For those who love the arts and are considering where to travel during the upcoming March or Easter holidays, why not discover Hong Kong’s flourishing arts scene? Headlined by Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF), Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central, Hong Kong Arts Month showcases an inspirational spectrum of arts events planned in various neighbourhoods across the city. With events ranging from world-class art happenings downtown and performing arts programmes from around the world, to unique and exciting arts offerings in local communities, there is something for everyone during Hong Kong Arts Month.
Acclaimed International Art Events
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by the National Theatre of Great Britain
The Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) will kick off the Arts Month, featuring over 1,700 international and local artists in 130 performances. This year’s highlights include “Whipped Cream” by the American Ballet Theatre, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by the National Theatre of Great Britain, and Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande” staged by the legendary Welsh National Opera.
Art Basel in Hong Kong, now in its 6th edition, will take place will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 29th to 31st March. The world-famous international art fair will feature 248 leading galleries from 32 countries and territories, with 28 of them from Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas participating for the first time. Art Basel will offer an expansive view of its diverse arts vision, historical materials and cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists.
Art Basel in Hong Kong
If you are visiting Art Basel, consider gallery-hopping in Wong Chuk Hang as well. The South Island district, which includes Wong Chuk Hang, has been an upcoming arts hub in Hong Kong thanks to the opening of the MTR South Island Line in late 2016. On South Island Art Day on 29th March, around 16 art galleries and studios in the South Island Cultural District will open their doors to host exhibitions and performances. Free guided tours are available for reservation at [email protected], or on-site on the event day. Please visit www.sicd.com.hk for more details.
Another highlight is Art Central Hong Kong, which will be staged at the Central Harbourfront Event Space from 27th March to 1st April, with a VIP preview and inauguration event on 26th March. The fourth edition will return with 30 galleries participating for the first time and over 100 international galleries – of which over 75% are from Asia-Pacific – making it the largest edition in scale by far. Art Central Hong Kong’s dynamic week-long programme also includes interactive installations, performances and a panel discussion.
Savour Distinctive Arts in Local Neighbourhoods
The HK Urban Canvas community art project has brought talented local artists and students together to create 10 shutter artworks in Sham Shui Po
Authentic and inspiring arts happenings in local Hong Kong neighbourhoods are also gems to be discovered. Sham Shui Po, a local neighbourhood which offers one of the most heritage-rich experiences in Hong Kong, is one of the highlights in this edition of Hong Kong Arts Month. The HK Urban Canvas community art project, organised by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, has brought talented local artists and students together to create 10 shutter artworks that tell the stories of local shops in the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood. Visitors are encouraged to join weekend 2 tours from late-March to mid-April to learn more about the art project and the neighbourhood. Free guided cultural tours conducted in Cantonese and Mandarin are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit HK Urban Canvas’ Facebook page for more details.
Fo Tan Open Studios
Hidden within industrial buildings in the New Territories is Fo Tan, another up-and-coming art neighbourhood that is lesser known to visitors. Since year 2000, it has been transformed from a predominantly industrial district into a vibrant artistic community, due to the the more affordable rents in the area. With pottery, sculpture and Chinese calligraphy to contemporary art pieces, visitors will definitely find something of interest in the neighbourhood. On 31 March, Fotan Open Studios will offer a great opportunity for those interested to meet and exchange ideas with local artists, and be inspired by them. For more details, please visit www.fotanstudios.org.
There are definitely a lot more to discover in terms of art while also enjoying everything else that Hong Kong has to offer! So if you’re looking for a quick getaway to enjoy art, shopping and food – Hong Kong should be on your next destination list!
Photo credits: Art Basel and Hong Kong Tourism Board