As the mammoth Victoria Dockside project nears completion, K11 MUSEA, dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Culture” is finally opening its doors—and its art. Spread throughout the 10-storey retail complex is a plethora of more than 40 artworks, found inside, outside and the easily overlooked in between spaces. Here we share five of our favourites.
Text: CoBo Editorial Force
Images: Courtesy of K11 MUSEA
For those perhaps not so familiar with this major regeneration project, Victoria Dockside is situated in Tsim Sha Tsui and forms part of a larger endeavour to reinvigorate the city’s prominent Victoria Harbour. Stretching from Tsing Yi in the west through Shau Kei Wan in the east, Victoria Harbour is still today the third largest harbour in the world. Sitting on the historic site of Holt’s Wharf—an important trading and godown port established in 1910—and formerly the New World Centre from the 1980s to 2010, Victoria Dockside is set to become Hong Kong’s newest and hippest art and design hub. At the heart of this is K11 MUSEA.
Walking through K11 MUSEA is an experience both bedazzling and disorientating. A stunning feat of architecture and design—from bespoke lighting and flooring to invigorating green pastures of grass and floral arrangements—every aspect has carefully thought out. Not a single detail is missed. Reported to have more than 40 artworks by just as many artists, all specially chosen and curated by founder of K11 Group, Adrian Cheng, it can be quite a challenge to find every piece. So here are five artworks we think you should seek out when you visit.
1. Katharina Grosse, Untitled
Location: G/F, Victoria Harbour Waterfront
In some ways, coming across German artist Katharina Grosse’s vividly coloured large-scale sculpture outside K11 MUSEA sets the fun and lively tone of what is to be discovered inside. The spray gun-painted mesh of colours is gives the outside a real pop of colour. With the stormy harbour quietly in its background, Untitled occupies the spaces between architecture, sculpture and traditional painting. It wants you to walk around it, to experience it, yet the work, set on its own circular patch of grass, suggests a physical boundary between itself and you.
2. Zhang Enli, Parrot of Five Colours
Location: Level 2
Recognised for his paintings that reflect upon the prosaic aspects of everyday life, Zhang Enli breaks away from the studio for this site-specific installation in which the artist meticulously hand-painted the dome-shaped ceiling, reminiscent of European frescoes. Hovering majestically below the ceiling are five golden birds, each a symbolic representation of one of five elements found in Chinese philosophy. Set against the tall, glass front façade of K11 MUSEA, Parrot of Five Colours conjures an image of an otherworldly fantasy.
3. Samson Young, Big Big Company (Mini Golf)
Location: Level 3
Big Big Company (Mini Golf) is signature of Samson Young’s cross-media installations which often weave together sound, image and interactivity. Delightfully playful, the experiential installation is a synthetic garden made up of a mini golf course scattered with peculiar looking 3D-printed sculptures. Commissioned for K11 MUSEA, the installation invites visitors to activate it through engagement and participation.
4. Adrian Wong, Astromycology Vivarium
Location: Level 4
Adrian Wong continues his artistic enquiry into the possibilities for the future of the world through this new work, designed for K11 MUSEA. Astsromycology Vivarium is comprised of three benches that you can sit on, overlooking the interior of the mall, which at this height, begins to look like we are in the middle of some bizarre, glowing, cosmic universe. The upper benches fittingly draw upon utopian science fiction movies of the 1960s and 70s and encase fungal and crystalline forms inside reflective chambers, accompanied by small-screen light projections. Meanwhile the lower benches reflect on dystopian ideas through its arrangement of plastic plants.
5. Graffiti Zone
Location: Level 3
While not a single artwork, we just couldn’t resist the third floor, dubbed the Graffiti Zone. As you climb the wooden steps—yet another special architectural feature— Chen Tianzhuo’s glowing twin polyurethane skeletons await to greet you. Asian Dope Boys (2015) is the artist’s backdrop to his critically acclaimed 2015 performance at the Palais de Tokyo. The skeletons adopt the postures of religious figures in Tibetan Thangka, and set the ambience for the entire floor, which as you may guess, is an overload of graffiti art. A kaleidoscope of colours and images cover the floor, walls and ceiling, with commissioned works by nine local and international artist and artist collectives including Graphic Airlines, Ron English, Kristopher H, Simple Bao, Pasha Wais, Parent’s Parent’s, Geng Yini, Caratoes and START FROM ZERO. It’s a wild dose of visual stimulation.
About K11 MUSEA
K11 MUSEA is the new cultural-retail destination on Victoria Dockside, Hong Kong, and is designed to enrich the new consumer’s daily life through the power of creativity, culture and innovation. It is the latest innovative development by K11 Group, a concept brand founded by entrepreneur Adrian Cheng in 2008. A 10-year project spanning 3 generations of the Cheng family, K11 MUSEA has been built in collaboration with over 100 creative powers with a social mission of incubating talent and propagating culture, making it the “Silicon Valley of Culture” set to reshape Hong Kong’s waterfront culture.