The one commute to work that could rival the Star Ferry hops, could be being pulled up Victoria Peak via the awesome Peak Tram. Victoria Peak looms above Hong Kong. It is the ultimate viewing platform from which to see the iconic aerial view of the skyscrapers of the city. The tram hauls 17,000 passengers a day up 27° slopes through the mid-levels to The Peak Tower.
The journey would make a fabulous painting in itself, one you would certainly have to produce from quick sketches and photographic aid as there is no way of setting up with an easel in the tram (I asked).
The visual sensation of moving up such a steep slope amongst the high-rises is a wonderful experience. The vertical towers appearing to lean 20-30° into the slope as you become accustomed to the angle at which you’re sitting.
The towers give way to greenery and unobstructed views of the city as we approach The Peak Tower terminal. It is a little frustrating having to fight through a maze of commerce to get to the view we are all seeking, though it is to be expected with every Hong Kong tourist wanting this experience. I found a view from the terrace on top of The Peak Galleria shopping centre that combined a lofty view of the city with bizarre foreground material in the form of the gravity defying architecture of The Peak Tower, affectionately known as ‘The Wok Building’.
Usually the shopping centre’s speakers serenade visitors with soothing music as they take in the vista, however during my work time up there, the Pac-Man franchise had arrived in the run up to Halloween. I was treated to the vintage theme tune on repeat. The first few listens brought back fond memories of arcade gaming and I am sure enticed many visitors to dress up as human scale ghosts and run around the neon maze that had been built downstairs. However, to someone who is now required to concentrate there for 5 long sessions, the 30 second looped tune soon became audio torture. My secondary school art teacher once said that we produce our best work when we are our least comfortable, so I guess a sensory polar opposite was needed to combat such a spectacular serene view.
A book featuring this work can be purchased at our Picture Library