The initial stage of Cloud City was produced when Victoria Peak was shrouded in cloud, looking through a mist to just catch glimpses of the city’s comic book skyline. This meant I began the painting in an almost Turner-esque vein. I would have liked these conditions throughout the entire five days production, but it was never repeated and in the following days the veil of mist was lifted and more of the harbour in Kowloon became visible.
Cloud City is still rather a muted pastel palette as even in clearer conditions the high moisture content in the air provides dramatic aerial perspective as discussed previously. A former airline pilot friend of ours said this was down to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). He also mentioned the thrill every pilot used to get when flying into Hong Kong’s former airport Kai Tak.
The airport was in the heart of the city with runways reaching out into the harbour. The cramped landing conditions meant pilots would have to align the plane with enormous chequerboard signs on the side of buildings and hills whilst descending, before a dramatic 90° turn and immediate landing. I’ve heard stories that you could wave at people in their apartments from the plane as you flew in between the high-rises.
A book featuring this work can be purchased at our Picture Library