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City Art Guide: Hong Kong

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City Art Guide: Hong Kong

In the past few decades, Hong Kong has positioned itself as the hub for art world activity in Asia. The arrival of the Art Basel franchise solidified Hong Kong’s place as a global art city, with numerous international and blue-chip galleries opening in the late 2000s. The city has flourished with commercial art galleries, but is notoriously lacking on the institutional front – something that is set to change with the much-anticipated opening of M+ Museum in 2019 as well as the recent opening of Tai Kwun's art space. 

Hong Kong also holds an exceptional reputation for art fairs and their success. It is home to events such as Art Basel Hong Kong, as well as Art Central. Last year, Art Central saw a record of 39,041 international collectors, curators and art enthusiasts. With over 100 leading international galleries in participation, we highly recommend experiencing an art fair if your schedules line up! 

 

Quick Tips

Getting around in Hong Kong is very easy – walking is an option for most destinations in Central, an MTR [train] ride allows you to avoid getting stuck in traffic, and taxis are affordable and readily available.

For ease of access, stay in Central. Most major hotel chains have at least one property in Hong Kong, but be prepared for small rooms given Hong Kong’s scarcity of space.

Hong Kong at any time of the year is guaranteed to keep you busy, but the best time to go for art purposes is in March to coincide with Art Basel Hong Kong, and the recently launched Art Central satellite fair.
 

Commercial Galleries
 

10 Chancery Lane Gallery 
G/F, 10 Chancery Ln, SoHo, Central

Image courtesy of En.cafa

10 Chancery Lane gallery was one of the first galleries in Hong Kong to focus on Chinese Contemporary art and remains on the forefront of the scene to this day, representing and promoting important artists from the region. In addition to the original gallery space, which was founded in 2006, a much larger warehouse space was opened in 2013.

ART PROJECTS GALLERY 
17/F, 17A, 43 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, Regency Centre Phase 2, Wong Chuk Hang
Founded by architects, ART PROJECTS GALLERY is an art gallery and consultancy established in Hong Kong in 2010. They work with both established and emerging artists and aim to promote and encourage artistic innovation.

Axel Vervoordt Gallery 
15/F, D, 30 Queen's Rd, Entertainment Building, Central
Axel Vervoordt Gallery was founded by Boris Vervoordt in the center of Antwerp in January 2011 as part of the Axel Vervoordt Company. As a strong supporter of Zero and Gutai art movements from its inception, the gallery’s vision has gradually evolved into contemporary art with a special interest in the concept of the void and the experience of space and time. In May 2014, Axel Vervoordt Gallery expanded to Hong Kong and opened its first overseas exhibition venue in the city's central district, while the Belgium gallery has now relocated in Kanaal. Both locations work closely with living contemporary artists while actively engaging with local and global audiences.

Blindspot Gallery 
15/F, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, Po Chai Industrial Building, Wong Chuk Hang

Image courtesy of Blindspot Gallery

Set up in 2010, Blindspot Gallery is a Hong Kong-based contemporary art gallery. The gallery began with a primary focus on contemporary photography and image-based art, and has evolved to include diverse media in contemporary art. The gallery represents both emerging and established artists, mainly from Hong Kong and the region but also beyond.

De Sarthe Gallery 
20/F, 21 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, Global Trade Square, Wong Chuk Hang

Image Courtesy of De Sarthe Gallery 

De Sarthe Gallery was founded in Paris in 1977 and since then has expanded to New York, Beijing, and Hong Kong. From inception, the gallery quickly made a name for itself in the secondary market, selling 19th and 20th century Asian and Western masters, and has recently expanded its focus to include important Chinese contemporary artists.

Edouard Malingue Gallery 
6/F, 33 Des Voeux Rd, Central
Edouard Malingue Gallery occupies the entire 6th floor of a building in Central. The gallery focuses on solo exhibitions and tightly curated shows often mounted in collaboration with outside curators.

