With the recent launch of two exciting artistic initiatives, Hong Kong Tramways - owned and operated by RATP Dev Transdev Asia - highlights its long-standing commitment to promoting both Hong Kong’s cultural heritage and the contemporary art scene.
Cutting A Path Through Time
Affectionately referred to as the "Ding Ding" by locals, Hong Kong’s symbolic double-decker trams certainly move with the times. Despite having been chugging the city’s winding streets for over 114 years, these timeless and iconic streetcars continually strive to enrich the mobility experience of their 200,000 daily users, reflected by the recent launch of two inspiring programmes.
The first takes the form of a collaboration with the H.A.D Walk Project, - a long-established cultural event, organised by Hong Kong’s HULU Center – which shines the spotlight on a different city district each year. The 2018 edition, which runs from 24th March – 22nd April, focuses on the Wan Chai, Eastern and Southern districts, with the Tramway the undisputed star of the celebrations.
A Passage Through Time
The vintage tram #120 takes centre stage during the event, playing host to on-board theatre performances, pop-up art workshops, a children’s book club and 35 “Free to Tours”, conducted by city historians. The initiative brings the city’s past to life and offers visitors the opportunity to explore its contemporary identity.
An accompanying exhibition held at Aldrich Bay Park in Sai Wan Ho will evoke fond memories for some older local visitors. A collection of historical photos, videos and artefacts from a bygone era form the backdrop of a display, which transforms the Hong Kong tramway into a time capsule of local history. This year, visitor numbers are expected to top the last year’s impressive turnout of 350,000.
A Moving Art Experience
Hong Kong Tramways’ second collaboration - which kicked off last month and continues until 23rd May - sees a streetcar converted into a moving art object. As part of an exciting partnership with Art Basel Hong Kong, the French street artist Romano - one of the cofounders of Le Mouvement art collective - brings tram #169 to life with his unique “POWER & LOVE” installation.
The artist has adorned each of the tram’s two façades with a thematic artwork. The first conveys the detrimental effect excessive power can have on Mankind, while the second is a vivid reflection on the theme of universal love. 21st century trams indeed!