Spectacular places

The First Time I Saw Victoria Harbour

A foggy introduction to The Peak that overlooks the water

I first came to Hong Kong in 2012, to host a gala honouring the artist Pipilotti Rist. I arrived, gave a speech, but I was largely kept indoors.

The next morning, the German philanthropist and art collector Julia Stoschek, Canadian artist Terence Koh and I went up The Peak, where, we were told, you can see almost 360 degrees of water surrounding Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

That morning it was raining and getting more and more cloudy. We drove up, and it got so dense that when we finally arrived at The Peak there was nothing to see: just white cloud all around.

Somebody took a picture of us: Julia and I dressed in black with black umbrellas, and Terence in his trademark white between us – and lots of white cloud. It’s one of my favourite pictures, but no visual representation of Hong Kong – I would have to wait until the next day to see the beauty of this wonderful place.

It was only on my way to the airport that the clouds cleared, the fog dissipated and I was able to see all the water and the tropical vegetation. I realised that I had been in a beautiful place – it’s just that for the two and a half days that I was there, it was covered in impenetrable fog.   

Proenza Schouler - Front Row - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015
Credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images/AFP

Klaus Biesenbach is the director of MoMA PS1 and chief-curator-at-large at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The MoMA PS1 and K11 Art Foundation exhibition exploring post-internet artistic practices in China and the West opens at the K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space in Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan district on 20 March. hk.k11.com