No ‘Chopsticks’ please: Street piano community project launches in Hong Kong

Hong Kong just joined the international musical project, “Play Me, I’m Yours”, an artistic exhibition that places decorated pianos in cities around the world.

The Hong Kong version, “Our Hong Kong, Our Talents – Play me, I’m Yours” began its rounds at Central’s PMQ on Monday, and will continue to pop up in various locations around the city until December.

Luke Jerram, a British artist and founder of the project, was inspired to find a mechanism to create more community in public spaces across the world. The communal art installation, founded in 2008, has allowed city-dwellers and music fanatics to explore creative curiosity and converse in the universal language of music.

As the 48th city to host the scheme, Hong Kong employed the help of local artists to decorate the 16 pianos that now stand in a circular arrangement at PMQ. Some are elegant and glamorous, others abstract, colourful, simplistic and bold.

“Play Me, I’m Yours”  Pianos at PMQ  

After playing a number of tunes, 19-year-old Joyce told us, “There are so many nice ones, I can’t decide on a favourite one!”

“At first, I wondered if they were real pianos,” said Natalie Mok. “When I realised that we could play them I found this idea very interesting and original!”

Joyce enjoying the pianos
Joyce commented that an exhibition like this is perfect for Hong Kong because “playing piano is one of the most basic things Asian parents want their kids to learn.” Therefore many people will turn up to tap out a tune or two.

That’s what mother YY did with her daughter, Vienna, who has been playing for three years. Like many others at PMQ, they looped around testing out each piano and adding some rhythm to the air.

One of many kids showing off their talents 

Whether Hongkongers religiously practice piano or simply enjoy art and music, this street piano project is “something special for people that live in HK”, shared 20-year-old Nathan.

Photos: Myriam Tsen-Kung/Coconuts Media

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