Pacific Place, Cityplaza and Citygate Outlets Malls
The traveling charity exhibition Elephant Parade arrives in Hong Kong this summer to promote its message of Asian elephant conservation. More than 100 life-size (that's five feet tall) baby elephant sculptures will make their home in Pacific Place, Cityplaza and Citygate Outlets malls through September 9. Each is handpainted by a renowned designer, artist, brand or celebrity, with a roster ranging from Donnie Yen and wife Cecilia Wang—who will design their elephant to benefit the Heep Hong Society for children with special needs in Hong Kong—to artist Diana Francis, who designed the signature Hong Kong elephant, titled "Pearl of the Orient." Other designers range from Sir Richard Branson to local artists anothermountainman and Movana Chen. 20 elephants will also be auctioned off at the end of the parade on September 11: proceeds will go to the Asian Elephant Foundation.
The power to bring change comes in many forms, and it’s coming to Hong Kong in the form of baby elephant statues. The Elephant Parade is bringing over a hundred statues designed by renowned artists to Pacific Place, Cityplaza and Citygate Outlets, with the aim of raising awareness about the rapidly diminishing Asian elephant population. After the exhibition ends, several statues are being auctioned off in aid of the Asian Elephant Foundation. It all started in 2007 when co-founder Marc Spits met Mosha, a baby elephant who had stepped on a landmine and now has a prosthetic limb. Inspired, Spits and his son Mike held the first Elephant Parade in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 2007. Since then, the Elephant Parade has developed and matured on its way around the globe. “Nowadays, we tend to lose less time on frivolous things and can ‘attack’ the main issues faster and in a more effective way. We are beginning to understand the intricate details of a very complicated issue,” says Spits. Seven years and 19 cities later, the parade has landed in Hong Kong. The concept behind each parade doesn’t change but the elephants do, and around 20 elephants are always designed with the location in mind. “I think in order to make people feel accountable, you need to have a connection to the public – we really need to make a strong connection to the city we’re parading in,” explains creative director and artist Diana Francis. Francis herself has designed eight elephants reflecting the culture of Hong Kong. ‘Yum-e-Phant’, for instance, is decorated with Hong Kong foods that Time Out and U Magazine readers voted for. Visitors to the parade might also spot a Star Ferry elephant, a Bruce Lee elephant and a moon cake elephant, just to name a few.