Planet Walala at Harbour City offers a fun installation where kids can play, a family art jamming session, a photo classroom, and more.
Travel | By Trixie Reyna on March 31, 2024
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Hong Kong will always be one of my family’s favorite destinations abroad. We’re all particularly fond of it because of Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, and the abundance of play areas for kids. For us, part of the fun of each Hong Kong vacation is looking for playgrounds and activity areas where our daughter can run around and explore. Instagrammable spots are definitely a plus.

If you happen to be traveling with family to Hong Kong today and the post-Holy Week break, you’re in for a treat, as Hong Kong remains filled with photogenic spots and art because of Hong Kong Arts Month. Today may be the last day, but there’s a lot more to see and do there for art lovers and those traveling with children in the coming weeks of April.

One of them is the colorful public art show “Planet Walala @Harbour City,” created by renowned French artist Camille Walala, which you can visit from now up to April 21, 2024. The three major highlights include two large public installations and a solo art exhibition, which the whole family can enjoy.

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Harbour City’s Ocean Terminal Deck—popular to tourists for its breathtaking harbour view—is made more enthralling by the “Now You See It Now You Don’t” first-ever Hong Kong City Sign. This captivating installation, standing tall at 3m and stretching to 6.5m wide, serves as a brand-new permanent artistic landmark. Then wander into Camille’s first outdoor artistic maze “A-MAZE.” Spanning 3,500 square feet, this colorful maze beckons visitors of all ages to explore and engage in playful discovery.

Meanwhile, Camille will host her first solo art exhibition “Metropolis” at Gallery by the Harbour with 12 colorful abstract paintings, all inspired by the city’s architecture style. Harbour City will also organize art activations, including Family Art Jamming and Insta360 Photography Classroom.

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Camille Walala, a multi-disciplinary French artist, is known for creating joyful and whimsical public artworks in her unique Tribal-Pop style. Through bold colors and exuberant geometric patterns that stimulate the senses and inspire pure joy, her work encompasses full-facade murals, immersive 3D installations, street art, interiors, and set design. From streets, buses, and gas stations, to apartments, hotels, and factories, Camille incorporates colorful art into the community, making art accessible and an integral part of everyday life. Being in awe of the architectural aesthetics in Hong Kong, Camille incorporated geometrics found in the cityscape into her three art projects. More than just a photogenic spot, the installations inspire happiness and spark positivity. Learn more about each below.

The first “Hong Kong” City Sign: A new artistic landmark and tourist destination

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Numerous famous tourist destinations around the world have their own city signs as an iconic landmark, such as “I Seoul U” in South Korea, “TORONTO” in Canada, and “HOLLYWOOD” in the U.S., all serving as popular photo spots for visitors and a highlight of their journey. This year, Harbour City invited Camille Walala to design the first-ever Hong Kong City Sign, titled “Now You See It Now You Don’t,” from the perspective of a foreign tourist, in the eyes of both an artist and a designer.

Drenched in the captivating hues of Victoria Harbour’s ocean blue, the “HONG KONG” city icon seamlessly blends Camille’s signature vibrant geometric patterns. Paying homage to the towering skyscrapers that define Hong Kong’s skyline, the City Sign is a complex interplay of overlapping geometric shapes of varying heights. The tile-like texture is in parallel with the mosaic tiles found in old buildings.

Drawing influence from optical artworks by George Rousse, Camille adapted an anamorphic approach to the design of the art piece. Though each sculpture stands alone as a beautiful object, people can only read the letters of “HONG KONG” from a certain point of view, giving the City Sign its name “Now You See It Now You Don’t.”

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The Hong Kong City Sign, “Now You See It Now You Don’t,” is available for viewing from 10am to 10pm.

“A-MAZE”: The colorful art maze for rediscovering childlike wonder in a vibrant geometric world

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Camille Walala transformed the Ocean Terminal Deck into an energizing and enlivening outdoor art maze called “A-MAZE” with geometric patterns and bold colors. The vivid installation instantly transports visitors into a visually striking wonderland to elevate moods. A-MAZE is also a playground and a public open space, where people of all ages can find their own little haven. Children can roam and play in the maze, while couples can capture romantic moments against the backdrop. The maze is equipped with seating, inviting people to linger, reflect, and soak up the spectacle around them under the panoramic view of Victoria Harbour.

