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Morning Dynamic

Continuing our series, we examine how art promotes community, encourages art appreciation, and reminds people of their everyday shared experiences. These purposes are not core to the business of operating the MTR train system in Hong Kong, but the art on the Island Line does provide intrinsic value to the passenger experience.

Remi Rough was a graffiti artist in the 1980s and 1990s. He eventually tired of writing his name in abstract letters on walls and train cars. In the early 2000s, he evolved by removing the colour and decorative aspects from his graffiti and painting pure black exaggerated letters. This further evolved into fragmented letters and eventually became abstract geometric patterns. This, along with his fascination with positive and negative space and the reintroduction of colour, helped him to stand apart as a street artist. 

For this commission, Rough wanted passengers to enjoy his artwork without needing to stop walking. The goal was to create a dramatic mural that would inject energy and new life into what would otherwise be a boring walk down a fluorescent light tunnel. 

Text Martin Wray / photos Dave Chung