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The Ornithopter – Spirit of Hong Kong

HIR Studio

Artist Statement

The pursuit of flight has always been a fantasy of humans over the course of history. From Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch of the ornithopter to the first bi-plane test flight across the Hong Kong airspace in 1911, the humankind went through countless unceasing trials, setbacks and failures. This artwork is inspired by the mechanics of the flying machines. Installed with a pair of double-stack flapping wings and a mechanical system, the “Ornithopter” perches on the grass, casting flickering shadows to create an enjoyable naturally shaded public space. The flapping movement is propelled by visitors’ pedalling action on the bikes. As the wings flap slowly in up and down strokes, the wings’ interweaving ribs converge and diverge periodically, encouraging visitors to grit their teeth and keep pedalling on. A journey of a thousand miles always begins with a single step. Such perseverance is what the spirit of Hong Kong entails.

  • Howard Chung & Irene Cheng
Artist Biography

HIR Studio is an architectural practice based in Hong Kong. Combining craft and innovation, it creates meaningful and engaging spaces that enrich communities, specialised in architecture, interior, public art installation and sustainable design. The team has received numerous awards, including the Hong Kong Institute of Architects Young Architect Award, Perspective’s 40 under 40 Award, A&D Gold Award and the A’ Design Award.