Art Week: Tyrrell Winston’s ‘tobacco ad’ art installation covered up at Hong Kong mall after gov’t warning

An Art Week installation featuring Winston cigarette branding has been covered up by a Hong Kong mall following complaints and a warning from health authorities.

Tyrrell Winston’s Double Technical exhibition at Landmark mall included a 12 x 10 metre basketball court with three basketballs nets of different heights at the centre. On the floor of the installation was a rippled version of the Winston tobacco trademark.

Tyrrell Winston
Photo: Tyrrell Winston, via Instagram.

The Department of Health’s Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office (TACO) said in a press release that it received multiple complaints over the alleged tobacco ad and made inspections on Monday and and Tuesday: “An installation on public display at the mall was found to contain the registered trademark text of a tobacco product brand. Related content and cigarette packaging boxes of the same brand were also found on the webpage of the mall… The relevant items were subsequently removed or covered.”

Landmark’s owners, Hongkong Land, told HKFP that the installation had been closed to the public and will be “completely replaced with another design” on Wednesday night: “Hongkong Land did not intend to promote or support the use of tobacco in any way and has taken prompt remedial action by speaking with the artist about adjusting his art installation design at the LANDMARK ATRIUM…. We have also removed any imagery of the original art installation from our social media channels and website.”

landmark mall
Winston branding is covered up. Photo: Supplied.

The Department of Health said it issued a reminder to venue management: “The venue management was also warned against further display of the tobacco advertisements at the venue and its website. The TACO is conducting follow up investigation in respect of the breach.”

HKFP noted the floor of the installation had been covered up with a golden blanket, during a visit on Wednesday evening.

Landmark mall
Landmark mall on Wednesday evening. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

HKFP has reached out to Winston, and his gallery, for comment.

When asked earlier this month by Hypebeast about his tobacco-related work, Winston said: “You know, smoking isn’t cool. We know it’s bad for you. But like, smoking is also fucking rad.”

According to the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance, the display of tobacco ads can attract a fine of up to HK$50,000, plus a further penalty of a HK$1,500 for each day during which the offence continues.

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