Victoria Harbour has been taken over by a giant! During Hong Kong Arts Month, Harbour City invited the renowned French artist JR to create his first “GIANTS” artwork in Asia, titled “GIANTS: Rising Up” from 13 March to 23 April 2023 at Ocean Terminal Deck. The gigantic public art installation depicts a larger-than-life high jumper floating in mid-air adjacent to Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour facing the fabulous skyline.
Famed artist JR, who has amassed over 1.7 million Instagram followers, comes back to Hong Kong with his towering art installation after his last visit ten years ago. This 12-meter-high and 12-meter-wide installation cleverly interacts with the surroundings. The high-jumping athlete appears to jump off the ground and enjoys the sensation of free fall. This athletic gesture, JR shares, “is an invitation to take off, to achieve more, in reference to the GIANTS installation at the 2016 Rio Olympics”, which depicted three anonymous athletes with their perfect gestures across the city and were well-received by the public.
The immense installation “GIANTS: Rising Up” is made by canvassing the iconic black-and-white portraits onto the intricate arrangement of scaffolding. JR specially adds a touch of Hong Kong to this artwork, fusing the traditional architectural craftsmanship – bamboo scaffolding for the first time, instead of relying purely on metal scaffolding. Distinguished by the sheer size and unique materials, the massive sculpture decorates the skyline with a striking effect.
JR is notably known for his over-sized black and white installation of displaying his profound optical illusion art and photographic installations in public spaces to engage people in the community. His works have been shown in over 40 cities with more than 80 impressive exhibitions, including Musée du Louvre and the Panthéon in Paris, Palazzo Farnese in Rome, Pyramid of Khafre in Giza and so on.
Harbour City also invited Hong Kong’s women’s high jump record holder and representative team member, Cecilia Yang Man-wai, to preview the art installation and take promotional photos. Cecilia expressed her excitement and gratitude, saying, “Seeing the high jumper leap over Victoria Harbour is truly awe-inspiring! I’m honored to be the first to witness this unprecedented art installation. I’m grateful that JR chose Hong Kong and high jumping as the subject for its first GIANTS series in Asia. I hope everyone can appreciate the elegance of high jumping and the sensation of free fall!”