Space Invaders in Hong Kong: Catch them while you can!

While walking home last night, I passed by the Hopewell Center on Queen’s Road East and discovered that the Big Ghost had already been removed. It’s a matter of fact that street art is ephemeral, but did it have to disappear that quickly?! Last night’s discovery didn’t only make me sad but also a little fidgety. A certain anxiety started to grow inside of me and I felt the strong urge to quickly find some more Space Invaders before they would be removed.

Not wanting to lose more time, I went out today and was able to locate another five. Unfortunately, two had already been removed and only a couple of their traces were left…

Well, at least, I was able to capture three more of them with my camera:

No. 31: A Small Gold/Red Invader right next to the sign of the Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir:

No. 32: A Small Salmon/Black Invader in Stanley:

No. 33: A whole lot of Blue/White Invaders on Des Voeux Road West:

And two more “destroyed” Invaders:

P.s. I have a theory why the Big Ghost on the outside of the building right next to the Hopewell Center and the Big Mario Ghost at Big Wave Bay have disappeared. No matter how modern Hong Kong might appear, there is quite a bit of superstition ingrained in the average Hongkie (evident, for example, in the celebration of the Hungry Ghosts’ Festival). I, therefore, presume that the people living in the building with the Big Ghost and the people maintaining the beach at Big Wave Bay removed the ghosts in order to prevent bad luck.

UPDATE (on Feb. 15, 2014):

And another five…

No. 34: Gold/Red “I Invader HK”

No. 35: Gold/Red Invader on a footbridge very close to the Four Seasons:

No. 36: A Fruit on Hollywood Road, right next to the Central escalator

No. 37: Light Blue Invader in the middle of busy Sham Shui Po (which I found thanks to a lot of helpful hints from friends and fellow bloggers, especially Michelle, thanks again!)

No. 38: A Big White/Blue Invader on a column very close to the West Kowloon Cultural District and the Elements Mall (Kowloon MTR Station, Exit D1):

And another “Destroyed” Invader in Central (I would have loved to see that one since it would have probably made a great pic with the freshly renovated Magistracy building in the background…)

It makes me especially sad to say that the PAC-MAN has been removed. I found an Instagram pic that showed the removal of it by government officials…

For everyone who is interested in seeing the Space Invaders live and in person, you better be quick!

26 thoughts on “Space Invaders in Hong Kong: Catch them while you can!

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  1. They are vulnerable not only to attack by the property owners but also by greedy people who take them down for their own gains. Maybe not putting their location addresses up on the website would help?

    1. Thanks for your input, Ray. Although this thought has occurred to me as well, I don’t think it is due to my blog entry or my map that the Space Invaders start to disappear. Five had already been taken down before I discovered their whereabouts. Having observed the HK street art scene over the last three years, it’s obvious that here in HK street art, unfortunately, disappears rather quickly. Paste-ups are being taken down, stencils and graffiti being painted over. Sometimes it happens in a matter of days and that without anyone making their whereabouts known. Officials and property owners around here are just very quick. By making the locations of the Space Invaders known, I simply want to share my joy of this wonderful street art with others and want to enable them to quickly find it (which, especially, for travelers, who have only little time in a city, is quite valuable). For those wanting to remove the Space Invaders and use them for their personal gain, these people don’t need my information because people like that will always find a way of getting what they need. I think, keeping the locations from others would be a pity for I think it does not necessarily “preserve” street art for any longer but keeps interested people from seeing it and therefore possibly ruins their chances of ever seeing it in person before it disappears.

      1. Fair enough, sharing is good and in fact that I was planning to go and take day time photos of the Shek-O ones this weekend and you’ve saved me a trip. Part of the fun for me is the discovery, having spotted or worked out where they are, so I don’t reveal their exact location on photos that I’ve posted.

        Invader does sell pieces in galleries in the West and it was saddening to see some of the London ones being removed and sold on eBay.

        Anyway, might run into you chasing Space Invaders 🙂 Happy hunting!

  2. Thank you so much for your map which I’m using to see as many invaders as I can this weekend. Unfortunately numbers 7,8,9 & 39 have all been removed 😦 Thought you might want to update your map.

    1. I’m very happy that you could make good use of the map :). It’s so sad to hear that another four have already been removed :(. Thanks for the info, though, I’ll update the map accordingly. Enjoy the rest of your Space Invader tour :).

      1. More destruction to report: 23, 18, 34, 19 and most disappointingly 13 – Hong Kong Phooey have all been removed 😦

      2. Thanks for the update Nina. By the way, Invader’s Peach Princess and Megaman can be found indoors at a newly opened restaurant/bar called “Bibo”, which is very close to the Man Mo Temple ;).

      3. I follow invader on Instagram and he posted a couple of pics on Hong Kong today. There might be some new mosaics to find!

      4. Hi Nina, thanks so much for the hint on Invader’s new piece. Your hint made me go on the hunt again ;). I found it on Nathan Road and finally managed to put up a new post with pictures of the new piece.

  3. I can’t thank you enough for the map. Thank you! Had started to catch some in early March then discovered your map! But couldn’t get on again till this month. Yesterday I was somewhere nearby those spots and found 01, 04 & 15 gone. The dollar sign that’s really close to 15 is still there surprisingly, must be some superstitious thingy. That’s the whole building there..removing $ = $ less, haha~

    1. Sorry for the late reply, Kelly. I’m really happy to hear that you were able to enjoy at least the remaining few Invaders :). And thanks so much for the update on the ones that have been removed, I’ll update my map. By now, there are unfortunately only very few left :(.
      I absolutely agree with you on the superstitious thing, never remove a possibly auspicious money sign or luck could turn against you, at least in the traditional Chinese way of thinking ;). The funny thing about this dollar sign is that someone, presumably the owner, put up a notice right next to it, stating that it is “illegal” to post something on that wall. So someone made the effort of getting up there and placing that note but didn’t “dare” to take down the dollar sign. Too funny.
      And by the way, Invader’s Princess Peach and Megaman can be found at “Bibo”, a newly opened restaurant/bar very close to Man Mo Temple ;). I couldn’t get a good picture yet, but stay tuned ;)…

  4. thank you for the great map. I’ve been able to find 6 of them, and I hope to catch 2 tomorrow… Anys news about the ones in Stanley ? Are they still there ?
    THanks again for your good job.

    1. Dear Viviane, glad you could still make good use of the map because by now most of them have disappeared. Unfortunately, I don’t have any recent info on the ones in Stanley.
      To my knowledge the following ones are still around (I have recently seen them): numbers 3, 16, 17, 24, 29 and 30. No. 29 and No. 30 are difficult to see, though, because the buildings that they are located at have recently been prepared for some kind of construction and those typical “small-netted” tarps have been put up.
      I know that the following ones are gone for sure since I walked past those locations: numbers 1, 2, 4-15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 26, 27, 33, 35, 36, 39 and of course 43-48.
      I haven’t checked up on the following ones, I have only heard that these ones are gone: numbers 20, 25, 28, 34, 37, 40 and 41.
      I’m not sure about the following ones since I haven’t heard about their removal or walked past the location: numbers 23, 31, 32, 38 and 42. Hopefully those are still around and you get to see them.
      Enjoy the “hunt” ;).

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