Portuguese artist transforms Hong Kong tram

Portuguese artist transforms Hong Kong tram
The tram transformed by the urban artist. Photo: SMP Pictures

Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils has transformed a tram into a moving art object by carving portraits of Hong Kong people into layers of posters applied to the vehicle’s facade.

“It’s the perfect platform for me, because it’s a piece that’s in the city that also moves and reaches people who probably would never go to a gallery or a museum,” he said. “I believe public art can give to the city something important, especially in current times,” said Vhils, whose work aims to spark reflection on the impact of development and urbanisation around the world.


It took Vhils about two full days to bring the tram, currently running between Whitty Street depot and North Point, to life.

“The tram had a billboard. We collected several posters around town over the past six months and we pasted several layers on the top of it,” he explained.

“Then we had a last layer in white and we carved onto it. It’s not really a painting or a collage. It’s more of a sculpture made out of layers of chaos that the city ­produced.”

The special tram will run every day until April 10. But this is not going to be the only chance to randomly bump into Vhils’ work. He is also planning to carve portraits on at least three public walls and do other interventions on Hong Kong island and Kowloon.

Check out: www.scmp.com
To view more of Vhils work check out: www.alexandrefarto.com