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Illustrator is taking over the roof of California Tower to paint a massive Chinese lion

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A creative member of theDesk prepares to produce a masterpiece on top of the Lan Kwai Fong building during Hong Kong Arts Month

He’s soon to be the pride of the Hong Kong art world. Lun Wong, who goes under the artist name Lunatic, is preparing to paint a seven-feet-by-seven-feet lion on the rooftop of Lan Kwai Fong’s California Tower to toast Hong Kong Arts Month. The 32-year-old, who is stationed at theDesk co-working and events space in Sai Ying Pun, has already been making preliminary sketches of ‘The Guardian’, a comic book-inspired painting which he’ll complete over six hours at the space owned by Cé La Vi Hong Kong on Wednesday March 15.

Originally from Croydon in London, Wong has lived in Hong Kong for nine years and has focused his design work primarily on the hospitality industry, including creating artistic designs for bars and restaurants in the city. When it comes to his illustrations, though, these are more personal to him and he has kept them apart from his business. However, he’s decided that ‘now is the time’ to create some illustrative artworks which are done for art’s sake rather than for business. So when the Cé La Vi team approached him earlier in the year for its first-ever wall installation feature on its Sky Deck rooftop, he said he was keen to create something that ties in with this month of art across Hong Kong. “I haven’t done many personal projects in Hong Kong,” he says, “but I think it’s the right time now. The Hong Kong arts scene has been picking up over the past few years and I want to be a part of it.”

Throughout the second half of March, to mark Art Central, Art Basel and Hong Kong Arts Month, a vertical gallery is being installed in California Tower, with artworks being exhibited on many of the floors in the building. The rooftop is a pretty prime spot, however. “I’m lucky to have the rooftop which is part of Cé La Vi Hong Kong,” says Wong. “It’s an honour, actually, as there are going to be Banksy and Murakami pieces on some of the floors below. Cé La Vi want to do a monthly exhibition so I’m also delighted to be kicking this off for them.”

Wong is preparing the canvas this weekend at a friend’s warehouse and he’s putting some base colours on it ahead of the Wednesday March 15 event. On the night, between 6pm and midnight, he’s finishing off his masterpiece: a cartoon-inspired Chinese lion that’s flying downwards rather than looking up. “It’s chipped too,” says Wong. “This is to represent the chipping away of Hong Kong over the past few years. Make of that what you will…”

“An event like this,” continues Wong, “gets my name out there. It’s good exposure. And it’s also going to be a fun event that ties in with this month of art in Hong Kong. My illustrations reflect everything I grew up with: comics, cartoons, games, kung fu and music. At one time, many thought this sort of art was just for kids. The fact I’m creating a huge cartoon lion high up on a rooftop in LKF shows how far attitudes have come!”

Lun Wong’s ‘The Guardian’ creation: in brief
What is it? A chance to see Wong create his roaring masterpiece.
Who can go along? Anyone who wants to be a part of the night. It’s free to enter!
When is it? Wednesday March 15, between 6pm and midnight.
Where is it? Cé La Vi Hong Kong at the top of California Tower, LKF.
More info? To find out more details, head to Cé La Vi’s Facebook event page.

*If you’re a gallerist or artist living or working in Sai Ying Pun or Kennedy Town then contact Matt Fleming, Media Director at theDesk, as we are looking for artists and works to feature in our co-working and events space over the coming months. Email Matt at matt@thedesk.com.hk.

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