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International Pop Art Duo, FriendsWithYou, Bring Giant Inflatable Characters to Hong Kong for Interactive Experience in West Kowloon Neighborhood

Locals and visitors alike will be spotting colorful and charismatic characters hopping on and off Hong Kong’s trams and Star Ferry over the next several weeks. These eye-popping artistic creations from international pop art duo FriendsWithYou (US-based Samuel Borkson & Arturo Sandoval III) are an imaginative partnership with the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) to promote the “Hong Kong Neighborhoods – West Kowloon” program. HKTB has also been recording the adventures in a collection of action-packed videos giving those unable to currently visit Hong Kong the chance to share in the excitement of its world-class attractions.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

FriendsWithYou characters at Hong Kong's iconic Victoria Harbour (Photo: Business Wire)

FriendsWithYou characters at Hong Kong's iconic Victoria Harbour (Photo: Business Wire)

Through this series of online flash mob videos, AR interactive experiences, and gigantic art installations, the happy characters are taking international audiences on a virtual journey across Hong Kong. The videos bring to life the world-beating attractions, highlighting the incredible diversity of artistic elements in West Kowloon and encouraging people, both near and far, to explore Hong Kong from an artistic and cultural perspective.

Samuel and Arturo shared, “We are thrilled to put our latest art collection, Happy World, on show in Hong Kong, which is the first event of such a remarkable scale for our works in Asia. We hope our collection can spread a message of harmony and joy – the ingredients of life needed in every corner of the world right now. This collection features a family of brightly-colored characters, including the lead character Little Cloud who will be transformed into a huge inflatable sculpture and greet the public in Art Park in the West Kowloon Cultural District; and other characters including Rainbow Worm, Jelly, Hug Bug, and Peanut Butter. The group will hop around Hong Kong while sharing their friendship and love and connecting with people from every walk of life.”

FriendsWithYou Collaborates with Superlatives of Hong Kong and the World

The characters by FriendsWithYou have already made their mark in a host of Hong Kong’s best-known landmarks and attractions:

  • Visited West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), one of the world’s largest and most ambitious cultural projects
  • Admired one of the world’s most spectacular skylines at the Sky Corridor of the High Speed Rail Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, and called in on the Avenue of Stars
  • Rode Hong Kong’s trams, which have a place in the Guinness World Records as the largest double-decker tram fleet in service (Hong Kong, 2021)
  • Shopped for seasonal fruit in the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market, one of Hong Kong’s biggest markets of its kind
  • Sailed on the Star Ferry – named as one of the world’s “50 Places of a Lifetime” – for sensational views across Victoria Harbour

Inflatable characters bring a giant splash of color to Art Park

After their tour of Hong Kong, 12 giant inflatable installations of the characters will take up temporary residence from September 23 - October 14 in the Art Park of the WKCD, where people can create their own photo memories with them. The most eye-catching of the characters, Little Cloud, will be more than three stories high and longer than a bus, while Rainbow will be larger than a minibus. New family members Jelly and Rainbow Worm will also make their global debut in the Art Park. At the same time, the Hong Kong Space Museum will display the iconic smiley face of the FriendsWithYou characters on its exterior wall.

The FriendsWithYou family

Brightly-colored and radiating love, harmony, and peace, the FriendsWithYou family members are caring and fun-loving, connecting with everyone they meet and spreading happiness and compassion.

Members of the media can download the press release, photos and videos from the following links:

Press release:

Photos and videos:

Details of “FriendsWithYou” program:

About FriendsWithYou

FriendsWithYou is an art collaboration created in 2002 by Samuel Borkson from Florida and Arturo Sandoval III from Cuba with the aim of bringing more joy, kindness, and love to the world. The project is a vehicle for the exploration of emotional healing through culture creation and art. Each work is created with the intention of transcendence, nurturing care for its viewers or participants. The Happy World collection aims to promote love, harmony, and peace. FriendsWithYou’s creations have been exhibited at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Art Basel in Miami Beach; Dallas Contemporary; Galerie Perrotin, Miami; Nanzuka 2G Gallery, Japan; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; The High Line, New York; The Indianapolis Museum of Art; Marine Projects, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara; Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles; Oakland Museum of California, most recently at NSU Art Museum in Ft. Lauderdale, and at other museums and galleries worldwide. FriendsWithYou artworks are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, The Goldman Family Collection, Montblanc Collection, Soho Beach House, and NSU Art Museum, amongst others.


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