Creative energy rises with giant art installation

photograph courtesy of JR ‘GIANTS: Rising Up.’

Back with a vengeance after three years are Hong Kong’s biggest art fairs Art Basel and Art Central, and HKwalls, the biggest street art festival, as well as numerous art exhibitions around the city, during Hong Kong Arts Month, the city’s most art-filled season.

Launched on 13 March and up till 23 April at the Ocean Terminal Deck is Harbour City’s massive 12M x 12M gigantic public art installation depicting a larger-than-life high jumper floating in mid-air.

The glorious sight lies adjacent to Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour, with the jumper’s body bent gracefully and her head tilted back facing the fabulous skyline, as she enjoys the sensation of free fall.
Harbour City invited renowned French artist JR to create his first “GIANTS” artwork in Asia, titled “GIANTS: Rising Up.”

The jumper’s gesture, JR shares, “is an invitation to take off, to achieve more, in reference to the ‘GIANTS’ installation at the 2016 Rio Olympics,” which depicted three anonymous athletes with their perfect gestures across the city and were well-received by the public.

The immense installation is made by canvassing the iconic black-and-white portraits onto the intricate arrangement of scaffolding.

JR specially adds a touch of Hong Kong to this artwork, fusing the traditional architectural craftsmanship — bamboo scaffolding — for the first time, instead of relying purely on metal scaffolding. In his own Instagram post, JR shared how he has “always been intrigued by the bamboo scaffolding used everywhere in Hong Kong and very happy to incorporate it in a new work.”

The artist, who has a following of 1.7 million on Instagram, is known for his oversized black and white installation displaying his profound optical illusion art and photographic installations in public spaces to engage people in the community.

His works have been shown in over 40 cities with more than 80 exhibitions, including Musée du Louvre and the Panthéon in Paris, Palazzo Farnese in Rome and the Pyramid of Khafre in Giza.

Harbour City also invited Hong Kong’s women’s high jump record holder Cecilia Yang Man-wai, to preview the art installation.

Cecilia expressed her excitement and gratitude, saying, “Seeing the high jumper leap over Victoria Harbour is truly awe-inspiring! I’m honored to be the first to witness this unprecedented art installation.
I’m grateful that JR chose Hong Kong and high jumping as the subject for its first ‘GIANTS’ series in Asia. I hope everyone can appreciate the elegance of high jumping and the sensation of free fall!”

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