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In Tribute to the World Famous Atoll Reef Ocean Park Launches Exclusive Animal Painting Exhibition by Local Prodigy


(30 November 2010 - Hong Kong) Ocean Park today hosted a preview exhibition of 26 animal paintings by 5-year old local painting prodigy Kenny Lau Kin-Gi, whose works will be available for public viewing inside the Atoll Reef from now until the end of Christmas Sensation on 2 January 2011. Designed as a panoramic coral island that simulates the Indo-Pacific marine ecosystem, the Atoll Reef spans four floors of aquariums and is home to around 2,000 fishes of close to 250 species, providing guests spectacular under-water views of the animal ambassadors. During this holiday season, Park guests can take this last chance to visit their favourite aquatic species at the 33-year-old Atoll Reef before the aquarium is closed for renovation and the fish move to the Grand Aquarium, their new home in the Park’s soon-to-open new marine-themed flagship attraction, Aqua City. Starting from today, Ocean Park will also accept registrations from the public to take part in exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime animal encounter programs inside the Atoll Reef for yet more wonderful memories. Also available this Christmas is The Flash, which was recently opened, bringing guests unprecedented thrills, Hong Kong’s first ever Living Christmas Trees offering a most romantic ambience, and a host of Christmas-themed playtime activities for kids. Guests of all ages can look forward to the most spectacular Christmas Sensation at Ocean Park this year.

Kenny Lau Kin-Gi, at the tender age of five, has already received numerous awards at international competitions and exhibitions, including most recently the Medal Award in the 14th International Art Exhibition for Children and Young People in Finland, and was selected as the overall winner of the 2010 “Protect the Tiger” International Drawing Contest organized by World Wild Fund for Nature. The 26 paintings on exhibit have been donated by the Lau family for a charity auction, hosted by Mr. Kevin Ching, Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s Asia, that will take place on on 12 December to benefit Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK). Among the subjects explored in this collection of paintings are some of Ocean Park’s most iconic species, including the giant panda, the dolphin, the seal, the sea jelly and more! To commemorate this remarkable benefaction, Ling Kee Publishing will publish an art book featuring the 26 paintings. Royalties from the book will also be generously donated to OPCFHK.

Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, said, “The Atoll Reef is truly a treasure-trove of endearing memories for many of our guests as the very place where they first fell in love with the majestic beauty of the ocean and fathomed the meaning of marine conservation. This is certainly the case for Kenny, whose parents revealed to me that his animal paintings were inspired by Ocean Park and our animal ambassadors. We are very appreciative of the opportunity to share his love for nature with the many guests who will be coming through the Atoll Reef during Christmas Sensation to savour wonderful memories.”

Joining Dr. Zeman, the Lau family and Mr. Kevin Ching at today’s ceremony in support of the exhibition at Atoll Reef and wildlife conservation are: Ms. Suzanne Gendron, Director of OPCFHK; Ms. Marja Korhonen Consul of Finland; Mr. Jaroslav Kantůrek, Consul General of the Czech Republic; Dr. William Yu, Head of Climate Programme of WWF; Mr. Allen Au, Executive Director of Ling Kee Publishing; and Mrs. Nellie Fong Wong Kut-man, GBS, JP.

Ms. Gendron said, “The Foundation is deeply grateful to the Lau family for their generosity in supporting our wildlife conservation efforts throughout Asia. Kenny’s paintings are truly remarkable to behold for their inspired embodiment of his love for animals. We will continue to draw inspiration from his vision and brushstrokes as we promote conservation awareness and protect endangered wildlife.”

During Christmas Sensation, Ocean Park is offering exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for guests to make the most unforgettable memories at the Atoll Reef. Under Diving with Marine Stars, for a fee of HK$1,500 (HK$1,350 for SmartFun members), guests aged 12 or above, with valid diving certificates, will have a chance to swim alongside the aquarium’s marine residents for the ultimate immersive experience.* Families with younger children may consider signing up for Aqua Camp, which offers a unique sleepover excursion right inside the Atoll Reef. The programme fee (adult/child: HK$1,000/950, HK$950/855 for SmartFun holders) covers BBQ dinner at Terrace Café and breakfast at the Panda Café, as well as a behind-the-scene tour and more. Part of the proceeds from these two programmes will go towards OPCFHK to support wildlife conservation.** Guests interested in the inner workings of their favourite aquarium can also register at the Guest Relations Office at the Main Entrance for a free Atoll Reef Behind-the-Scenes Tour, which includes interactive experiences such as touching a shark’s skin and egg shells.

The festive atmosphere in the Summit will be extra sensational this Christmas as many guests will be screaming from the top of their lungs on their first ride on the Park’s newest attraction – The Flash, a pendulum thrill ride that has riders seated in a gondola facing outwards with legs dangling in the air. The gondola swings a full 360 degrees while rotating simultaneously, giving riders a wonderful view of Ocean Park from high up together with the most exciting free fall effects among pendulum swing rides in the world.

Motion and excitement continue at the Waterfront Plaza with the Xbox 360 Kinect Adventure Zone, which will feature three latest titles for Xbox 360 Kinect, the revolutionary controller-free video game system that allows players to use full body movements to control game action. Guests can try out Kinect Adventures!, Kinect Sports and Dance Central for dizzying adventures, competing in 6 different sports and boogying to different tunes respectively.

Guests taking a rest from exhilarating action can bask in the romantic atmosphere surrounding Hong Kong’s first ever Living Christmas Trees. They will be swept away by an extravaganza of sights and sounds as a choir encircling a matching pair of 20-foot Christmas trees will be performing live every evening beside a giant 40-foot Christmas tree to accompany the Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Lights Show.

Whisker’s Harbour, transformed into a gingerbread house, will await younger Park guests with a variety of interactive games with traditional Christmas themes. They can show off their creativity by decorating a giant gingerbread man at Ginger Bread Dress Up before finding their way through a glittering Christmas wonderland in Sparkling Mirror Maze. High-tech meets traditional Christmas themes at Interactive Fun, with a touch screen Christmas game and an augmented reality kiosk. Kids can join elves in a treasure hunt in a pool of rainbow-coloured balls at X’mas Elf Challenge while the smaller guests will enjoy running around giant plush toys in Inflatable Obstacle Course, which is also a great location for taking photographs with the Giant Gingerbread Family.

Dr. Zeman added, “The holiday season is the perfect opportunity for us to spend time with our loved ones and to enjoy things that are truly meaningful in life. As the animal encounter programs at the Atoll Reef are only available for a very limited time, I encourage everyone to plan ahead and register as early as possible. With part of the proceeds benefiting wildlife conservation, these programmes will also make for particularly meaningful holiday gifts.”
* Guests would need to bring along their own wet suits, regulators, masks, boots and valid dive certificates.

** Guests interested in taking part in Diving with Marine Stars and/or Aqua Camp must apply in advance through Ocean Park’s website at www.oceanpark.com. Applications are accepted starting today.