Swire Properties and Elephant Parade® today launched Hong Kong’s first-ever Elephant Parade. From 1 August to 9 September 2014, more than 100 individually-painted life-size baby elephant statues are exhibited at Pacific Place, Cityplaza and Citygate Outlets malls, as well as The Upper House and EAST, Hong Kong, with the aim of offering visitors a unique and inspiring experience this summer whilst raising awareness for the endangered Asian elephants.
The over a month-long exhibition launched today with a special ceremony held at Park Court in Pacific Place. Officiating guests included Mr KS Wong, JP, Secretary for the Environment of Hong Kong, Dr Christine Loh, JP, Under Secretary for the Environment who is also the official patron for Elephant Parade Hong Kong. Also in attendance were Mr Martin Cubbon, Chief Executive of Swire Properties, Mrs Elizabeth Kok, Retail Portfolio Director of Swire Properties, Mr Mike Spits, Founder of Elephant Parade and collaborating artists including celebrity model Kathy Chow, TED conference’s first Chinese speaker Yu Jordy Fu, sculptor Danny Lee and Savannah College of Art and Design artist April Rivers, to name a few.
Mr KS Wong, Secretary for the Environment of Hong Kong, said, “Public education and publicity is a vital part of our on-going efforts to protect endangered species, including the elephant. While we have various educational activities, it is hard to beat something as attractive as the Elephant Parade. The people of Hong Kong will remember the Elephant Parade and why we need to protect elephants.”
“We are delighted to play host to the world’s largest elephant art exhibition,” said Martin Cubbon. “Swire Properties is committed to offering inspiring and interesting arts and cultural events at our properties for the enjoyment and enrichment of the community. These incredible elephant statues are certainly colourful and welcome guests at our malls, and we hope they will delight our visitors and help raise awareness of the vital conservation issue facing Asian elephants today.”
The exhibition features baby elephant statues, each with its own unique design created by renowned local and international artists, designers, celebrities and influential brands. Pacific Place is playing host to a herd of around 40 baby elephant statues with the theme of “The Fine Art of Living”, which have been designed by celebrities and artists including rock star Bryan Adams and fashion label founder Diane von Furstenberg.
Cityplaza, the largest shopping mall on Hong Kong Island, welcomes around 40 statues which have been designed around the theme of “Making Happy Memories”. The hand painted baby elephants celebrate family, friends and the joy these relationships bring, and include one statue designed by international action star Donnie Yen and his wife Cissy Wang. Tung Chung’s Citygate Outlets features 20 elephant statues designed by global artists which showcase the theme “Where the World Comes Together”. Two hotels under Swire Hotels - The Upper House and EAST, Hong Kong - will also host two statues created by acclaimed designer Andre Fu and Hong Kong-based creative consultancy Entendre Studios.
“After having so much success in other parts of the world, we’re thrilled to be hosting our first-ever Elephant Parade in Hong Kong,” said Elephant Parade founder Mike Spits. “Our quest is to ‘paint a brighter future’ for Asian elephant populations, and this event represents a very significant first step into Greater China and our campaign to raise awareness in all corners of the world.”
Following the conclusion of the exhibition, approximately 30 of the most high-profile statues will be auctioned by Sotheby’s at a gala dinner at the Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong on 11 September 2014. Proceeds from the auction will go to benefit the Asian Elephant Foundation, an international charity that backs conservation and education projects supporting the endangered species. Auctions of famous elephants from previous exhibitions have raised more than HK$46 million to date.