Happy Valley Racecourse, home of the Hong Kong Jockey club is one of the world’s great racecourses.
Built in 1845 on the only suitable flat land on Hong Kong Island, to provide racing for the British, horse racing soon became popular amongst the Chinese residents. It is quite a short circuit for horse racing and is surrounded by looming skyscrapers. The dramatic floodlighting adds to the electric party atmosphere of mid-week racing. Oktoberfest was in full swing throughout our visit and it soon became a social highlight to the week. Whilst producing this piece I got in to conversation with, and was photographed with hundreds of German beer drinking racegoers. The brilliant floodlights enabled perfect painting conditions at night. Crowds were thick all evening and facilitated some definition in the foreground characters. The high moisture content in the air meant the floodlights gave off a wonderful haze. The yellow horseshoe finishing post is a very obvious point of focus and visual pull to the centre of the canvas.
A book featuring this work can be purchased at our Picture Library