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Hong Kong Cultural Calendar 2014 | Best Art Events and Festivals

Hong Kong Cultural Calendar 2014 | Best Art Events and Festivals

Picture of A. J. Samuels
Updated: 9 February 2017
Hong Kong is known as the gateway between East and West, where cultures clash and coalesce to form one of the most exciting cities in the world. With a cultural life that thrives thanks to its status as a world-class metropolis, Hong Kong offers a vast choice of things to do, from art exhibitions to cultural festivals, film events and concerts. Here are 10 of Hong Kong’s unmissable events in 2014.

HKREP International Black Box Festival

17 January – 30 March

The Hong Kong Repertory Theatre is the city’s oldest and largest professional theatre company, staging a diverse range of quality local and international plays. The company’s Black Box Theatre specialises in innovative and experimental works. Between January and March, the inaugural International Black Box Festival will present five cutting-edge theatre performances from around the world, under the theme ‘Body and Performance – A Beautiful Connection’. These are: Monsters by Artocrite Theater (Hong Kong), the award-winning Roots by The Finger Players (Singapore), 1:0 by M.O.V.E THEATRE (Taiwan), Fragments of Clay by Ian Morgan (UK) and Suddenly Married by Seinendan (Japan). Performances include Chinese and English surtitles, where appropriate. The festival also features workshops and talks with renowned professionals within the theatre world, promising to give a valuable insight into the creative possibilities of theatre as an art form.

Hong Kong Repertory Theatre Ltd., 4/F Sheung Wan Municipal Services Building, 345 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 3103 5930.

HKREP International Black Box Festival
© HKREP International Black Box Festival

Hong Kong Arts Festival

18 February – 22 March

The Hong Kong Arts Festival is an annual extravaganza of arts and culture, one of the biggest in Asia. Since 1973, the festival has brought a wide variety of performance arts to the city, ranging from the classical to the cutting-edge, including opera, theatre and dance. In 2013, the festival presented 1,500 artists and over 140 performances, including many Asian and world premieres. This year, a whole host of international stars and ensembles will descend upon the city, including the London Symphony Orchestra, acclaimed Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva, jazz star Gregory Porter and Milan’s celebrated La Scala Ballet. There is also a programme of alternative, public performances and talks. With such a diverse programme, there is no doubt that there is something to suit even the fussiest of culture enthusiasts.

Various locations across the city. For more information, please visit the Hong Kong Arts Festival’s website.

Ju Ming – Sculpting the Living World at the Hong Kong Museum of Art

28 February – 15 June

This will be the first major solo exhibition of world-renowned Taiwanese sculptor, Ju Ming, in Hong Kong. Ju Ming’s Living World series was created in New York in the 1980s, a time when he progressed from woodcarving to experimenting with abstract human forms, using a variety of new materials such as stainless steel, stone and pottery. The resulting works are exciting, quirky and endearing in equal measure. This exhibition at the Contemporary Hong Kong Art Gallery will show the evolution of Ju Ming’s craft through 120 pieces, which explore the roles and stories of people in their daily lives, and the artist’s reflection on modern existence.

Contemporary Hong Kong Art Gallery, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2721 0116.

Hong Kong ArtWalk

12 March

Held every year, the Hong Kong ArtWalk is the city’s largest charity art event, raising money for the Society of Community Organisation. The event involves 70 galleries throwing open their doors to ArtWalk participants, with complimentary food and drink provided by leading restaurants, and additional small-scale installations and performance art scattered in-between venues. The vibrant gallery scene is concentrated around the wonderful Central Hong Kong and Sheung Wan districts, on the atmospheric and sloping streets of the city’s heritage area. The event makes for a wonderful night of exploration, discovering Hong Kong’s unique, rambling streetscapes and diverse art scene.

Various locations across Central Hong Kong and Sheung Wan. For more information, please visit Hong Kong ArtWalk’s website.

