Last year I visited HPV for the first time and was blown away!!! Loving quirky, over-the-top and out-of-the-ordinary things I just looooooved the place.
A fantasy-world, outsider-art, a very special area.
After that visit I tried to find more info and background about HPV (there is not much and it's not easy to find) and made my own photobook about it.
At that time many of the sculptures were 'under maintenance'; being completely or partially covered in white base-paint, waiting to be freshly repainted. And for damage to be repaired.
I liked that (partial) chalk-white look amidst al the colours; it had a special effect.
In the past HPV has known glorious times; bustling with (paying) visitors and activity. Nowadays it is free (no entryfee), yet almost deserted.
It seems like a forgotten place, which makes me fear for its future:-(
Returning to the place a few weeks ago, I was anxious to see what had become of the repainting and repairs. Would progress have been made? Or would the place have gone further downhill??? (for the dutch speakers amongst us: in verval raken)
I was so happy to see that renovations, improvements and maintenance had kept going on!
Many sculptures looked brandnew with their bright, sometimes gaudy (I don't mind 'gaudy'. Hahaha....) repainted colours.
There were now displays with info, also in English. Great! Now I was able to read and understand a bit more about what was depicted;-).
In this blog you can see clearly the differences between 'before' and 'after', between a year ago and now.
Just for fun.....;-)
And because this place deserves a lot more exposure and appreciation then it gets nowadays...
Go and check it out for urselves!!!! (Please note that some parts of the huge park are not suitable for small children; the sculptures are too scary, mainly in the Ten Courts of Hell.)
|Tiger Balm Gardens, right? So are there any tigers around? Sure they are! More then enough;-)|
|The Ten courts of Hell indoor area was still there and repaired and repainted where necessary.|
|Look e.g. at the -missing- hand from the lady in the foreground.|
|Nowadays she found her hand back;-)!|
|He was missing his right hand a year ago....|
|And now he not only hs his hand back but is also keeping a big knife in it.|
|When you exit the inferno of the Ten Courts of Hell, you literally return to the light, to the upper-world. The sun shines bright and you see the sweet pastel colors of the 360 degrees diorama structure.|
|...with all sorts of daily scenes depicted.... This part was not maintained at all, which is a pity!|
|Walking along we encounter all sorts of scenery's, sculptures, tales and mythological storylines.|
|I love the detailing in most sculptures (over a 1000!!!) in the whole park.|
Find the difference between a year ago and now:.....
|They are all looking at something that is not there...???|
|Aha, there was supposed to be this victim (car-accident)|
|Different angle, same group.|
In the area of what once used to be a koi-carp-pond, the mermaids were still there, in all their glory.
Then we have the area with the enormous scenery's of sea-battles and other wars... there's so much to see!
Walking through the park you may encounter giraffes, seals, bears and other animals scattered around, making you wonder what they are doing there...
The following area I did not notice the first time. New? Or did I just miss it?
Along a lane there is a series of tableaus, partly 2D, partly 3D. The shape and size of each tableau is comparable to an undeep bus-stand-shelter.
In a corner of the park there is an area with four gigantic masks hanging at the fence. They are really huge!!!
One year later, one of the four had fallen down and was lying flat on his face. Hopefully it will be reinstalled soon;-).
And our walk continues: this area seemed new or different to me as well. Not all the sculptures, but their environment, yes....new to me....
|As you can see, there is still lot of maintenance to be done. I guess it's a neverending task.|
|Renovated part of the park.|
Some corners of the park are fenced off and off-limits. I tried to peek through some tiny openings and discovered that behind there, there are scenery's with some sculptures, maybe to be tore down or to be renewed???
In the middle of the park was once a beautiful villa, home of the brothers of the Tiger Balm. During the war the Japanese confiscated it and later, when one of the brothers died, the other one did not want to live there anymore. It has been destroyed. This is what it looked like.
And this is what the whole park looks like: quiet, green and next to the 1000 statues there are several pavillions, memorials, temples and bridges on the premisses. Also a museum.
Great place for a picnick!
|You can imagine why the brothers chose these premisses for their home and gardens: on a hill, overlooking the sea. It must have been a fantastic place to live!|