Thursday, 28 July 2016

Picture of the Day: Music in the MTR

Students performing traditional Chinese music in the Central MTR station
Ah, the MTR likes to pride itself for enhancing commuters' journeys with art.

On its website, it talks about the "Airport Express Artwork Programme" as a pioneer project, presenting live performances and art exhibitions by students in Hong Kong.

Last week as I walked from Central MTR station to the Airport Express, in the corridor there were students performing traditional Chinese music.

Although it was Friday evening during rush hour, many people stopped to watch the mini concert, making it harder for commuters to walk through the area.

Nevertheless, it got me thinking -- if the MTR is so keen to promote the arts in its stations, why can't it allow musicians, amateur and professional to carry large instruments on board the trains?

But no -- they have to register for an "Oversized Musical Instrument Permit" in order to carry instruments where the length + width + height can't exceed 2.35m and any one side is not longer than 1.45m, including the case, but not Monday to Friday from 8.15am to 9.15am.

It's so bureaucratic that you have to wonder if the staff at the MTR don't have enough things to do than worry about how big some musical instruments and for that matter bicycles are.

Why make it harder for people to express themselves through music, or exercise to become more healthy?

If the MTR really was "caring for life's journeys", then it would let its commuters be. They aren't making graffiti or busking in the train!

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