You – Lee Kit at the Cattle Depot Artist Village

6 March – 13 April

Housed in a former slaughterhouse in Ma Tau Kok, Kowloon, the Cattle Depot Artist Village is now an artistic community and home to around 20 artist groups. A highlight for 2014 is Lee Kit’s solo exhibition, You, which is developed from You (you), his critically acclaimed presentation for Hong Kong at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, where he was earmarked as one of five artists to watch. The exhibition will transform the Cattle Depot Artist Village, staging new works alongside You (you) in a multimedia exploration of the personal and the universal, memories both real and imagined, within the artist’s preoccupation with the quotidian. The exhibition is free to the public, and will include screenings and talks (programme yet to be announced).

Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2200 0204.

Hong Kong International Film Festival

24 March – 7 April

The Hong Kong International Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious events in the world of Asian cinema, bringing together filmmakers and audiences to present a wealth of cinematic wonders. The festival usually hosts over 330 premieres from more than 50 countries, bringing world-class films to a wide audience, as well as promoting local up-and-coming talent. The festival is also a showcase for the ever-shining Hong Kong and Chinese film industries. Details of the full programme will be announced on 27 February, with tickets released on 1 March.

Various locations across Hong Kong. For more information, please visit HKIFF’s website.

St Matthew Passion at the Hong Kong Philharmonic

18 – 19 April 2014

For their 40th professional season (2013/2014), the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO), one of Asia’s most respected ensembles, will present a variety of works by Mahler, Shostakovich and Dvorak, among others. For two nights only, HKPO will present Bach’s awe-inspiring and evocative masterpiece, St Matthew Passion. Conducted by Jaap wan Zweden, who has been HKPO’s musical director since 2012, this will be the orchestra’s first full performance of the work. Also performing are the Hong Kong’s Children’s Choir, the acclaimed Bach Choir from London, and an international cast of soloists.

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, 10 Salisbury Rd, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2734 2009.

Art Basel Hong Kong

15 – 18 May 2014

Launched in 2013, Art Basel in Hong Kong has assumed a significant role in the international art world. With half of the participating galleries hailing from Asia and Asia-Pacific, this is a vital platform for bringing the region’s rich art to the wider world, making it an axis around which the Asian art scene rotates. For the inaugural year, 245 galleries from 35 countries were presented, with over 60,000 people attending the show. This year, Art Basel will take place between 15 – 18 May, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Works from established masters and emerging talent will be shown, across the sectors of Galleries, Insights, Discoveries, Encounters and Film. Attended by collectors, artists, dealers, curators and critics alike, this event is a must for the discerning art-lover and those wishing to immerse themselves in Asia’s dynamic art scene.

Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong, +852 2582 8888.

Hong Kong International Literary Festival

October/November 2014

Held annually since 2001, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival has become an important event in the cultural calendar, offering ten days of literary talks, readings, debates and workshops. The festival celebrates the development of English-language literature across the world, especially outside of the Anglo-American tradition, most notably the work of Asian writers. In the past it has attracted the literati from around the world, including Nobel prize laureate Seamus Heaney, former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, award-winning Indian author Amtiav Ghosh, and notable Chinese expats Ma Jian and Jung Chang. The programme is yet to be announced, but judging from past festivals, book-lovers will not be disappointed.

For more information, please visit Hong Kong International Literary Festival’s website.

Hong Kong International Poster Triennial

November 2014 – February 2015

Presented by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in partnership with the Hong Kong Designers Association, the Hong Kong International Poster Triennial has been running since 2001 and seeks to document and celebrate the developments in poster art. Every three years, designers are invited to submit their work, with awards given under the categories of ideology, promotion of cultural events, commercial and advertising, and thematic. This year, the competition will be judged in February, with an exhibition of outstanding entries starting from November. This promises to be an electrifying overview of the most up-to-date graphic design from across the world, and well worth a visit.

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Rd, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, +852 2180 8188.