Forgotten Fine Art: The Cityplaza Copper Suite

In Hong Kong, you can often find pretty things in the strangest places… which often means discovering fine art in the most mundane of anonymous corporate offices.

Such was the case with this stunning series of plaques entitled The Cityplaza Copper Suite by Australian sculptors Joan Walsh Smith and Charles Smith in Tai Koo’s Cityplaza complex of buildings.

I was taken aback by the level of detail in these – you could spend ages poring over these still find even more interesting and clever little vignettes revealing themselves in the copper artwork. The style reminds me a little of Jan Pieńkowski’s silhouette illustrations for the Joan Aiken books I used to read when I was little. Click on each photograph to enlarge and zoom in  and you can check out some of the detail for yourselves!

Each ‘Rondo-Progression’ has a different theme (unfortunately, I forgot to note them down, bad blogger, slaps wrist!) but I believe they were The Arts, Food, Leisure and Work. My favourite is probably The Arts with its striking centre-piece of the two Chinese theatre masks and loads of other dynamic pictures surrounding it – it’s almost like it’s alive with movement!

You can’t really tell from the pictures (which have distorted the light reflections weirdly) but these are made from copper, which is even more stunning and vivid in real life – and I loved the way the light reflected and bounced off these pieces, making them even more vibrant.

It seems a shame that these are tucked away in a place most people wouldn’t even notice so hopefully this post does its bit to show them off to the rest of the world!

11 responses to “Forgotten Fine Art: The Cityplaza Copper Suite

  1. They’re exquisite! You can’t turn a cultural desert into a cultural centre when people are busy chasing money, making their living, hardly any time for simple pleasure, joy & beauty!

  2. Seems like the artists have been doing the right thing here – putting real art into real places for real people – instead of shoving them in some art gallery.

  3. Have you been around Taikoo Place? Lots of beautiful stuff there too!

    • Mum – glad you liked!

      Naked Listener – hmmm not so sure if sticking these in the office part, where most ppl don’t venture unless they work there, is the best way to show off such great pieces! I mean, well done on Swire for commissoning them but I didn’t even know CityPlaza 3 & 4 even existed until I had to go to an event there! & if you just rush past these day in, day out, you probably stop noticing them after a while…

      Gillian – I’m always at Taikoo Place! Some is nice – and some is just plain weird! I do see lots of couples having wedding pics taken with the huge apple!

  4. The big apple is quite dark actually haha they should try the huge cherry instead!

  5. I really admire someone who can do copper art well. It livens up my office at work.

  6. Those pieces are amazing. It would take a long time to see it all, I could keep looking and see something different every time. Good job.

  7. Thank you for your kind words about the sculptures created by my parents and myself at Smith Sculptors here in Perth Australia ( by the way we also created the Sun dial sculpture at The University of Hong Kong, the tall sculpture with gold top in Tai Po Park and the bas relief sculpture called Journey to The West at Fung Tak Park)

    We like to believe that the public get great satisfaction from our hard work long after the sculptures have been designed, created and installed.

    Find out more at

    keep up the good blogging

    Joanne Smith

    • Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and, as you can see, your artwork has many fans!

      I’ve not yet even visited any of the other places in HK you mentioned that you have sculptures at – but I’ll be sure to check them out if I do!


  8. Hihi pretty girl,
    I found your blog via searching for Sasatinnie nail varnish (a rarity in the U.S.), and have since spent a wonder-filled hour reading about all things HK in your post archives. These copper sculptures are beautiful; simply viewing them on my computer screen makes my heart expand with joy. Thank you for sharing with the world all of the detail you observe in your daily life. As in many a metropolis, most people go about like frenzied ants and don’t stop to notice the beauty and heightened surreality of their modern + traditional environs. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here in your corner of the Internet.
    xo Miss Greencurry

    • Hi Gemma,

      Thanks so much for the super-lovely comment! It means a lot!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my blog; there’s all kinds of fab stuff in HK that goes unnoticed cos we’re all so busy (myself included!) so it’s nice to sometimes try and take time out to appreciate things and I’m so happy that my blog can help these wonderful things reach out even further. Hope you carry on reading! xxx

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