I visited some art galleries and alternative spaces to see the local Hong Kong art scene. Financial Times describe this area as below,
…Hong Kong acts as a hub for wealthy buyers from the whole region, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia. This has not been lost on the world’s biggest player, Larry Gagosian, who has an office in Hong Kong and is now opening a major space to add to the eight (nine when Paris is unveiled) he already has around the world….Art HK10: the gateway to China
It means that the major art players are just using this tax free place to get to connected with the Asian collectors. The Hong Kong art scene itself needs more time to develop. Although by visiting many spaces and talking with the Hong Kong people, I felt that it is clearly stepping up and trying to develop their own art scene little by little.
Here are some interesting art spaces I visited.
1. Osage gallery Kwun Tong
Osage gallery is in an Industrial building(left) Entrance of the gallery(right)
Osage gallery Kwun Tong is on the 5th floor of an industrial building with a huge huge space! There are 5 exhibition rooms with one viewing room and an office. It reminds me of the galleries in New York with large space. Time Out Hong Kong awarded this gallery for the “Hong Kong’s best gallery.” Osage has 4 branched but worth visiting this a little far Kwun Tong space.
Images of exhibition “Abstraction in Asia Today”
Osage gallery Kwun Tong
5/F, Kian Dai Industrial Building, 73-75 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2. Cattle Depot Artist Village
Cattle Depot Artist Village’s Entrance (left) Ferry from North Point to Kowloon City Ferry Pier (right)
5 min walk from the Kowloon City Ferry Pier, there is an alternative space called “Cattle Depot Artist Village.” 1a space, Artist Commune, Videotage are the organization in this place. Although the Cattle Depot will open at 10am, strongly recommended to visit after 2pm since Videotage opens at that time.
1a space is an non-profit exhibition space founded in 1998 showing Hong Kong contemporary artist’s works and organize workshops and activities.
Unit 14, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong
3. Galleries in the Central and Sheung Wan Area
input/output is a newly opened space focusing on New media. In the right image, frog was connected with a cord which goes to an electronic piano and when the frog moves its legs, it makes some sound. The artist was remixing these sound and created a kind of techno music.
U/G, Tung Yiu Commercial Building, 31A Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
Gallery Exit was popular among the Hong Kong people. There were several people naming this gallery when I ask for recommendation.
G/F, Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong
Para/Site is an independent organization represented Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale numerous times. The space is small but they were organizing a show of Vito Acconci and Ai Weiwei.
4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
They utilise urban spaces like restaurants, coffee shops, lounges or old museums to host Art shows.
Gorotto fine art
2/F 31C-D Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
There are many galleries having spaces on or near the Wyndham Street and Hollywood Street in Cetral, Soho and Sheung Wan Area.
4. Art space in Mongkok Area
Entrance of C&G (left) and artwork “Sleepingsign2″ by Clara (right)
C&G Apartment is an alternative space run by two artists, Clara and Gum. The space consists of an art gallery and a visual art education room. With a strong concern over the local art ecology, C&G uses art to respond to social and cultural issues.
I personally liked this place the best! They are dealing with social problems with a twist. Most of the artworks make the audience laugh and the issue strongly remain in one’s mind. The place is a little difficult to find but worth going to see what is happening in Hong Kong.
Since Hong Kong is facing the rising rents, the artists Clara put a sleeping sign on the road so that people can have a place to sleep.(image on the right)
3/F, Sai Yeung Choi St. South 222, Prince Edward, KLN, Hong Kong
(Close to MTR station Prince Edward Exist B2 and Behind Pioneer Center)
G/F 404 Shanghai Street, Kowloon., Hong Kong
5. Tips for visiting galleries in Hong Kong
1) Get a MTR card named “Octopus”
Hong Kong is not a big city and very easy to walk around using MTR. If you are staying for more than two days, I recommend you to get a Octopus. It will cost HK$150 including HK$50 for deposit. Usually single ride will cost HK$5 – HK$10, you can take MTR and Ferry for more than 10 times without charging it. Very convenient.
2)Get an art map
I found three gallery guides. “Gallery guide”(left) will be good when you know the gallery name and want to know the place. It has a map but difficult to know the gallery name from the map. “Hong Kong Art Guide” is published by time out in full-colored pages. It introduces selected gallery from each area. Although no map included. “Art Map” may be most convenient to use. It has a map of Central and Sheung Wan area which is useful to walk around with. It should have detail map for other area also.
3) Visit after 2pm
Some galleries or open after noon but most of the alternatives spaces open after 2pm. Check the art map and call them before you visit not to miss their exhibitions.
For the art space called JCCAC, the studio in this organization seems to be always closed… It is a nice building but not worth visiting.
I was happy to find some galleries trying to pull out Hong Kong artists or some movements to use art for people to think about social issues, and would be excited to see how it will be changed in a year.
reported by Rasa Tsuda