Date
24 September 2017
This countdown title to a light show on the exterior wall of ICC tower is illegal, according to the Hong Kong government. Photo: http://addoilteam.hk/countdown
This countdown title to a light show on the exterior wall of ICC tower is illegal, according to the Hong Kong government. Photo: http://addoilteam.hk/countdown

Govt pulls plug on ICC 2047 countdown light show

Hong Kong’s arts watchdog has ordered a light show on the countdown to 2047 removed for an unauthorized name change.

The show, titled Our 60-Second Friendship Begins Now, will no longer be seen from Monday, news website hk01.com reports, citing Ellen Pau, chairperson of the Film and Media Arts Group of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.  

The exhibit was created by Jason Lam and Sampson Wong as part of an interactive show featuring LED art on the exterior wall of the International Commerce Center tower, Hong Kong’s tallest building.

The show runs in selected buildings from May 18 to June 22. 

Pau and independent curator Caroline Ha said Lam and Wong breached regulations by renaming their work to Countdown 2047 without the council’s approval.

They said such changes could jeopardize similar art exhibitions in public places in the future.

Sun Hung Kai Properties, which owns the building, said it was not involved in the selection of art works.

It said it will comply with the order.

Pau said Lam and Wong’s countdown website (http://addoilteam.hk/countdown) might be allowed to continue, according to standnews.com.

The two said they will issue a statement on Monday.

The six-minute show features LED light cascading down the 108-story building every minute.

It counts down to 2047, the year “one country, two systems”, the basis for Hong Kong’s 1997 handover to China from Britain, expires.

The nine-digit countdown appears in the last minute.

The light show overlapped last week’s visit to Hong Kong by senior state official Zhang Dejiang for which the Hong Kong government was criticized by residents for excessive security.

Wong told standnews.com the display would have been rejected by the council if it had political undertones.

Which is why they adopted the “one-minute friendship” theme to bypass censorship, he said.

Wong said the countdown was meant to be implicit.

But they expected the display to be taken down by the government after they revealed the hidden meaning to the media last week.

“Why did we have a countdown to 1997 but not to 2047?” he said.

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TL/AC/RA

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