Splashing the City with Colours - #ddPaintHKWALLS

Exploring a city’s art and culture is perhaps one of the most intriguing parts of traveling. As tourists, we are always caught in the dilemma of choosing between artistic or authentic neighbourhoods. What if we can get the best of both worlds and wander through cultural neighbourhoods while seeing design works at the same time? Now the chance has come. Design District Hong Kong (#ddHK) is that perfect choice for those who want a deep dive in our city’s culture.

Through a series of design installations, events and happenings, #ddHK is turning the streets of Wan Chai and Sham Shui Po into an open-air design district gallery, connecting the local inhabitants and creative communities.

Earlier this year, #ddHK has revealed 6 brand new #ddPlace activations in Wan Chai. They are developed in partnership with One Bite Design Studio and HKwalls, under the 2019 theme ‘Pop! Get Inspired at Every Turn’. #ddPaintHKWALLS is one of them. It is splashing the city with colours by inviting local and overseas street art masters to draw murals on over 30 outdoor walls.

Art Tram
Dragon Panel

Created in partnership with HKwalls, #ddPaintHKWALLS is extending the vibrant energy to East Wan Chai. The murals can be found on the walls of public and private buildings, including Morrison Hill Swimming Pool, The Jockey Club Hong Chi School, VTC Tower, 7 Mallory Street and more. The activation is even taking over trams and tram stations. A catchy one is a local tram covered with the unique calligraphy of Kui Wong, the Plumber King. Beyond his classic “Unclogs drains” and “Scaffolding-free” typography, secret codes such as “077543”, which is a Mandarin pun of “Guess who I am”, are also present.

Tim Marsh

Public participation is also a crucial element in some other works that take a community design approach. One of the murals at The Jockey Club Hong Chi School is based on a painting by John Louis Mattieu, an autistic student at the school. His teachers discovered that he was very sensitive to colours, although he had a weaker motivation to communicate with others. The HKwalls team helped reproduce his painting of Boss Cow in his farm onto the wall.

John Louis Mattieu
Make & Do

The mural at Tang Shiu Kin Victoria Government Secondary School is another fun endeavour involving public engagement. Make and Do Hong Kong, an artist duo from UK, co-created the “painting” on the school gate - a literally “off-the-wall” canvas - by Cross Stitch with the students. These works well demonstrate that everybody in the city could work together to co-create a better place.There is another eye-catching piece at the school created by UK artist INSA. A dynamic mural is generated by the “GIF-ITI” app he designed, breaking the boundary between “offline” and “online”.

Ready to see them for yourself? You may choose to explore on your own or join one of our guided tours. We have several #ddPalette tours coming in August, where you will embark on a colour hunt journey as you visit a dozen of #ddPaintHKWALLS murals in the Oi Kwan area and the first public exhibition of Design Spectrum. Sign up for free now before the tours are full! We look forward to seeing you!

Design District Hong Kong (#ddHK) is a three-year Creative Tourism Project (2018/19-2020/21) presented by the Tourism Commission, organised by Hong Kong Design Centre, with the support of strategic partner Hong Kong Comics & Animation Federation for all programmes related to local comics.