Memorable work by memorable young man
Victoria Harbour came to life on a giant canvas yesterday after British artist Stephen Wiltshire drew for six days in a marathon race with memory. The black-and-white sketch spanning 10 metres is as much a feat of artistry
as prodigious memory: he flew over the harbour on a 20-minute helicopter ride and drew for nearly a week based solely on the visual memory of the ride. The sketch contains every building and structure on both sides of the harbour from North Point to Shueng Wan, and from West Kowloon through Tsim She Tsui to Hunghom.
'This is my Christmas gift to the people of Hong Kong,' said Stephen, 31, a local hero in west London and a celebrity in Britain, who showed off his creation at Maritime Square in Tsing Yi. He will fly home today.
Tom Yim, 12, was among many children by Stephen. 'Tom also has an autistic tendency but when I took him to meet Stephen [on Sunday], he was so inspired by the drawings he wanted Stephen to teach him,' said his mother, Frances Wong. She said Tom has also displayed abilities in drawing and visual memory, and had a special interest in logos and fonts.
Stephen has been a celebrity ever since in his native England, and has published several books of drawings. A 1991 book based on a collection of drawings of buildings in Venice, Amsterdam and Moscow topped the British non-fiction best-sellers list. His best drawings and sketches now command thousands of dollars.