Hong Kong is one of the Asian international art scene’s premier destinations. The city boasts some of the region’s best independent and international galleries, as well as a thriving local art scene. If you’re interested in taking an art tour of Hong Kong, here’s a guide to get you started.
Hong Kong Museum of Art
From fine art to calligraphy scrolls to antique Chinese ceramics, the Hong Kong Museum of Art’s collection encompasses 15,000 works of art spread over seven galleries and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in historical and contemporary Chinese art. The Museum of Art’s excellent branch museum, the Flagstaff Museum of Tea Ware, occupies a 1840s colonial building in Hong Kong Park. It contains an elegant collection of tea ware dating from the 11th to the 20th centuries, free tea ceremonies, and exhibits detailing the importance of tea in Chinese society.
*Note: The Hong Kong Museum of Art is currently closed for a major renovation and expansion. However, the Flagstaff Museum of Tea Ware branch museum is still open.
M+ Pavilion is part of the West Kowloon Cultural District, a forthcoming 40-hectare arts and culture hub on the waterfront of West Kowloon. Most of the multibillion project is still under development, including the M+ museum, which will possess an astounding 183,000 square feet of exhibition space. Until M+ opens in 2019, the smaller M+ Pavilion is serving as a temporary site for M+ exhibitions. Check the schedule for more information.
Hong Kong Arts Centre
The Hong Kong Arts Centre is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to visual art, dance, film, theatre, and literature. The building’s fourth and fifth floors make up the Pao Galleries, a split-level exhibition space that showcases contemporary art, photography, and design. Past exhibitions have included works by celebrated artists such as Daido Moriyama and Imran Qureshi, among many others.
2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2582 0200
Hong Kong boasts over 200 art galleries, from big name international dealers to small independent players. If you want to get to know the local gallery scene, your first stop should be Soho, a stylish neighborhood in the upper region of Central. In particular, the winding streets of Hollywood Road and Wyndham Street boast some of the city’s most prestigious galleries, nestled between hip restaurants and boutique shops. We highly recommend Accidental Art’s Soho Gallery Tour, a superb introduction to Hong Kong’s art scene placed in the larger context of the Asian contemporary art market.
If you want to do some gallery-hopping on your own, here are some names to keep in mind:
New and alternative galleries: Check out Gallery EXIT, for progressive, boundary-pushing art; Above Second, specializing in urban art; Blindspot Gallery, for innovative contemporary photography; and PubArt Gallery, dedicated to representing and nurturing local Hong Kong talents.
Hong Kong’s burgeoning street art scene has been propelled to new heights since the advent of HK Walls, an annual street art festival and indie community project that began in 2014. Each year, the festival focuses on a single neighborhood in Hong Kong, collaborating with local business owners and landlords who are willing to let street artists paint over their walls and storefront gates. Renowned street artists fly in from all over the world to participate in this unique urban art event.
To date, the neighborhoods that have been transformed by HK Walls are Sheung Wan, Stanley Market, Sham Shui Po, and Wong Chuk Hang. Details about every artwork and where to find it can be found on the HK Walls website.
Bibo is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Featuring works by renowned artists such as Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Banksy, and more, this restaurant’s enviable collection is worth a visit in its own right. Excellent French gastronomy and a mile-long wine list are added bonuses.
G/F, 163 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2956 3188
The two Michelin-starred Duddell’s is a Cantonese restaurant and art space rolled into one. Occupying two floors, with an interior designed by the celebrated London-based designer Ilse Crawford, Duddell’s presents curated art shows year-round in its dining spaces and in-house gallery. It’s the perfect spot for art aficionados to dig into some first-rate dim sum and cocktails.
Level 3 Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2525 9191
Helmed by British chef and restaurateur Tom Aikens, The Pawn offers modern British cuisine in one of the city’s most unique dining spaces, a landmark building in Wanchai dating back to 1888. The art displayed here is curated by the acclaimed Stanley Wong (also known as anothermountainman), and is made up entirely of works by Hong Kong artists, including pieces by Wong himself.
62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2866 3444
Other points of interest
Comix Home Base
Comix Home Base is an art community and platform dedicated to Hong Kong’s animation and comics industry. Managed by the Hong Kong Arts Centre, the hub is located in a cluster of ten historic buildings built in the 1910s in Wan Chai, a district that has long been connected to Hong Kong’s comics heritage.
There are exhibitions, animation screenings and workshops held throughout the year. You may also want to check out the Comix Salon on the second floor, a reading lounge with a collection of print and digital comics from Hong Kong and overseas.
7 Mallory St, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2824 5303
Hong Kong Arts Month
In the Hong Kong art world, March is the highlight of the year — four insane weeks of exhibitions, art events, pop-ups, seminars and more. It’s a time when international collectors and connoisseurs descend on the city for shows like Art Basel, Art Central, and the Asia Contemporary Art Show, as well as a slew of smaller events and happenings. If you’re interested in any of the big art shows, be sure to get your tickets as early as possible — they sell like hot cakes!