What’s with all the artwork on the MTR’s South Island Line?

What’s with all the artwork on the MTR’s South Island Line?

What happens when you combine an MTR station and an art gallery? You get the MTR’s new South Island Line, where a diverse collection of art has been added to the stations to make your commute a brighter, livelier one

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Journeys along the South Island adorns the lobby walls of Lei Tung station.
Photo: MTR Corporation Limited

Hong Kong's newest MTR line, the South Island Line, will open tomorrow, revealing shiny new stations full of artwork unique to each stop. Some of the artists, whose work is being displayed on the new line, took the time to have a quick chat with Y oung Post about what inspired them and how they’ve integrated their work into the stations.

Journeys along the South Island at Lei Tung station

Eighty local youths used digital collage and paper cutting techniques to help the artist Tse Ngan-sum create the images that decorate Lei Tung station’s lobby walls.

“Aberdeen is steeped in traditional folklore and has a rich fishing history, so on one pictorial map we decided to juxtapose images of goddesses and sea creatures with normal, everyday life,” Tse said.

Fishermen in traditional outfits can be seen selling fish alongside mythical dragons and Mazu – a Chinese sea goddess – can be seen next to an image of a lantern. Tse said that people ought take a look at their surroundings rather at their phones as they pass – especially here at Lei Tung, where people might spot something new every time they look at the walls.

Dawn of a New Day at Lei Tung station

Dawn of a New Day at Lei Tung station takes a look back at Aberdeen’s fishing past.
Photo: MTR Corporation Limited

Entering the station from exit A is a little like stepping out of a time machine into the past – the walls are covered with art representing Aberdeen’s history as a fishing village. Using block print techniques – a printmaking technique – around 40 youngsters and artist Castaly Leung Ching-man embellished the walls with the sort of fish that be found in the city, from pompano to golden threadfin bream (red fish).


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Flow at Ocean Park station

The sculptures above commuters at Ocean Park station can show people how to leave or navigate the station.
Photo: MTR Corporation Limited

The station that serves the theme park of the same name has been decorated in shades of blue, with silvery sculptures dotted about the ceiling of the station in a way that makes you feel like you’re walking under a massive school of fish. Benson Kwun, the artist, said that the fish represent the people that will pass through the station, but that they also serve a practical purpose – they’re a map, of sorts.

“Visitors can find their way to the exits or to the platforms by following the movement of the fish,” he said.

When asked why the sculptures had been placed so high up, Kwun said that some of the sculptures had sharp edges, and had to be placed out of the way of children and baby strollers. He added that placing them high in the air made them easy for people to spot. All you have to do is look up.

Day & Night at South Horizons station

The Day & Night installation at South Horizons station - the artwork inside the stations on the South Island Line all have interesting stories behind them.
Photo: MTR Corporation Limited

Hong Kong may feel a bit like a concrete jungle at times, but at South Horizons station it’s all about the sort with trees and greenery. That’s why this station is green – all different shades of it. Artist Cheung Wai-lok added glass panels to the exits of the station, each with images of trees digitally printed on them. During the day, natural sunlight gives the art installations a stained glass window effect, or the impression that there are trees, not city life, on the other side. At night, the station’s lights from inside turn the images into dark shadows.

Soaring Horizon at South Horizons station

Soaring Horizons at South Horizons station was created by artist Karen Pow Cheuk-mei.
Photo: MTR Corporation Limited

The 40-metre large mosaic mural was created by Karen Pow Cheuk-mei, with the help of more than 120 students, using more than 500,000 tiles. The mural is a seascape view of Ap Lei Chau Island, and depicts the harbour, housing estates, the island’s iconic floating restaurant, and traditional wooden and fishing boats. Pow said that she hoped that she had managed to communicate to commuters what South Horizons means to her. She added that she incorporated trees and leaves into her mural because it would help her artwork flow seamlessly into the station.

Edited by Ginny Wong

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