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Five Minutes With: WORFU Mural Artist, Camille Walala

By Amanda Sheppard 24 January 2019
French artist Camille Walala has added her unique splash of colour to WORFU, a newly opened shopping complex on the island’s eastern edge. The impressive public art project, which comprises a giant thirteen-piece mural on the outside of the building, spans more than 50-metres in width and four metres in height, and channels North Point’s vibrant and energetic atmosphere. We spoke with the artist to learn more about her influences, inspiration, and her take on the city's art scene.

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How did the WORFU project come about?

We worked with [independent art consultancy] Art Partners last summer, and when we were here, we came to the area and visited WORFU. I felt really inspired – I actually really liked this area, and so a few months later, we began discussions with WORFU.

What was the inspiration behind the colour palette you chose for this project?

I tend to always get inspired by what I see in my surroundings. I'm always attracted to bright colours, so I was looking for this around WORFU. We were also working closely with the new developer and the interior designers, who had some colours they wanted to use, so it was more of a collaboration.

How does public art like this help build a greater sense of community?

I’ve been involved in projects like this a few times now. Every time you bring colours and patterns – and a bit of love and care – into a neighbourhood, you are bringing people together. People get a sense of pride of where they are.

Who would you cite as your main artistic influences?

I have various influences, so for me, it depends on each project. I’m attracted to a lot of African textiles, and I love everything colourful. I also really love Russian art in general – the real, constructivist stuff, and architecture in general.

How has your style evolved in recent years?

I think my style has evolved by gradually becoming more mature. I'm interested in more specific and refined architecture, and some painters who I love more than I used to – for example, Sonia Delauney.

What do you make of the public art you’ve seen so far in Hong Kong?

I came to see HKwalls a few years ago, and it was really nice to see that. I think the Art Partners team did a great job with the Hong Kong Sculpture Park too. I just love the idea of making art accessible to everyone.

How did you illustrate the atmosphere of North Point in your designs?

In terms of colours and to make sure it got noticed, I tried to bring a little bit of joy onto the streets. Most of the buildings in the area are black and grey, and are sometimes in the shadows, so I think it was nice to introduce some bright colours. Camille's artwork will remain on display at WORFU, 21-53 Wharf Road, North Point, until mid-May. 
Read more! Check out our interview with neon artist Drew Straker, and explore our Culture section.

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Amanda Sheppard

Senior editor

Following a brief and bitterly cold stint in Scotland, Amanda returned to Hong Kong—a place she’s called home for over 18 years—to begin her career as a writer. She can often be found getting lost somewhere very familiar, planning her next holiday, and enjoying a cup (or three) of good, strong coffee.