For a city whose nighttime skyline overlooking Victoria Harbour is already a global icon of urban lighting and signage, a light festival might seem like overkill.
But the new Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival expands the effects of Hong Kong's famous neon signs and lit-up skyscrapers to a street-level playground of luminous artworks during the darkest months of the year.
Debuting in 2018, the Pulse Light Festival runs from the last week of November through late February. Not only does the artistic light festival brighten the longest nights of the year, it also overlaps Chinese New Year festivities, a high point on Hong Kong's calendar of celebrations for an amplified celebratory atmosphere.
Artists from around the world contribute to the Pulse Light Festival to bring Hong Kong to even greater heights of brilliance in the winter. Here are some highlights visitors shouldn't miss:
'A Symphony of Lights'
It's one of the world's most spectacular light and multi-media shows, and now, Hong Kong's 'A Symphony of Lights' festival gets a winter edition. Every night, Victoria Harbour will get more dazzling, with more participating skyscrapers, more color, more pyrotechnics from rooftops, and more lighting effects, all put to music that inspires. Check the calendar for special shows on red-letter dates like Christmas, New Year, and other holidays.
'A Tale of Two Trees'
The holidays are the inspiration behind 2 very different tree installations in Hong Kong. A glorious, traditional, lit-and-decorated Christmas tree lights up Hong Kong's Statue Square with the magic and wonder of the season.
Next to Hong Kong's brilliantly-lit Observation Wheel, a completely different kind of 'tree' installation reinterprets the traditional motif. The 'XTree' is a 25-metre, cubist, 'tree' made from metal scaffolds that evoke tree branches. Its strategically-placed lighting 'dances' to a soundtrack, making the 'XTree' come 'alive'. More than a visual treat, the installation is intended to inspire discussion and debate about environmentally friendlier ways to maintain and translate holiday traditions for the future.
'International Light Art Display'
The 'XTree' is one installation of a much larger display, the incandescent 'International Light Art Display'. Over a dozen, curated light art pieces by global artists from Europe, the US, India, Israel, and elsewhere in Asia, as well as several symbolic works by local Hong Kong artists, line Hong Kon's iconic Victoria Harbour for the festival.
Many installations are interactive and change color or appearance over time and in contact with visitors: revealing your inner beauty with 'Angels of Freedom', witnessing the dialogue of 'Talking Heads', walking through arches of 'Bat and Coin' (pictured above). The light installations turn stunning Victoria Harbour from a breathtaking view to be seen from a distance, into a destination to explore and experience up close and in a festive evening atmosphere.
The Pulse Light Festival creates an unforgettable visual journey through Hong Kong, and joins other magical winter and holiday festive events, activities and celebrations that light up the night and warm hearts through the entire season.
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