The Development Bureau (DEVB) and the Harbourfront Commission (HC) have been proactively taking forward harbourfront development. In addition to connecting the promenades along both sides of the Victoria Harbour, we have also made vigorous efforts to establish an open management mode of “Harbourfront Shared Space” in recent years. I am pleased that the initiative has been well received by members of the public. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, we have earlier held the “Summer·Harbour” launching ceremony to unveil the summer makeover we made in partnership with local artists for the six precincts on both sides of the harbour. This time, I have specially invited the young artists to introduce their art installations.
Special features along the way with “pop-up” installations
“Pop-up” elements are introduced to the “Harbourfront Shared Spaces” from time to time to create special features in each section of the harbourfront, bringing new experiences to the public on their every visit. This summer, we have launched the new “pop-up” summer precincts at six harbourfront sites, including, among others, the HarbourChill in Wan Chai with the theme of midsummer hot air balloons; the Connector along the Tamar Promenade filled with beach vibes; and the Water Sports and Recreation Precinct in Wan Chai emerging as a sunny western town. There is also an unprecedented cross-over creation by Chocolate Rain and Messy Desk.
Hot Air Balloon Extravaganza
Adjacent to Wan Chai Ferry Pier, the HarbourChill features a nine-metre-tall hot air balloon installation. Installation Designer, Mr CHAN Tak-him, Kim, says that the leisure area is designed in the theme of safari adventure in the hope of giving visitors a break from the hustle and bustle of city life after they have walked through the downtown area of Wan Chai. Assistant Creative Director, Ms NG Shan-yuk, Ashley, says that some of the installations are made from recycled materials such as tyres, oil barrels and plastic bottles with the hope that the public would learn about the benefits of recycling during their visits. They add that they are very pleased to take part in the design of these installations upon invitation to bring fun and joy to visitors.
Wild, Wild West
The pet-friendly Water Sports and Recreation Precinct has now turned into a fun western town. Creative Director of Messy Desk, Ms LEE Mei-yan, Jane, says that she is very delighted to have her work on canvas transformed into three dimensional installations. It is also satisfying to see her work displayed in public open space for children to play and have fun.
The founder of Chocolate Rain, Ms MAK Ngar-tuen, Prudence, who has participated in the cross-over creation, says that she feels fortunate to have the opportunity to bring her artwork that used to be placed in shopping malls or indoors into the outdoor space or even along the entire harbourfront promenade, allowing her to share her happiness with more people. She says that with so many outstanding illustrators and creative talents in Hong Kong, she expects to see more local artistic production along the harbourfront promenade in the future.
The sun and the beach
Separately, the Connector – the pathway between the Admiralty’s Tamar Park and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai – has turned into an urban beach. Account Director of the art installations, Ms LEUNG Wing-yan, Winnie, says that the design concept of the installations is inspired by the sun and beach in summer time. They have therefore created a large-scale beach floor sticker at the entrance to the Connector, with a wooden hut and chairs on the side for visitors to “check in” on social media or take a rest. Through the user-friendly installations, she hopes to create a comfortable environment for visitors to relax while enjoying the summer vibes.
Other “pop-up” events
Other than the art installations mentioned above, the “Summer·Harbour” initiative also features some other “pop-up” events. The now-vacant former bus terminus situated next to the HarbourChill has turned into a “race track” this summer under the “Kids’ Driving Tour along the Harbour” programme, which will be open for booking from 3 July onwards. Members of the public may also make a reservation for the Harbour FUN pedal boats, which has been launched earlier on. I am aware that the bus terminus site has been open for public enjoyment within two months after its handover, showing our new mindset in harbourfront management.
Making the waterfront a place of pride
Over the years, the DEVB and the HC have remained steadfastly committed to a common vision: to develop the harbour as a great public asset for everyone to enjoy and to make the harbourfront a place of pride for the whole community. I truly believe that the DEVB and the HC will continue to step up the concerted efforts of the community, the business sector and the Government to extend the “open management mode” of public places to suitable harbourfront projects, thereby building a more attractive and continuous harbourfront promenade for members of the public.
In my last post in “My Blog” as the Secretary for Development, I would like to extend my gratitude to all my colleagues in different policy bureaux and departments as well as friends from various sectors of society for their full dedication over the years to the planning, development, land creation and improvement of people’s livelihood in Hong Kong. The community may still need to face some challenges in the days ahead. I believe that so long as the stakeholders of our community and the Government work together in solidarity, we can overcome the challenges with our Country remaining as the strongest support for Hong Kong. I am honoured to be part of the Government in this journey. I will do my utmost and work with you all together to accomplish the tasks ahead.
26 June, 2022Back