Between the sea and the sky that frame Hong Kong’s iconic skyline, the natural world and human innovation unite in a spectacular two-act tale. By day, the emerald-hued hills assume the central role, but as evening falls the organic landscape takes a bow, allowing the dazzling glass-and-steel chorus to emerge as the stars of the show, and never is the performance more spectacular than during the nightly.
Whether observed from the water’s edge along Victoria Harbour., or enjoyed in a more intimate setting perched above the city in a sky-high restaurant, the 8pm start time is always met with eager anticipation. This fact is not lost on Sydney-based Richard Lindsay, the founder of creative design agency Artists in Motion, who was part of the team tasked with redesigning the world’s largest permanent lighting and music show in 2017, 14 years after it first illuminated
To ensure that auditory harmony was achieved, Artists in Motion enlisted the help of Berlin-based composer Christian Steinhäuser, along with more than 100 musicians, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. “We had always intended to include local musicians as we felt the music needed to speak to the people of the city, its culture and its relationship with the iconic harbour,” says Lindsay.
“Initially, buildings were chosen based on their existing infrastructure,” explains Lindsay. “Lighting installations and laser systems were utilised from the previous show and existing advertising LED screens were introduced to create a bigger spectacle.” But a distinctive design approach was also taken. “The lighting selection for each building is based on the creative intention and its location on the skyline. Some buildings lend themselves better to fewer, more powerful spotlights, others have a larger roofline and allow for more density and spread of the light,” he says.
For something so complex and technical, the show seems to emerge from the city almost organically. From the opening rhythmic beats, to the sonorous strings and the electronic-inflected melodies to the visual performance, ‘A Symphony of Lights’ is an uplifting, powerful production and a fittingly spectacular tribute to a very special city.
|For front-row views of the show, head to the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and the Avenue of Stars. Owing to its prime location, it’s also the most popular vantage so get there early to find a spot.
|Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hop aboard one of the harbour cruises and sail into the middle of the cacophony of lights and music — some also serve food and drinks.
|Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
|+852 3891 8732
When Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No.3 or above or Red/Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is issued at or after 3pm, the show will be cancelled. No show will be staged even if the signal is lowered before 8pm on the same day. For details, please visit the website.
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