Harbour City unveils second wave of black-and-white art installations as part of the global participatory “Inside Out Project”! Last month, Harbour City hosted the renowned French artist JR’s monumental public art installation, “GIANTS: Rising Up,” and simultaneously kicked off participating in the “Inside Out Project,” a global participatory art project created by JR. The new Inside Out Action is titled “Inside Out: Harbour and the City” and invites residents to take photos of their smiles long-hidden behind masks, and bring happiness to the world together. The collected photographs have the added touch of the iconic Inside Out polka dots.
From 24 April to 7 May, these photos are on display at Ocean Terminal Forecourt, the exterior wall of Ocean Centre, and Gateway Arcade entrances on Canton Road, allowing the public to be surrounded and welcomed by a sea of friendly smiles. Tourists and visitors from all over the world will feel the warmth of a welcoming atmosphere, surrounded by a sea of friendly smiles.
The “Inside Out Project” is a global participatory art project created by the renowned French artist JR in 2011 after winning the TED prize in California. Based on his signature style of creating giant black-and-white photographs, the project invites people around the world to paste their larger-than-life black-and-white portraits in public spaces, transforming them into public art to get their voices heard. Through a dialogue enabled by art, “Inside Out Project” encourages the discovery of people’s untold stories and issues around the globe. The enormous black-and-white Inside Out portrait design stems from JR’s artistic practice, which creates a unique juxtaposition with our dazzling world full of bright colours, becoming an eye-grabbing attraction for the public. More than 2,300 “Inside Out Project” Group Actions have been initiated across 149 countries, with over 480,000 global participants since its launch.
“I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world inside out.”
– Excerpt from JR’s speech after winning the TED Prize in 2011 and initiating the Inside Out Project.
As the mask mandate was lifted in March and Hong Kong returned to normalcy, Harbour City invited the public in Hong Kong, especially children who grew up during the pandemic, to record the joyous “un-masking” moment for display in Harbour City, which is a renowned landmark and the largest shopping centre in Hong Kong. The response was overwhelming, with over 450 citizens and celebrities sharing their beaming faces, making it the largest-scale of “Inside Out Project” in Hong Kong.
Jan Lamb, Ronald Cheng, Eric Kot, Cecilia Yeung, and hundreds of Hongkongers shared their smiles in support of the latest ‘Inside Out Project’ in Hong Kong
The “Inside Out: Harbour and the City” Group Action received great support from the public, with over 450 photos of smiling faces collected. People of all ages and genders visited Harbour City to take part, and the project also attracted numerous celebrities, artists, and athletes who aimed to spread happiness and positive energy through their own smiles.
A star-studded lineup of celebrities and rising stars came out to participate in the Inside Out Action, including Jan Lamb, Ronald Cheng, Eric Kot, Vincent Kok, Anthony Wong, Yoyo Sham, Jason Chan, Alfred Hui, Cecilia So, Renci Yeung, Phil Lam, Alex Lam, Elva Ni, Lucy Lee, Tommy Chu, Tony Wu, Cloud Wan, Donald Tong, Jim Yan, Jeannie Ng, Catherine Wong, Chan Wing-him and sons, Elanne Kwong, Oscar Siu, Jerry C, Ryan Lau, Stone Lam, and German Cheung.
Athletes from various fields also joined, including Hong Kong’s female high jump record holder Cecilia Yeung, Hong Kong Para-badminton representative Calista Lam, Hong Kong gymnastics representative Charlie Chan, freestyle rope skipping athlete Pak-hung Cheung, Hong Kong footballer Kumer So and Hong Kong long-distance runner Virginia Lo. During the shoot, Cecilia Yeung expressed that, “The lifting of the mask mandate brought a sense of relief and joy to many, including myself. For as long as I can remember, I have never enjoyed wearing masks, so being able to finally see everyone’s smiles again was truly heartwarming. Taking off the mask also symbolizes that we have overcome the most challenging period and can now share in laughter and joy together. That’s why I support ‘Inside Out: Harbour and the City’, which captures the moment of being mask-free and spreads positivity around the world through photos.”
Renowned Hong Kong portrait photographer Karen Tang participated in the event by capturing the most natural and touching smiles of the celebrities. As an admirer of the artist JR, Karen shared, “I was honored to be the photographer for the ‘Inside Out: Harbour and the City’ project, as I believe it is a meaningful activity that captures the essence of everyone’s smiles after the pandemic. As a portrait photographer, I am fascinated by how every subtle movement and expression can convey a unique story. Over the past three years, our eyes have been the only means to express emotions. Seeing everyone’s smiles beneath their masks today evokes a sense of both familiarity and strangeness, reinforcing my appreciation for the freedom to laugh and converse with others without inhibition. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with participating artists. Their energy and enthusiasm were contagious, and I often found myself laughing behind the camera. Perhaps I was the happiest person involved in the entire project.”
The global participatory art project “Inside Out Project” has taken place across six continents and 149 countries
The “Inside Out Project” has traveled to many corners of the world since its establishment in 2011, attracting more than 480,000 participants from 149 countries in more than 2,300 “Group Actions”, some of which have taken place at renowned world landmarks such as the Pantheon in Paris, Tower Bridge in London and Times Square in New York.
Six “Group Actions” were initiated in Hong Kong before, with the first one in 2012. Sixteen large-scale black and white portraits of Hong Kong residents were pasted atop of a walkaway along Connaught Road in Central, allowing people working in high-rise buildings to appreciate art and encourage a dialogue between them and the figure in the portraits.
“Inside Out: Harbour and the City” Exhibition @Harbour City
Date: 24 April 2023 – 7 May 2023
1) Ocean Terminal Forecourt, Harbour City
2) Exterior wall of Ocean Centre entrances on Canton Road
3) Exterior wall of Gateway Arcade entrances on Canton Road