Hong Kong set to get creative during Arts Month
From Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central to local neighbourhood exhibitions, tours and street performances, during the month of March Hong Kong will showcase the destination’s wide cultural diversity across all the arts, creating a kaleidoscope of colour, ambience and creativity for visitors and locals to enjoy.
For those heading to Asia’s World City in March, here are a few must-sees:
Muse about international art: Now in its seventh year, Art Basel Hong Kong (29 to 31 March 2019) will return to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with a lavish visual feast, and will feature 242 galleries from 36 countries, 21 of which are new additions. Coinciding with this is Art Central (27 to 31 March 2019). Now in its fifth year, the event will showcase over 100 galleries from around the globe. Complimenting this will be a range of carefully curated performances, large-scale installations, new media art and talks.
New cultural hotspots preserving history: In recent months Hong Kong has seen a surge of cultural hubs emerge across the city, including the impressive Xiqu Centre, which opened in January this year and is the first venue to open in the much-anticipated West Kowloon Cultural District. Dedicated to the preservation of Cantonese opera, the Xiqu Centre is making waves for its striking architectural design that juxtaposes traditional and modern elements. Visitors can stop by to admire the architecture, watch a traditional Cantonese opera and/or enjoy traditional tea and dim sum at the Tea House Theatre.
Another recent addition is The Mills, an innovation and cultural hub transformed from a textile factory. Situated in Tsuen Wan, once an industrial area and now a major residential district, The Mills celebrates the golden days of Hong Kong’s textile industry and carries on the legacy by nurturing the city’s creative talents. The Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT), which is set to officially open in March, provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about the history of Hong Kong’s textile industry and the current local and global textile arts landscape – including the traditional cotton-spinning process. The exhibition Unfolding: Fabric of Our Life starts from 16 March 2019 and runs until 30 June 2019.
Tai Kwun is yet another key heritage site worth visiting. One of the city’s largest heritage revitalisation projects to-date, it took a decade and HK$3.8 billion to complete. Three iconic monuments are now part of this cultural destination that houses a world-standard contemporary art museum, and some of the city’s chicest restaurants and boutiques. During Hong Kong Arts Month visitors can enjoy free site-specific performances, urban dance battles, community and contemporary dance, workshops and screenings in the HKArtsFestival@TaiKwun programme over two weekends (2 to 10 March 2019).
Stroll through living galleries: The art experience in Hong Kong is not limited to standalone events and places. Out in the open, art has spread into the corners of most neighbourhoods, creating a series of living “street art museums”. Take a stroll through Central, Sheung Wan or the latest“ARTLANE” in the hipster Sai Ying Pun area, where local and overseas artists have turned walls and staircases into their canvas’ to create unique pieces of art. “Shutter Art” has also become popular around Hong Kong, painted by young local artists under an initiative aptly called “HK Urban Canvas” the artwork depicts the unique personalities and stories behind local shops.
More than meets the eye (and the lens): For a more sensory stimulation explore the variety of performing arts events, the most notable of which is the Hong Kong Arts Festival. With a history of over four decades, this year’s event will feature 166 performances and more than 300 activities by over 1,700 artists from around the world during the 31-day-long programme this year (21 February to 23 March 2019).