Empty Gallery 
18 & 19/F Grand Marine Center, 3 Yue Fung Street, Tin Wan
With an unconventional curatorial approach, Empty Gallery presents exhibitions by emerging and established artists that focus on ephemeral, time-based and non-object-oriented practices.

Osage Gallery 
4/F, 20 Hing Yip St, Union Hing Yip, Factory Building, Kowloon

Interior of Osage Gallery
Image courtesy of Osage Gallery


Osage Gallery represents significant Asian artists with multi- disciplinary practices, and focuses on the artistic relationship between different regions in Asia, and the interaction of Asia with the rest of the world. The gallery has represented a number of Southeast Asian artists for over 10 years and believes strongly in the importance of arts education for the young, and the ability of the creative arts to shape communities.

Pace Gallery 
15C Entertainment Building, 30 Queen's Road Central
A leading international contemporary gallery, Pace Gallery was established in Hong Kong in 2014, joining the gallery’s nine other locations. Pace decided to keep it small in Hong Kong – nothing like the gallery’s vast spaces elsewhere in the world, but still worth a visit. 


 

Exterior of Pedder Building
Image Courtesy of WGSN.com

The Pedder Building is a hub of art activity in Central Hong Kong. This building was built in 1923 and is the only pre-war building left on Pedder Street. This historically commercial building was given a new lease of life with the establishment of a number of blue chip international galleries. Starting with Ben Brown Fine Arts (3/F) in 2009, art world giants Gagosian (7/F), Pearl Lam Galleries (6/F), Simon Lee (3/F), Massimo De Carlo (3/F) and Lehmann Maupin (4/F) have joined suit. Local veteran Johnson Chang also calls Pedder Building home to one of his two Hanart TZ (4/F) spaces in the city. 

Ben Brown Fine Arts
Pedder Building, (3/F)
Ben Brown began his career at Sotheby's, where he spent 10 years in the Contemporary Art department, reaching the level of director. Ben Brown Fine Arts opened its first location on Cork Street in the heart of Mayfair, London, in 2004. The gallery has prominently positioned itself on the contemporary art scene with the sole UK representation of artists. 

Gagosian 
Pedder Building, (7/F)
Gagosian, one of the most successful commercial galleries in the world, needs no introduction. Founded by Larry Gagosian, Gagosian is a contemporary art gallery owned and directed by Larry Gagosian. The gallery exhibits some of the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Hanart
Pedder Building, (4/F)
Hanart TZ Gallery has been a pioneer in exploring the Chinese cultural map for over 30 years, and has represented and worked with numerous artists now internationally prominent. The Gallery opened in November in 1983 with the mission of introducing new Chinese contemporary art both to Asia region and internationally. The Gallery soon became a magnet for both established and emerging artists of greater China art world from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as the international diaspora. 

Pearl Lam Galleries
Pedder Building, (6/F)
Founded by Hong-Kong born gallerist Pearl Lam, Pearl Lam Galleries is a driving force within Asia's contemporary art scene. With over 20 years of experience exhibiting Asian and Western art and design, it is one of the leading and most established contemporary art galleries to be launched out of China.

Simon Lee 
Pedder Building, (3/F) 
Founded in Mayfair, London in 2002, Simon Lee Gallery represents artists of diverse generations whose practices range from sculpture and painting to video and photography and who share a broad interest in an exploration of the conceptual.

Massimo De Carlo 
Pedder Building, (3/F)
The space in Hong Kong, opened in 2016, is Massimo De Carlo’s third venue. The Hong Kong gallery inaugurates the year before the 30th anniversary of Massimo De Carlo gallery.

Lehmann Maupin 
Pedder Building, (4/F)
Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin founded Lehmann Maupin in 1996. In addition to its diverse American artists, Lehmann Maupin represents artists and estates from across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and has been instrumental in introducing numerous artists from around the world in their first New York exhibitions.
 



Galerie Perrotin 
17/F, 50 Connaught Rd, Central
Galerie Perrotin moved in above White Cube in 2012, but like many international galleries that have opened in Hong Kong, Perrotin had already been heavily involved with artists in the Asian region. Perrotin is known for his early collaborations with Maurizio Cattelan and Takashi Murakami, as well as his interest in merging art and music.

