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Art in Hong Kong you can’t miss (because you might run into it)

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Hannah Leung

Event Horizon presented in Hong Kong by the British Council, 2015 Photography by Oak Taylor-Smith - Key Visual (1) copy

Photo credit: Photography by Oak Taylor-Smith

I spy with my eye. . .31 statues placed to look like real people! If you’ve walked down Queen’s Road Central towards the Central MTR Station, chances are you’ve seen a dark, immobile figure standing in the middle of the road.

No, its not Voldemort. It’s also not a clueless tourist.

Central MTR, statue

This is the polarizing work and art of sculptor Antony Gormley, a public exhibition of 31 life size, anatomically accurate figures scattered throughout the city. Only four are found at street level and 27 perched on rooftops, all scattered around Hong Kong’s Central and Western District.

Event Horizon - 2010 USA - NYC - James Ewing (4)

The installation has been exhibited in London, Rotterdam, New York, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro before making its Asia debut.

This marks Hong Kong’s most extensive city-wide public art project, and it sure didn’t get passed easily.

Here’s the scoop on the controversy: We got the low down that much legwork needed to be done to get the project approved. Psychologists were worried the figures would inciteunease from Hong Kong residents. They also worried that people walking by would mistake the statues for jumpers (which is why a lot of campaigning has been done for this exhibition).

One figure, perched on top of Standard Chatered Bank Building might strike some as insensitive, as an investment banker jumped to his death nearby the spot, only last year.

So what do you think? Cheap art for selfies opps or poignant pieces about society?

In any case, it’s fun to see if you can scout out all 31 figures. For a cheat sheet, download a map with the locations on the official site.

The figures will stay in town until May 18, 2016


Hannah Leung

Hannah Leung American-born and raised, Hannah Leung spent most of her life in New Jersey watching bad television. After four years of breathing in fresh, New England air during college, she moved to Beijing where she worked in PR and edited the Lifestyle section for a State-owned newspaper for four years. Having not purchased an air purifier the whole time, she moved to Hong Kong, where she continued writing (and gave her lungs a break).