Water lilies in Sha Tin? Sounds unlikely – well, not really. They are in Sha Tin, albeit only for a short amount of time, until July 11, 2016. The current temporary exhibition Claude Monet: The Spirit of Place is a highlight of this year’s exhibitions in Hong Kong. Where else can you view 17 original paintings, walk through a replica of Claude’s living room and paint your own water lilies?
The exhibition is set in two parts, the first one focuses on Claude Monet’s life and how he influenced impressionism. As soon as you enter the exhibition area, you are greeted by some of his magnificent works, which include The Break-Up of the Ice at Vétheuil, facing Lavacourt, Water Lilies and Effect of Spring, Giverny.
This is the first ever show of Monet’s work in Hong Kong and it portrays the evolution of his style but also his fantastic garden, over a period of 50 years.
Some pieces of artwork are quite small, but nonetheless breath-taking – and just beautiful. It is fascinating how Claude Monet was able to capture the different atmospheres – not just during a day but during different seasons.
I enjoyed the mix of pictures ranging from the countryside in Paris, to the European capitals of London & Venice, and of course – the water lilies.
At the end of the first section is an art installation of his water garden and bridge. You can walk over his famous Japanese bridge and paint interactive water lilies in his pond. It is nicely done and Lina loved it, she kept walking over the bridge again and again.
After the first section, we walked a few steps to the second one – and while there are no actual paintings, the section focuses on Claude Monet’s Garden, House and Studio.
The first installation is a room full of images of flowers that are in his garden – and the light and sounds change to reflect the different hours of the day. There is a smaller Japanese bridge to cross, and Lina loved this one too!
Then there is a copy of his dining room, with a fun installation – you can sit down and pretend to eat a typical French menu that Claude Monet and his family would have enjoyed. Of course, you cannot eat the actual menu items, but they are projected on the plates in front of you – a fun, quirky effect.
Next up is his living room, with plenty of pictures on his walls, some books that you can read (they are all about Claude Monet and his work) and classical music that you can listen to (which he loved).
Finally, his studio and a 3D house that visitors can decorate – just pick up a pen and draw on it. Needless to say that I did not have to ask Lina twice!
You can visit the fantastic Claude Monet show at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum until July 11. Ticket prices are 20HKD for adults and 10 HKD for seniors/children. On Wednesdays tickets are half price. The museum is open every day, except Tuesdays. More info here.