Art plunder a mystery

Art plunder a mystery

French artist baffled by decision to remove his street art

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Invader's Pac-man inspired street art in Tin Hau has been removed.
Invader's Pac-man inspired street art in Tin Hau has been removed.

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Invader's Pac-man inspired street art in Tin Hau has been removed.
Invader's Pac-man inspired street art in Tin Hau has been removed.
Photo: Felix Wong

Famous French artist Invader is upset that one of the 48 street artworks he made in Hong Kong as a part of his world-wide project is gone.

He told the South China Morning Post it is confusing that the government says the city is a cultural hub where big art shows are held and new museums are built, but cannot allow his artistic "gift" to amuse pedestrians.

In January, Invader, whose work has graced fine art galleries world-wide and can fetch upwards of HK$3 million, stuck mosaic tiles of characters inspired by the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders in places like a flyover in Central and a billboard in Mong Kok. But in less than a month, the Highways Department took away the work featuring Pac-Man characters in Tin Hau for "safety" reasons.

Street art is Invader's way to enhance people's everyday life. "They don't need to go to museums or art galleries. They can just look up on the walls and maybe touched by my 'urban acupuncture'," he said.

He has "invaded" more than 60 cities worldwide, but he said none of the authorities would take his art off the streets.

He hopes that these policies are part of the past as the city hopes to become the cultural hub of Asia.

 

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