Sometimes, the word “carnival” feels a bit overused nowadays. Originally a word in itself to describe lively festivals and fairs, the word is now often used to promote shopping, ignoring its original intention of bringing joy.
But as you explore the K11 Musea Art Karnival, helmed by tastemaker Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, and immerse yourself in its cheerful atmosphere, you’ll find that it is a special place worth visiting again and again.
This pleasing vibe comes from seeing people holding pink roses in the mall from time to time, which is definitely warm and romantic. The fresh-smelling roses are from the interactive Rose’s Allure artistic activation – a giant nose sculpture inspired by classical Greek relics.
Until June 27 at the Visual Corridor on the ground floor, visitors can capture the humorous Instagram photo moment of plucking a rose from the nose while using a Rosy Petals Instagram filter by scanning the QR code on the leaf.
Just a few steps away, a more Instagrammable attraction, Rose II, conveys a stronger sense of energy, strength, passion and warmth that also resonates with Hong Kong.
In its first showing in Asia after making its debut in New York in 2011, Rose II is a landmark work by German artist Isa Genzken and seamlessly integrates cityscape, nature and culture and will stand by the harbor until November 21.
The steel, aluminum and lacquer installation is a spectacular public sculpture whose superhuman size, exaggerated proportions and inorganic materials are in perfect harmony with the striking architecture and soaring skyscrapers of cities.
The 8.5-meter-tall long-stemmed rose seemingly rises from the sea, standing in full bloom among the iconic architecture of Hong Kong’s skyline at the harborfront promenade.
With its larger-than-life scale, the piece turns what is usually a personal act of giving a rose into a gesture for the whole community.
The journey continues at Muse Edition, also on the ground floor, where Gufram’s Broken Series Pink Edition furniture collection – two mirrors and a sofa, made with buttery soft foam to mimic the jagged edges of concrete – convey the idea of a warm home in the cold building.
Aside from the more artistic objects scattered throughout the mall, at the K11 Art & Cultural Centre on the sixth floor, Calligraphy Rhapsody – Retrospective Exhibition of Georges Mathieu celebrates the French pioneer’s fierce and poetic expressions and bold visionary spirit, and will run until July 4.
Copresented by the K11 Art Foundation and the consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau, the exhibition showcases 13 important paintings, including the six-meter-wide canvases that Mathieu created specially for his Grand Palais Retrospective in 1978.
While walking around the mall, scan the QR codes next to selected artworks to enjoy the gastronomic offers, featuring food and drinks inspired by the floral theme of Art Karnival: the satisfaction of both your spirit and your stomach.
(This article was published at The Standard on June 18, 2021: Weekend Glitz: Rose by any other name )