The new retail concept aims to help revive a neighborhood hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Winding across a hillside above Hong Kong’s main financial district, Hollywood Road has long been a major draw for antiques-hunters on the lookout for exquisite pieces, though recent years have seen a glut of trendy coffee shops, bars, and restaurants competing for attention. But long-running coronavirus restrictions — combined with the city’s notoriously high rents — mean that the lion’s share of these establishments have been forced to close for good, giving the neighborhood the air of a ghost town.
Cue the latest initiative by Liang Yi Museum, a three-story private institution on Hollywood Road that houses one of the world’s best collections of Chinese antique furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties. To breathe new life into the area, the nine street-level retail spaces owned by the museum, all located directly beneath the premises, have been refashioned as the Liang Yi Arts Corridor. The move is aimed at supporting local galleries and design-led retail businesses, while affirming Hollywood Road as the go-to destination for experiencing Hong Kong’s dynamic art scene.
Liang Yi Museum is offering tenants of the Arts Corridor short-term flexible leases and charging just half the market rent as a measure of goodwill. To ensure the integrity of the overall concept, applications are open only to tenants in arts-related fields. One of these is Rossi and Rossi, a London-born gallery headquartered in Hong Kong Island’s South Side; its brand-new space will promote dialogue between artists from wide-ranging backgrounds.
“While the Covid-19 crisis has been tough on our neighborhood, we can’t help but see this as a silver lining,” said Lynn Fung, director of Liang Yi Museum, in a statement. “It has forced us to think out of the box, and really question what will make our stretch of Hollywood Road the most attractive to art-lovers. We hope to be able to curate an exciting group of tenants that will offer visitors the opportunity to visit a world-class museum; go to an old-school antique shop; and see some contemporary art all in one afternoon. Rossi and Rossi were the first to sign on to this concept, and we are excited to see what galleries will follow.”