What is your impression of Hong Kong? Is it a bustling city filled with soaring skyscrapers? Or is it a city filled with colour or creativity? Recently I visited the "Hong Kong ∞ Impression" exhibition at the City Gallery in Edinburgh Place, Central, in the company of some foreign guests. The exhibition is presented by the Development Bureau and the Planning Department to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and aims to showcase to the public and tourists the achievements of the city’s planning and infrastructure development. It also inspires us to reflect on the future development of the city, and calls for participation in building a liveable, competitive, sustainable and inclusive Hong Kong together. Now let me introduce to you some highlights of the exhibition.
Located next to the Hong Kong City Hall, the City Gallery is the first planning and infrastructure gallery in Hong Kong, and well-received by both the public and tourists alike. Various thematic exhibitions held at the Gallery last year, in particular, had a patronage of 126 000. The current exhibition has a theme of “Infinitely Hong Kong”. It comprises four thematic zones - Liveable, Visionary, Cultural and Playful - that together present the infinite possibilities for our future city and also form the theme of the show. Offering a vivid illustration of the past and future of our urban development, it aims to explore the vast possibilities of Hong Kong together with us all.
Striving to enhance liveability
In the “Liveable Hong Kong” exhibition zone, visitors will learn through videos and audio-visual artefacts, how the Government responds to the aspirations of the public in different aspects of housing, places for the community, green and blue spaces, managing water resources, traffic and transport, as well as infrastructure, over the past two decades to improve our quality of life and connect Hong Kong to the world as Asia’s world city. Admittedly, we have to work yet harder and uphold our long-term vision in our bid to make Hong Kong an even more liveable city. With the completion of new town extension developments and the various major infrastructure projects in the pipeline, however, I believe that our quality of life and the city’s connectivity will be enhanced.
Realizing a planning vision together
The layout of the “Visionary Hong Kong” exhibition zone resembles the shape of the infinity symbol (“∞”) with an exhibition path designed to lead visitors to a trip in time, first back to 1997 and then go forward into the future to explore the development of Hong Kong. Various interactive models in the zone allow visitors to learn more about the planning visions of Hong Kong 2030+ and a few other major new development plans. Walking this infinite path and exploring the exhibits, visitors will have a grasp of Hong Kong’s drive towards the vision of building a smart, green and resilient city, striking a balance between conservation and development and consolidating Hong Kong’s position in the region. I was briefed by Mr Raymond LEE Kai-wing, Director of Planning, on the harbourfront development which is part of the “Central/Wan Chai and North Point” development project. He also told me about the considerations involved in various new town development projects and how they hoped to create new space for the people of Hong Kong and cultivate an ideal environment in which the urban areas, rural areas and the nature coexist in harmony.
Developing an integrated arts and cultural hub
With its many world-class performance and exhibition venues, the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) will become the landmark for cultural projects in Hong Kong. In the “Cultural Hong Kong” exhibition zone, visitors are provided with the latest news on the arts and cultural programs of the WKCD. On the day of our visit, our foreign guests were particularly interested in the model of the Xiqu Centre. I am pleased to see in Hong Kong yet another good place to go for art lovers and enthusiasts. Besides the model display, there is a virtual reality corner in this zone where visitors can enjoy a simulated Cantonese opera performance. It is quite an interesting experience as well.
Last but not least, there is an outdoor exhibition zone of “Playful Hong Kong” where digital and mosaic art pieces created by our Hong Kong artists are displayed. In this exhibition area, the city’s cultural landscape is expressed in various forms of artistic means, such as mosaics pictures made of LEGO bricks displaying the famous scenes of Fire Dragon Dance, Tai O stilt houses, Bun Scrambling Competition and the “Floating Colours Parade”, to name a few. In fact, the centerpiece structure of this area, which is modelled after the “∞”shaped, resonates with the theme of “Infinitely Hong Kong”.
Ever since its opening in mid-June, the "Hong Kong ∞ Impression" exhibition has attracted a patronage of 68 000. So far, we have held a series of community activities to explain in layman’s term the development of town planning in Hong Kong, and they were all well-received by the public. Examples of these events, including those already held are "Your Dream City Family Fun Day", Community Planning Workshops, Art Workshops, LEGO Mosaic Workshops and DIY Lantern Workshop, and the upcoming activities for October and November are the Light Painting @Playful Hong Kong and the Sketching Workshops. The "Hong Kong ∞ Impression" exhibition zones at the City Gallery will be open until 30 November while the “Playful Hong Kong” exhibition zone will be ended on 9 November. For those of you who have not visited the exhibition yet, don’t miss out!
8 October, 2017Back