“Beardmoor” by Gilbert and George at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong | Photo by Kitmin Lee / Courtesy of the artists and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul
Over the last decade, Hong Kong has been at the centre of an Asian art boom, with world-class galleries and festivals fuelling the city’s rise as a creative capital. Feast your eyes on thought-provoking works with this essential roundup of the best art galleries in Hong Kong.
Tang Contemporary Art
Ai Weiwei’s “Law of the Journey” at Tang Contemporary Gallery, Hong Kong
Founded in Bangkok in 1997, Tang Contemporary Art has grown to include galleries in Beijing and Hong Kong. A pioneer on the Asian contemporary art scene, the gallery’s focus is on Chinese and Southeast Asian contemporary artists, including leading Chinese figures such as Ai Weiwei, Huang Yongping, Shen Yuan and Wang Du. Tang Contemporary Art was the first gallery to move into H Queen’s – Hong Kong’s first “vertical art complex”, housed in a state-of-the-art glass tower designed specifically with galleries in mind.
Founded in 2010 with the goal of fostering a critical dialogue between Asian and international contemporary artists, Edouard Malingue Gallery showcases the works of both emerging and established creatives – from Hong Kong sound performance artist and composer Samson Young, to leading Korean abstract painter Cho Yong-ik. Here, you’ll find art from across different disciplines, including video, painting and installation.
“Beardmoor” by Gilbert and George at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
In 1996, Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin founded Lehmann Maupin in New York, later expanding to Seoul and Hong Kong. Set within the Pedder Building – one of very few surviving pre-war buildings in Hong Kong’s financial district – the gallery champions artists working with groundbreaking forms of visual expression, showcasing works that address themes such as globalism, gender, religion, politics and class.
Specialising in handcrafted furniture, decorative objects and antiques, as well as collectable items made with precious materials, 88 Gallery might just be Hong Kong’s answer to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Here you can marvel at meticulously made pieces by renowned international artists such as Belgium ironworker and designer Ado Chale and French jewellery designer Robert Goossen.
“Something there and never there” installation by Leung Chi Wo at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong
Conceived with the goal of showcasing contemporary photography and image-based art, Hong Kong gallery Blindspot has since evolved to include other mediums and forms of contemporary art. Visit this 7,000-square-foot gallery in the industrial neighbourhood of Wong Chuk Hang on the southern side of Hong Kong Island to acquaint yourself with works by local Hong Kong artists and creative figures from across Southeast Asia.
Founded in 1996 by local artists Patrick Lee, Leung Chi-wo, Phoebe Man Ching-ying, Sara Wong Chi-hang, Leung Mee-ping and Tsang Tak-ping, Para Site is one of Hong Kong’s oldest independent, artist-run institutions for the visual arts. This cutting-edge gallery runs exhibitions and educational programmes exploring local and international contemporary art, and frequently engages in collaborations with other art institutions, museums and schools. These projects include Para Site’s International Art Residency Programme and pioneering educational scheme for training young local art professionals and curators.
Set over two floors in a minimalistic building designed by London architects Maybank and Matthews, the Hong Kong branch of London’s White Cube gallery presents a packed programme of contemporary art and sculpture exhibitions. Artists represented include famed talents such as Welsh conceptual artist, filmmaker and sculptor Cerith Wyn Evans; British contemporary artist Damien Hirst; and German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer.
Art lovers in Hong Kong with a penchant for the avant-garde won’t want to miss Whitestone Gallery. Founded in Tokyo, Whitestone Gallery is one of just a few galleries in Hong Kong with a key focus on Japanese art. With a strong emphasis on promoting avant-garde Post-War Japanese artists, its roster includes well-known artists such as Takeo Yamaguchi, Tadaaki Kuwayama, Yayoi Kusama and Yoshitomo Nara, as well as members of the radical Gutai group, including painter Jiro Yoshihara. The gallery also represents emerging talents from outside of Japan, including Hong Kong designer, photographer and artist Alan Chan.
Specialising in ancient Chinese antiques – from Tibetan Buddhist statues and Ming and Qing Dynasty porcelain, to Shang-era bronze vessels and relics from the Tang Dynasty – Joyce Gallery also showcases a wealth of contemporary Chinese paintings. With its rich mix of artworks and artefacts, it is a great place to learn more about Chinese history, culture and aesthetics.
German-born, New York-based art dealer David Zwirner is known as one of the most influential figures in the art world. Through his eponymous galleries, Zwirner and his team represent close to 60 artists working across different mediums, among them cultural icons such as Bauhaus pioneer Josef Albers; Japanese avant-garde multimedia artist Yayoi Kusama; and Jeff Koons, known for his pop-art aesthetic. In 2017, the David Zwirner Gallery opened its first Asian gallery in H Queen’s. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition was Fire from the Sun – a series of haunting oil paintings by Belgian artist Michaël Borremans.