Hong Kong’s Art Renaissance

In space-starved Hong Kong, former manufacturing areas are increasingly playing host to contemporary art galleries. Here are three to see.

Chai Wan

While much of this end-of-the-line Hong Kong Island locale remains industrial, with a bustling fishing port surrounded by factories, Chai Wan has also become popular with design studios, art galleries, and workshops. Recommended stops include 10 Chancery Lane Gallery Art Projects, credited with spearheading the migration of galleries eastward from the city center; Artify Galley for its contemporary art and paper works; and Blue Lotus Gallery, which focuses on Hong Kong’s identity through photography and paper-based mediums.

Inside Blue Lotus Gallery in Chai Wan. Both photos courtesy of the respective galleries.

 

Wong Chuk Hang

An emerging destination for both foodies and art lovers, the industrial spaces of Wong Chuk Hang on the south side of Hong Kong Island are now easily accessed on the city’s newest MTR line. Art Projects Gallery spotlights both established and emerging contemporary artists from around the region, while 650-square-meter Blindspot Gallery has branched out from its initial focus on photography and image-based works. Cross-disciplinary programming is on the menu at Spring Workshop, with a year-round calendar of exhibitions, musical performances and workshops, and artists’ talks. After you’ve explored these three venues, head to one of the area’s many private kitchens.

Fo Tan

This utilitarian precinct in the “new town” of Sha Tin rose to prominence in the early 2000s as a haven for young artists, thanks to low rents, a strong sense of community, and its position close to the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Today’s Fo Tan remains home to over 50 studios and more than 180 artists, a number that’s still on the rise. Housed in former meatpacking warehouses, the galleries cover the artistic spectrum, from painting, sculpture, and ceramics to photography, videography, and installation pieces. Must-sees are Joy Art Club—the workspace of artist Winnie Davies—and watercolor specialists Rainze Gallery. The best time to visit is in January, when a welter of smaller studios welcome the public as part of the Fotan Open Studios program.

A sculpture-themed talk at Fo Tan’s Joy Art Club.

This article originally appeared in the October/November 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Guide: Factory Creations”).

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