “embrace the possibilities of an idealised world of childlike wonders”. Keraval’s portrayal of children’s imaginative creativity, the building of a better world, and charming animated characters bursts to life across 10 displays. A “floating island” supplying unlimited clean water; “expanding buildings” that provide homes for all; a boy creating a new robot friend from recycled and discarded materials; and a little girl creating a special cure-all for beloved pets, are all imagined as installations which burst into life every 30 minutes at the Central shopping mall.
Another French artist making his mark this December is Nicolas Buffe who is the creator of an interactive 4.5-metre tall Rocket-Lantern sculpture at K11 as part of their Christmas concept “The Universe in Me: A Christmas Voyage”. His work combines augmented reality (AR) technology with mortise-and-tenon craftsmanship in a multi-art form exhibition. Visitors can use a mobile app created by K11 to access this in-mall “planetarium” that enables them to view zodiac signs positioned in the sky. A 3D paper installation and wall art are featured by local artistic duo Stickyline.
If you are looking for that authentic feel, Santa has come all the way from Finland to Stanley Plaza, where the first Christmas market in Hong Kong, endorsed by the Finnish Consulate of Hong Kong and Macau, and the Finnish Chamber of Commerce, has come to life. Some 80 booths have set up at the plaza’s amphitheatre and open area. Here is your chance to try out Finnish delights such as reindeer sausage, herring and salmon, and a range of bakery items including traditional Finnish Christmas “joulutorttu” and confectionery in Northern Lights pattern. Mind you, the market will only be open for two consecutive weekends on December 9-10 and 16-17. Don’t miss your chance.