Sunday, 14 February 2016

Roses bring Overwhelming Response

Tamar Park is covered in white roses -- 25,000 of them -- until February 22
Yesterday was the start of Light Rose Garden, a public art installation at Tamar Park. It features 25,000 white roses (not real) that are lit up with LED lights and will be showing there every night from 6pm until February 22.

The white roses are lit with LED lights
Thinking today many couples would be busy indulging in their Valentine's Day dinner, I thought I'd take a look after my workout at the gym in Central.

However I was so wrong -- everyone else had the same idea as me and there was a massive crowd converging on the escalator at United Centre to get up to the overpass to Tamar Park.

There were so many people that the escalator going up was shut down, forcing people to walk up. But that was not the end of it -- we had to bypass Tamar Park and walk all the way to Citic Tower, down three flights of stairs to get to the ground floor, walk across the street to the Legislative Council and then encounter another backlog of people before entering the park.

It's pretty neat to see them if you squeeze past the crowds
While it was neat to see so many people "occupy" the area since the Umbrella Movement, the detour to get back to Tamar Park was insane, but I could see why. There must have been tens of thousands of people there and the maze we had to go through was an attempt at crowd control.

When I finally managed to get close to the edge where the roses were, people whipped out their smartphones above my head to get pictures.

Seeing so many people there of all ages, it made me wonder why they were so drawn to something like this, and not say, the other public art show going on now, Antony Gormley's Event Horizon, where his 31 life size bronze statues are placed on the roofs of public buildings in the city, save for one on Queen's Road Central at D'Aguilar Street.

There were tens of thousands of people there tonight
While Gormley's statues encourage viewers to examine the relationship between man and buildings, man and cities, as well as looking at new perspective, what is Light Rose Garden about?

Are Hong Kong people unable or unwilling to be reflective and understand how art enhances our lives? Or are they only interested in straight-forward ideas that are easy to grasp?

I really wondered about this while I was at Tamar Park, the hordes of people jostling around trying to take photographs.

While I thought the installation was pretty, the crowds were overwhelming, making it difficult to appreciate the beauty and expansiveness of it.

The view of nearby Central was a neat sight to behold
Or am I looking way too deeply into this Light Rose Garden, and it's like the massive Rubber Duck @ Harbour City by Florentijn Hofman, where we should just enjoy it for what it is?


  1. You can enjoy the art for its beauty, and for the reaction that it draws out of you. Rarely do I experience art at the level where I see it with 10's of thousands of other people but that too, is part of the art experience.

    1. Hi ChopSuey -- I guess I was completely overwhelmed by how many people were there on Sunday night which took away my focus of appreciating the installation!