[REVIEWS] Invisible public runway

The Young Reporter (2011, May), 43(07), pp. 19.
Author: Winnie Yiu. Editor: Minerva Cheng.
Permanent URL - https://sys01.lib.hkbu.edu.hk/bujspa/purl.php?&did=bujspa0007701

Hong Kong’s third landing spot in Wanchai


When people talk about runways in Hong Kong, Chek Lap Kok may be the first place that comes up in their mind. But local architect Mr Jim Chan Tsin-ching has created another runway amidst skyscrapers and commercial buildings in Wanchai.

Called “Taking off”, the “runway”, however, does not serve any airplane. Located above the footbridge connecting Wanchai waterfront and the Hong Kong Arts Centre, it is one of the few pieces of public art exhibited in public areas or outside museums and galleries in Hong Kong.

Even though “Taking off” is meant for public appreciation, passers-by can hardly view it unless they climb above the footbridge. The best vantage point is on the third floor of the five-storey Arts Centre. This hampers the public from identifying or appreciating this piece of public art.

At first sight, the runway, on which the letters HKG and numerous arrows have been painted, is not very striking. Yet, it is this ordinariness that makes it stand out from other art forms. “Taking off” is integrated into the environment, transforming a public facility into a work of art.

The elevated runway floats above greeneries nearby and directs viewers’ attention towards the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre next door and the Victoria Harbour beyond.

With a model aeroplane getting ready to depart on this runway, the work looks like a scene from the old days when Hong Kong was served by the Kai Tak Airport located in the middle of the city.


  • Installation art “Taking off” on a footbridge in Wanchai.