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The fascinating maze resonates with the landscape of Hong Kong, just like the “Hong Kong” City Sign. Its predominant colors are inspired by the hues of blue and purple from Victoria Harbour. Camille not only incorporates the classic primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, but also adds gentle tones such as mint green, lilac, and peach to harmonize with the stunning Hong Kong scenery. Unlike traditional mazes, the walls shift in height, adorned with a variety of cut-outs and windows. This thoughtful design offer glimpses of the path ahead, allowing visitors to navigate through the layered maze.

A-MAZE is an evolution of Camille’s “Walala X PLAY” immersive maze in London and her first outdoor maze creation. “When we’re babies and children, we experience the world in a whirlwind of colors and shapes. Everything is new and exciting. But as we get older, we become jaded, we take things for granted—even things as wonderful as color. With A-MAZE, I want to take people back to a state where everything they see is new and surprising—to tap into that state of playfulness, joy, and discovery that we leave behind as adults,” said Camille.

A-MAZE is now open to visitors from 10am to 10pm at the Ocean Terminal Deck Terrace until April 21, 2024.

Travel tip for parents: Harbour City is not as stroller-friendly as you’d expect, so it might be best to leave your strollers behind when you’re going to these installations.

Thrilling art activations to spark your creativity at A-MAZE

To enrich the overall experience of the vibrant A-MAZE, Harbour City is organizing two art activations right at the Ocean Terminal Deck: Family Art Jamming Sessions and Insta360 Photography Classroom.

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The Family Art Jamming Session lets little ones unleash their creativity. The session is tailored for strengthening family bonding with your child by drawing together on a shared canvas. All materials are ready, and you and your kids can simply revel in the joy of painting. Children aged 5 to 12 are invited to join, accompanied by their parents or guardians. There are two sessions per day (Session 1 is from 11am to 12:30pm, Session 2 is from 2pm to 3:30pm) on the following Sundays: March 31, April 7, and April 14, 2024. There’s a fee of HK$100 for two participants. Simply register at harbourcityonline.com.

Meanwhile, Harbour City has partnered with Insta360 to host a photography classroom featuring the Insta360 X series Action Camera. By simply registering as an Insta360 member, participants can enjoy a 40-minute free trial of the camera at Ocean Terminal Deck. Staff will provide guidance and share a variety of shooting techniques with the participants, who will be able to download their photos and videos after the session. There are sessions on April 13, 14, 20, and 21, 2024 from 12pm to 7pm.

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Participants have the opportunity to win a gift from Insta360 just by uploading their finished videos on their public Instagram accounts, tagging @harbourcity and @insta360, and including the hashtag #insta360. For further details, please check out the Insta360 Instagram.

Camille Walala’s First Solo Exhibition “Metropolis”

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Known for her large-scale public art, Camille embarks on a new venture by hosting her first solo art exhibition, “Metropolis,” at Gallery by the Harbour in this art show. Showcasing her mastery of the Tribal-Pop style and bold geometric elements, Camille skilfully hand-paints 12 captivating new artwork. The exhibition is aptly named “Metropolis” because Camille draws inspiration from the architectural aesthetics found in cities, incorporating their textures, details, and building shapes into her creations, just like a melting pot.

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With a love for the vibrancy, dynamic energy, and layered building structures of Hong Kong, Camille incorporates these elements into her artwork with a fresh and unique creative direction. In her favorite painting titled “Rush Hour,” one can observe a heightened sense of depth and density compared to her previous works, mirroring the high-rise buildings that define Hong Kong’s skyline. She chooses a rich and diverse color palette for this painting, capturing the vibrant and lively essence of Hong Kong’s bustling atmosphere.

She expressed that this art exhibition is a highly challenging project for her, as the canvases are much smaller. She needs to carefully consider how to incorporate different perspectives and illusions into the limited space, staying true to her objective of bringing a sense of joy to the viewers.

Camille Walala’s Solo Art Exhibition, “Metropolis,” is now open for viewing from 11am to 10pm at the Gallery by the Harbour (Shop 207, Level 2, Ocean Centre, Harbour City) until April 21, 2024.

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