Published on : Friday, May 20, 2016
The world famous skyline of the International Commerce Center, Hong Kong’s tallest skyscraper glinted with a secret message! Seemingly harmless nine-digit number flickered on the 118-story facade just after 9:30 p.m which made the tourists as well as the residents curious about what it might mean or signify.
For the more politically inclined minds, it was easier to comprehend as the digits represented a clock counting down by the second to July 1, 2047. And that is when Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” arrangement with Beijing, which gives the semi-autonomous city freedoms unseen on the mainland, is set to expire.
Jason Lam and Sampson Wong are the creators of the animated installation said that the Umbrella Movement in 2014 failed to bring democracy which creates the panic of what is going to happen after 2047? Their work thus explores this question of self-determination. The Hong Kong Arts Development Council said the views and opinions expressed by the artists didn’t represent the organization’s stance and said it is solely the personal idea of the creators.
The blinking digits are embedded in a series of looping phrases and appear for a few moments at the end of a nine-minute exhibit called “Our 60-second friendship begins now.”
The phrases preceding the countdown are taken from dialogue in the classic 1990 Hong Kong film, “Days of Being Wild.”
The animated installation and its subliminal message is scheduled to run every night until June 22 which debuted this Tuesday.
This isn’t the first time the artists have adorned Hong Kong’s harbor-facing buildings with messages.
They projected motivational messages from around the world onto the government headquarters’ facade during pro-democracy protests in 2014, including one from Russian activist band Pussy Riot.