Internationally Acclaimed Artist Fights to Save Pacman Inspired Art in Hong Kong

Although China is one of the most densely populated countries that embraces the importance of vintage arcade gaming, its officials don’t fee the same about video game inspired street art. Invader is a French born artist who is best known for creating images depicting notable moments and characters in pop culture. After settling in Hong Kong, Invader’s iconic work began appearing on buildings and walls. Most residents responded positively to images that appear to have been taken straight out of a classic Ms Pacman cocktail table, but local officials did not.

One image in particular has been created, destroyed and restored on multiple occasions. On the side of a tall gray wall, Invader painted Pacman and his wide, chopping, menacing mouth as he chased Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde. The mural is made more charming by the way that Invader captured and exaggerated the hard, pixilated edges found in the original Pacman game series. Hong Kong officials seem to believe that the Pacman inspired images hint at the area being unsafe, which is understandable given Hong Kong’s zero tolerance stance on street art in general.

Having created well known street art and murals in more than 50 countries, Invader reported that none of his past work has ever been censored. Hong Kong residents are probably more familiar with classic arcade games than most many in the west are because arcades never became passé. Many high school students in Hong Kong still go on dates to the arcade, which are housed with both new and classic video game titles. In fact, Namco Wonder Park, an arcade solely dedicated to showcasing Namco’s premiere arcade games, is based in Hong Kong.

It’s easy to see that Hong Kong residents living near the inspiring Pacman arcade mural like video games a lot. Even after the image has been painted over twice, they are hopeful that it will eventually return. Some people believe that street art is bad, even if it resembles the side of a vintage Ms Pacman cocktail table. Even if the Pacman mural doesn’t return to its original spot, Invader might be invited to recreate it in a new location that is safe from the scrutiny of Hong Kong officials.