Arts and Fun

11 January 2021
The moon has always been the inspiration for artists who try to articulate its mysterious, seductive power.

In general, there is only one full moon per month but in November 2020, two full moons graced the sky. Artists participating in Jockey Club ifva Everywhere Carnival’s annual art project, presented by Hong Kong Arts Centre, launched a light-emitting installation in the night sky from L’hotel Nina et Convention Centre at Tsuen Wan West to coincide with the dual emergences of the full moon in early and late November.

Gazing up, Tsuen Wan residents could see the real full moon as well as a lifelike copy hanging below. The artwork installation, named “St. Peter’s Cupboard”, used detailed NASA images of the lunar surface, and was part of the ifva Everywhere exhibition. According to Mick Yip, the artist behind the moon installation, the artwork was inspired by his fascination with the night sky.

“I’m enthralled with astronomy, not just studying it, but also astrological calculations and their influence on us,” he said. “My six-year-old daughter’s curiosity about the universe inspired me to come up with this idea.”

The art installation features detailed imagery of the moon’s surface, collected from NASA, and gives the audience a chance to see craters and dark spots that once seemed so far away up close. Helium was used to float the installation, with multiple tests carried out prior to the exhibition to make sure
it floated steadily in mid-air.

According to Kattie Fan, the ifva Festival Director at Hong Kong Arts Centre, “St. Peter’s Cupboard” was met with an enthusiastic response from the district’s residents. “After all, people were bored and wanted to see something new during Covid. The artwork was refreshing and restorative to those who had been stuck at home for so long! They could just see two moons from a distance, whether they were at home or on the waterfront promenade, without breaking any social distancing restriction.”

The team had encountered difficulties in identifying a suitable location for launching the installation into the sky, but in the end Chinachem Group gave them a venue, she said. The outdoor space on the 8th floor of Nina Tower, was identified as the perfect location. After comparing all seafront locations across Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories, it was determined that many high-rise residential buildings at Tsuen Wan West meant there would be more audience engagement.

Another concern was that Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department has restrictions on flying balloons. According to regulations, a balloon cannot be flown at a height of more than 60 metres above ground level or within 60 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure. The onshore wind from the Rambler Channel is more moderate compared with other seafront locations. And since the Tsuen Wan location is safely out of the way of aircrafts’ take-off and landing routes, the installation team was able to obtain permission from the Civil Aviation Department to float the balloon at the correct time and place.

“We are very grateful to Chinachem for lending us the space,” said Fan. “Most importantly, residents from across the district had the opportunity to participate in the activity in a safe setting. From site selection to confirming the venue, everything was arranged within one month. The event was a great success and we look forward to working with Chinachem again to organise more performances, exhibitions and other activities to expand the audience and promote community engagement.”

Organised by Hong Kong Arts Centre and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and Jockey Club, the ifva Everywhere Carnival 2020 featured a series of exciting events, covering short films, videos, animations and media arts.