The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) unveiled the first overseas art creation of Japanese
celebrity and promising world artist Shingo Katori in Central, Hong Kong, on 27 March 2018.
While Hong Kong is celebrating Hong Kong Arts Month this March with various world-class events and distinctive arts happenings in the neighbourhoods, the celebration reached a climax as Hong Kong welcomed a street art piece by Katori on the side wall of the Central-Mid-levels escalator.
Titled Large Mouth Dragon Boy, Katori’s art piece was themed after the dragon, for it is a powerful symbol in feng shui. The artist wishes to bring good fortune to Hong Kong and visitors from around the world with his lively colourful dragon.
Katori was amazed by the artsy vibe and flourishing street art scene in the Old Town Central (OTC) area during the filming of a popular Japanese TV show there in 2017, inspiring him to create street art in Central.
Invited by HKTB, Katori visited Hong Kong in early January to identify the best spot for his first public artwork outside Japan. He returned to Hong Kong to work from 24 to 27 March to create his street artwork for Hong Kong Arts Month.
While his public art piece on the train of the Tsugaru Tetsudo in Aomori Japan attracts numerous visitors, Large Mouth Dragon Boy is his first artwork easily accessible to the public outside Japan.
Mr Anthony Lau, Executive Director of HKTB, said: “Hong Kong and Japan enjoy close ties in many areas, particularly in culture and tourism. We enjoy a profound friendship and shared values, and have been important source markets for each other for many years. We are greatly honoured that Mr Shingo Katori has chosen Hong Kong to create his very first street art piece and believe his magnificent work will deepen the bond between our destinations and further strengthen the appeal of the Old Town Central for visitors from around the world.”
Mr Kazunori Hori, HKTB’s Regional Director for Japan, said: “Hong Kong is a popular travel destination for Japanese consumers. In 2017, Japanese arrivals to Hong Kong grew by 12% year-on-year. Old Town Central is one of the many areas in Hong Kong that hold much attraction to Japanese visitors, especially among the young segment. With the addition of this photogenic art piece by Mr Shingo Katori, we hope to further enhance visitor experience, making their visit to OTC even more unique and enjoyable.”
Said Katori: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to create this street art in Hong Kong. Around 20 years ago, I took part in a movie in Hong Kong for the first time. I was given a nickname ‘Large Mouth Boy’. Today, I came back here like a dragon bringing energy to Hong Kong people and visitors through my art.”
HKTB will continue to promote Old Town Central, featuring Katori’s artwork through its official website, social media platforms and a short video to engage fans and visitors around the world to share images on social media platforms with #??????? or #hkshingoart.