Hong Kong lights up for Lumieres festival

French artist Christophe Mayer's 'Bamboo Square' installation in Statue Square Gardens during the opening of Lumieres Hong Kong in the city's Central district, on Nov 23, 2017.
French artist Christophe Mayer's 'Bamboo Square' installation in Statue Square Gardens during the opening of Lumieres Hong Kong in the city's Central district, on Nov 23, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) - Glowing cartoon Inuits tumbled down Hong Kong's post office building and a forest of illuminated bamboo rods lit up the city centre as part of a visit by France's famous Lumieres festival.

Local and international artists joined the extension of Lyon's Fete des Lumieres in a city well known for its ubiquitous neon signs, giant billboards, flashy skyscrapers and a nightly harbourfront light show.

The three-night show, which launched Thursday, saw light creations beamed onto some of Hong Kong's landmark heritage buildings, with other installations brightening shopping areas and parks.

Local artist Keith Lam said the festival went some way to addressing Hong Kong's lack of publicly accessible artworks.

"The streets and the public spaces in Hong Kong are so tight and dense and there are so many people, so it's a challenge to do public art," Lam told AFP.

Hong Kong currently lacks a world class art museum, and marquee exhibitions rarely make a stop in the southern Chinese city, where graffiti by high-profile artists is often removed and it can be difficult to secure permission for public shows.

Lam, a new media artist, displayed his "Heliocentric" installation which featured a three dimensional combination of rings laced with LED lights at the PMQ, a former police residence turned creative hub.

Passersby said the installations were a welcome relief in a busy city.

"I think it's great for the whole culture, and also for everyone who is getting off work and able to embrace so much art in front of them," said one visitor to the illuminated bamboo display in central Statue Square.

The Lyon festival, which started in the 19th century, will take place in early December, with light displays adorning the French city's streets, public squares and bridges.