Armenian Artist Blasts Hong Kong Exhibition of Her Inflatable Art

The exhibit features replicas of world-famous monuments like Stonehenge and the Pyramids.

Giant inflatable installations "Inflatable Wonders" exhibition by Armenian AI artist Joann on display near the harbour front on July 8, 2024, in Hong Kong, China. Despite the artist's criticism, calling the exhibits "very ugly" and "not well-proportioned," the exhibition continues as planned by the organizers. Photo by Sawayasu Tsuji/Getty Images

An Armenian artist who goes by the name Joann has blasted an exhibit of her inflatable art in Hong Kong, calling it “very ugly” and prompting a defense from the show’s organizers.

Central Venue Management (CVM), the organizers of the exhibit at the Central Harbourfront, obtained authorization from Joann for her design concepts to be made into physical objects, she admitted in remarks to Yahoo News. But when the works were fabricated, organizers did not seek her green light.

Joann said the works were “ugly looking” and “not in the right proportions,” according to Yahoo News, and asked for the exhibit to be taken down. The artist did not return a request for comment by press time.

“The lighting of the core made the effect worse,” Joann said. In a post on Instagram, organizers of SummerFest—an attached festival including art, music and other events—disagreed. They wrote, “The dreamlike lighting effects at night are truly enchanting.”


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A post shared by SummerFestHK (@summerfesthk)

Meanwhile, Joann said a Stonehenge replica looked like an inflatable cemetery. Other monuments in the exhibition, titled “Inflatable Wonder,” include an Easter Island Moai, the Pyramids of Giza, the leaning tower of Pisa and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

In remarks to Yahoo News, CVM said that Joann did not require the organizers to seek her approval and vowed to proceed with the exhibition.

And, CVM had been in constant contact with her by email ahead of time, they said in a statement to the Hong Kong Free Press.

The exhibition is free to the public and scheduled to take place from July 5 to August 11, according to the CVM website. It is part of SummerFest, which includes a lineup of outdoor activities in the arts, music and sports.

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