Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival is more than a social media ‘check-in’ place

We love to take snapshots of beautiful things and more often we would like to share photos with our friends on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Hong Kong Tourism Board seems to know well about this trend and introduces Hong Kong people and visitors a wonderful social media ‘check-in’ place with light art installations.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is organizing the glamorous Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival from 29 November 2018 to 24 February 2019, featuring the usual ‘A Symphony of Lights’ multimedia show in the Victoria Harbour 8 pm every day and a brand new ‘International Light Art Display’ in the Central Harbourfront.

Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival is organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and co-organized by the Tourism Commission.

According to HKTB, over HK$23 million ‘International Light Art Display’ showcases more than 18 light art installations created by local and international artists, with seven more on display since January. These installations light up the Central Harbourfront every day from 5 pm to 11 pm. Information stands of artworks and artists are provided for visitors to know more about each exhibit, though some are less noticeable because of their distance from the exhibits.

These light art displays are quite successful in becoming new social media ‘check-in’ hot spots as HKTB wishes to. Some exhibits are more popular with a long queue of visitors waiting to take nice photographs. Checking out hashtag #InternationalLightArtDisplay and #HongKongPulseLightFestival on Instagram, ‘Capture’ and ‘Angels of Freedom’ are two of the most frequently mentioned installations that are exhibiting at the moment.

‘Capture’ is one of the new exhibits on display since January that has won people’s hearts. The heart-shaped local art piece with romantic music played is a perfect spot for couples to capture the moment. The Hong Kong-based international award-winning artist, Daydreamers Design, wishes visitors to reflect and understand the concept of love by stepping into it, capturing the pulse of love, according to the artist statement.

‘Capture’ by local artist Daydreamers is another popular photo-taking spot.

‘Angels of Freedom’ catches visitors’ eyes with a bright angel halo and giant wings. Everyone can become an angel by posing at the designed location. There are three ‘Angels’ scattered in the exhibition, diverting crowds of visitors who want to have a taste of being an ‘angel’. Israelis artist OGE CreativeGroup reminds everyone of their inner beauty by turning visitors into angels visually through this interactive light art installation, stated in the artist statement.

Visitors taking photos with ‘Angels’ of Freedom’, by OGE CreativeGroup from Israel.

These light art installations are not just social media ‘check-in’ hotspots, more importantly, the exhibition provides a place for Hong Kong people and visitors to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of public art. There are several interactive installations in the festival that let visitors to have a dialogue with art.

Japanese artist Masamichi Shimada’s ‘Birds Fly Around with You’ invites visitors to light up the ‘flying birds’ by walking inside the circle. Birds will illuminate one by one following the visitor’s steps. More birds will be lighted up when more people are interacting with the device.

‘Birds Fly Around with You’ is an interactive light art installation by Japanese artist Masamichi Shimada.

‘Hello, Stranger’ is designed by local artist 430 LTD for two strangers standing in the middle of the device that is full of mirrors, gazing at each other to be friends for one minute. Interestingly, most visitors were attracted by the mirror-reflected image of themselves rather than the stranger’s gaze. Even though it was not the original designing idea of the artist, it is still amazing how visitors interpret the art piece and explore new ways to interact with the device, giving new meanings to the exhibit.

Another interactive exhibit ‘Hello, Stranger’, by local artist 430 LTD.

Installation art is not just about visual satisfaction, some displays combine visual with sound in providing visitors with new experiences. ‘Tapping’ plays sound recorded in the city when the wind blows. Little illuminated containers with sound generators inside sway in the wind which let the audience to re-connect with the city, remind them of details that are often neglected as mentioned in the artist statement.

A close-up of ‘Tapping’ with iconic buildings in the background.
‘Tapping’ is a wind instrument created by IOIO Creative from Hong Kong.

’40 Hexaedron’ is composed by 40 1m x 1m cubes that change colour along with the rhythm of music. These static cubes form a moving picture with changing lights that give audiences a multimedia experience of varied “permutations of time and space”, said French artist Pierre Ranzini in the artist statement.

French artist Pierre Ranzini’s work ’40 Hexaedron’.

The International Light Art Display also allows different cultures to meet in the city. Changing colours of ‘Bands of Friendship’ are inspired by Indian colour schematics. Looking the nine-ring-installation from different perspectives gives different meanings to the symbol of friendship.

‘Bands of Friendship’ by Indian artists Vikas Patil and Santosh Gujar.
‘Bands of Friendship’ by Indian artists Vikas Patil and Santosh Gujar.

Hungarian artist Peter Koros brings tulips, one of the Dutch’s symbols, to Hong Kong. Inspired by the Dutch’s tulips-caze, the enlarged ‘Bunch of Tulips’ is an inflatable light art installation.

‘Bunch of Tulips’ by Peter Koros from Hungary.

The biggest-ever outdoor light art display in Hong Kong has attracted more than the HKTB’s expected visitor flow of 500,000 in January, reported by South China Morning Post. Together with the enthusiastic responses of ‘check-ins’ on social media platforms, it has recorded a huge success. The festival does not only enrich Hong Kong’s festive atmosphere in Winter, but has also turned the harbourfront into an artistic public space, providing opportunities for locals and visitors to spend a moment with culture and art.

The festival is going to end in about one week on 24 February. Grab the last chance to spend time with these great artworks from different parts of the world!

Some more exhibits:

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