WITH the continuous celebrations of the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, a painted tramcar featuring artworks of a tiger and Hong Kong’s colorful festive celebrations appeared in the city last Feb. 5.

Rattling through the streets of Hong Kong Island, the tramcar adds to the festive mood in the advent of this major Chinese festival.

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Designed by local artist John Ho, this Chinese New Year-themed tram is one of the painted tramcars under the “Art in Motion” program by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), which has been launched to enhance the community’s awareness of “Festive Hong Kong 2010”.

The HKTB has invited 12 local illustrators, including famous comic artist Lee Chi Ching, to illustrate “Festive Hong Kong 2010” and the various festivals and cultural celebrations during the year with their creativity and stylish painting. Their artworks will be showcased on the body of Hong Kong’s iconic tramcars, which have been operating in the city for more than a century. They will add to the artistic touch of the city’s streetscape.

During the launch ceremony, HKTB chairman James Tien said: “We hope we could bring more residents and visitors to know about ‘Festive Hong Kong 2010’ through the ’Art in Motion’ program, and instill greater understanding of the unique cultural activities in Hong Kong as promoted by the Tourism Board. This program is also part of our effort to promote local art and culture. We do hope it will provide a platform for showcasing the talents of our artists and in turn encourage the creation of art in our city.”

The “Art in Motion” program will feature 12 tramcars painted in the theme of “Festive Hong Kong 2010”. Depicting the festivals and cultural celebrations during six major promotional windows of the year, they will travel through Hong Kong Island until March 23. The six major promotional windows of “Festive Hong Kong 2010” are: Chinese New Year Celebration (January and February), Hong Kong Culture Celebration (April and May), Hong Kong Summer Spectacular (July and August), Hong Kong Halloween Treats (September and October), Hong Kong Wine and Dine Month (November) and Hong Kong WinterFest (December).

Theme Festive Hong Kong 2010 is the marketing theme of the HKTB in 2010-11, designed to encourage visitors to come experience the unique culture, as well as the colourful fusion of Chinese and Western festivities that can only be found in Hong Kong. Throughout the year, the HKTB will organize a series of mega events, which will be promoted along with the traditional festivals and cultural celebrations, as well as major events launched by third parties. The HKTB aims to further elevate Hong Kong’s image as the events capital of Asia, and create greater business opportunities for the tourism, retail, dining and service sectors of the city.