Esther Poon, yarn bombing in Sha Tin

Meet Esther Poon

Yarn bombing, a street art where knitters and crocheters put swatches of knitted or crocheted yarn on public objects, began in 2004 in the Netherlands and has spread to become a worldwide phenomenon.

I had no idea about yarn bombing before I Knit MK [a yarn-bombing event in Mong Kok in 2012]. When I went to search online about it, I found it was crazy outside Hong Kong. I realised these colourful yarn bombs could have a positive effect on passersby and this fuelled my enthusiasm, provoking me to take my own creations to Hong Kong streets two years ago.

Once I have a target, I take the measurements. Then I do most of the work at home beforehand. I am self-taught and with 30 years of knitting and crochet experience, I have become fast fingered. I usually complete a job in a few days, allowing the near-completed works to be attached swiftly to items in the street. I did it all on my own at the beginning.

After working as a fitness instructor and personal trainer for 15 years, I am now focusing my energy and enthusiasm on my true passion for knitting and crochet. My plan is to inspire people to learn graffiti knitting, starting with communities and schools. I offered lessons to the public and formed my first crew last year. They are now working with me on various large projects.

My mottos are “never give up” and “nothing is impossible”. Thank you, Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, who invited me to participate in the promotion of arts activities a year ago, which gave me time to plan the patterns for Lek Yuen Bridge in Sha Tin. The team is very well-organised and helped coordinate the work. Sha Tin Park is a good place to promote my street art, so that my works are not concentrated on Hong Kong side, but are also across the territory.

I worked with students from more than 20 schools. They learned the crochet techniques so fast and produced their own creative designs for poles. Seeing the bridge come to life made me feel amazing. After we finished the installation, and we were looking at Lek Yuen Bridge, my crew asked, “Esther, what is your next step?” At that moment, I decided: Tsing Ma Bridge, the longest suspension bridge for both rail and road traffic in the world.

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