“Power Plant” at the Kowloon Walled City Park
Ellis and I and a busload of friends got together this weekend and rode out into the far reaches of Kowloon for a very unusual art event called Power Plant. Part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, which seems to get better every year, Power Plant is a traveling installation by a group of British artists that transforms city parks after dark into spooky and magical sound and light shows: previous stops on the tour included Edinburgh and Singapore. There are four tours a day for almost one month and apparently it’s still solidly booked out. In fact, almost every event in the festival is booked out, which makes one wonder if it’s not for a lack of opportunity that Hong Kong has earned its reputation as a cultural vacuum. That said, oftentimes big companies buy out swathes of tickets for their staff who choose instead to do something a bit more typical- horseracing? pub crawling? shopping? We turned up at a “sold out” Pina Bausch concert a couple of years ago; not only did we manage to buy seats, half the rest of the auditorium was empty! Which is all by way of saying: try to get tickets for this event if you haven’t already got them! If you can’t, then I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with a few photos. Not that Ellis’ nighttime photography skills are in any way lacking- but suffice it to say, Power Plant needs to be experienced in person to be properly appreciated.
Somehow, this guy is making a kaleidoscope by projecting a bowl full of live snails on a screen. Kind of gross.
Except for the snails- and even those managed a kind of alien beauty- and the hundreds of screaming children – which most certainly did not- the experience was pure magic. Even more magical when one considers what the Kowloon Walled City was before it was razed and turned into a park.