Hong Kong Walk On is a collaboration between Tai Ping, a leading rug and carpet maker, and anothermountainman, a Hong Kong-based cross-disciplinary artist. As a new iteration of the artist’s iconic Red, White, and Blue series celebrating Hong Kong’s culture, identity and art scene, the installation consists of two 3 x 6 metre handmade carpets, entitled Hong Kong Walk On I and II. Featuring a sophisticated, photorealistic representation of the red, white and blue canvas, which is anothermountainman’s reflection on the spirit and identity of the city he calls home, Hong Kong Walk On I gives the illusion of a wrinkled textile. The part-smooth-and-part-scrunched-up design tells the story of Hong Kong in the artist’s visual language. Its sister work, Hong Kong Walk On II, is a graphic deconstruction of the Hong Kong skyline, expressed in solid red, white, and blue.
The Hong Kong spirit
Hong Kong Walk On opens up a multifaceted space where dialogues on Hong Kong’s collective memory, heritage, history, spirit and culture can take place. The series initially began as an in-depth research project on the origins of the red, white, and blue fabric first seen on 1960’s Hong Kong construction sites, then later evolving to symbolise the city’s resilience, adaptability, industry, optimism, and unyielding faith. The ubiquitous tricoloured canvas has accompanied Hong Kong’s evolution from a post-war manufacturing and trading centre into the cosmopolitan city that it is now.
Celebration of craftsmanship
The creation of Hong Kong Walk On I was documented to showcase Tai Ping’s heritage and craftsmanship, as the intricacy of the photorealistic design required the most demanding skills. The artisans jettisoned computer-generated templates and worked directly on the canvas, relying on their own expertise and artistry to bring the carpet to life. The hand-painted first layer template was divided into 71,200 square-inch grids, followed by a second layer of sketched design where every millimetre of the carpet was accurately defined. They then applied a combination of yarns to the canvas using a hand-turfing gun to fill each grid, working in horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines.
A Photographic journey towards the future
anothermountainman stated “there is no clear starting point, and there will be no absolute ending” when he took photographs for three days of the two carpets as both the subject and object, shooting in typical Hong Kong locations. Wong’s distinctive style is immediately recognisable in each photograph telling the story of the people and place which the red, white, and blue carpets symbolise and embody. “It’s a journey of / straight and winding / smooth and rugged,” anothermountainman writes as he continues to walk on the streets of Hong Kong, both literally and figuratively.