Well-known French urban artist who hides under the name ‘Invader’ has ‘attacked’ Hong Kong for the third time since 2001. Invader brought with him a team of up to five people to install 32 new street artworks in various locations around the city. According to reports, the rogue team completed installation of all artworks in a single night sometime in late September 2017.
Eighteen of those 32 artworks were installed in strategic spots in Wharf Holdings’ Harbour City, Hong Kong’s largest shopping mall located in Tsim Sha Tsui. Those mosaic artworks include a blue Space Invader adorned with the Hong Kong flag (placed in a building opening up to a view of Victoria Harbour), ‘Mermaid,’ ‘emojis,’ and ‘Anchor.’ Each artwork matches the location where they were placed and echoes the spirit of the Harbour City.
The art installations gained a surprising reaction from the management of the mall, which expressed appreciation for the move and contacted Invader to offer an official collaboration on a new premium development and an upcoming charity fund raising.
The anonymous artist gladly accepted the invitation and agreed to his first-ever cooperation with a shopping mall. In line with it, he tailor-designed a limited edition umbrella that features the ‘Anchor’ design that he put up at the Ocean Terminal Rooftop Carpark of Harbour City. Also printed on the special umbrellas are the words of assurance from the mall: “Dear Invader, your artworks are safe with us. Harbour City.”
Donation to charity
To own one of those ‘Harbour City x Invader’ Limited Edition Umbrellas, a charity donor has to upload three photos (at least one a selfie or self-portrait) featuring any of Invader’s artworks in Hong Kong (or anywhere in other cities around the world where those could be found) on his/her personal Facebook or Instagram account using the hashtags #HarbourCity and #Hcart and tagging @harbourcity.
Upon verification of account ownership, each participant must also accomplish a registration form and make an onsite donation (HK$200) to the Hong Kong Blood Cancer Foundation. Redemption of the umbrellas are scheduled from December 18, 2017 to February 11, 2018 from 12 noon to 8 p.m. at Level 3, Ocean Centre, Harbour City.
Obtaining various reactions
Invader previously expressed disappointment with the Hong Kong government, which removed most of his past mosaic artworks installed in different public sites in the city. This is why he was pleased to learn that Harbour City embraced his new installations.
“There is now a long history between myself and Hong Kong,” said Invader in a recent interview. “I’ve started working in its streets in 2001 so I know the city better each time. It is always a pleasure for me to install some new works and to continue writing the story of my invasion of Hong Kong.”
Invader’s invading artworks are modelled after the crude pixellation images of the 1978 video game ‘Space Invader’ rendered through ceramic tiles. He describes those as “the perfect icons of our time, a time where digital technologies are the heartbeat of our world.”
Who is Invader?
So far, the artist has installed 3,564 creations in 74 cities (including Bangkok, Daejeon, Tokyo, Rome, London, Sao Paulo, Paris, and New York) across over 30 countries worldwide. Many of those were considered vandalism and taken out by city governments, though.
The 48-year-old artist, who prefers to remain anonymous amid his controversial project, uses guerilla tactics in his ‘invasion waves,’ which he fondly describes as ‘urban acupuncture.’ The ‘invasions’ started in his home city of Paris in 1998.
He has already been arrested and is banned from entering several countries for his artistic interventions. He works at nighttime wearing a mask and insists that his face be pixilated during his rare media appearances.