Making a splash in optical illusion

Local | Bernard Charnwut Chan 9 Sep 2020

Swimming pools have been closed for most of this pandemic summer, a particularly unhappy situation for Hongkongers.

People here love to swim, and we have wonderful facilities to do so with our 44 public pool complexes and innumerable pools in private housing estates and recreational clubs.

But one Hong Kong swimming pool has remained open all summer despite Covid-19 regulations, and that's at the parade ground in Tai Kwun.

To be clear, I would not recommend anyone try to dive into I Will Always Be On Your Side, the art installation that's in the Parade Ground, since the swimming pool in question is actually painted on a large and very solid concrete wall.

Through the magic of a trompe l'oeil -optical illusion painting - the flat surface was turned into an inviting pool complete with shimmering "water" and yellow and blue square "tiles." (This video shows how it was made: https://youtu.be/VBInOTU-Eu4)

Chan Wai-lap, the talented young artist behind the eye-catching work, recently completed a unique artist-in-residence program offered by Tai Kwun.

Young artists, researchers and performers with a strong Hong Kong connection are given their own work studios within the heritage complex for three to six months.

The application deadline for this grant is September 18, so there is still time to apply (info: opencall@taikwun.hk). And Tai Kwun's unique outdoor "swimming pool" will be in the Parade Ground until the 20th.

Bernard Charnwut Chan is chairman of Tai Kwun Cultural & Arts Co

standard@bernardchan.com

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