Pékin Fine Arts 
Union Industrial Building, 48 Wong Chuk Hang Road 16 /F Aberdeen
 

Image courtesy of Pékin Fine Arts 

In 2012, Pékin Fine Arts opened its Hong Kong gallery branch in Aberdeen’s Wong Chuk Hang district. Established by 20-year China resident Meg Maggio in 2005, Pékin Fine Arts plays an important role in promoting Asian artists internationally.

Rossi & Rossi
3C, 6 Yip Fat St, Yally Industrial Building, Wong Chuk Hang

Rasheed Araeen’s solo exhibition “Going East” at Rossi & Rossi Hong Kong. Image courtesy Rossi & Rossi.

Originally founded in 1985 in London, Rossi & Rossi is a leading dealer in traditional Indian and Himalayan art, early Chinese and Central Asian textiles and a pioneer in the development of contemporary Asian art.

Sin Sin Fine Art 
52 Sai St, Central
The first gallery to bring the works of innovative Indonesian artists to Hong Kong,  Sin Sin Fine Art has flourished in the past two decades since the gallery was launched in 2003, with an eye for spotting emerging talent from the archipelago. 

Sundaram Tagore Gallery
44/F, 57–59 Hollywood Rd, Central

Images courtesy of Sundaram Tagore Gallery


Sundaram Tagore Gallery was established in 2000 in New York and subsequently opened in Hong Kong and Singapore. The gallery focuses exclusively on notions related to the subject of globalization and promoting cross-cultural dialogue.

White Cube 
50 Connaught Rd, Central

Image courtesy of White Cube

White Cube opened its first overseas venture in Hong Kong in 2012 after Jay Jopling participated in Art Basel HK and decided to expand his gallery to Asia. White Cube HK is spread over two expansive and beautifully renovated floors, mounting ambitious shows that bring greater visibility to their mainly British roster of artists and generating a new market for them in Asia. 


 

H Queens is located in the Central District of Hong Kong
Image courtesy of H Queen's


Situated at the intersection of the historical Pottinger Street and the bustling thoroughfare of Queen's Road Central in Hong Kong, H Queen's presides over a truly prestige position that will transform the cultural dynamic right in the heart of Central. An architectural icon in itself, the development houses non-traditional spaces for exhibition with the interest of promoting the arts as well as expanding the audience for art. It is now home to some of the biggest international galleries, including a double stroey outpost of New York Gallery David Zwirner (5/F & 6/F), Hauser & Wirth (15/F &16/F), Pace (12/F), Whitestone Gallery (7/F & 8/F), Galerie Ora-Ora (17/F), Tang Contemporary Art (10/F) and the second outpost of Pearl Lam Galleries (9/F) within Hong Kong. Also joining this cluster of contemporayr galleries is Korean auction house, SA+ Seoul Auction. 

David Zwirner
H Queen's, 5/F & 6/F 
This Hong Kong location marks David Zwirner's Asian debut in 2018. Since opening its doors in New York in 1993 it has been home to innovative, singular, and pioneering exhibitions across a variety of media and genres. Active in both the primary and secondary markets, the gallery has helped foster the careers of some of the most influential artists working today, and has maintained long-term representation of a wide-ranging, international group of artists.

Hauser & Wirth
H Queen's, 15/F &16/F

Image courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

In March 2018, Hauser & Wirth opened its Hong Kong outpost – and first permanent gallery space in Asia – in the newly-developed H Queen’s complex. Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong totals 10,000 sq ft, and extends across the 15th and 16th stories of H Queen’s, the purpose-built stacked gallery building designed by William Lim of CL3. Annabelle Selldorf, who has worked closely with Hauser & Wirth since 1996 and overseen the architectural renovation of six of the gallery’s exhibition spaces internationally, has developed the gallery’s interiors.

Whitestone Gallery 
H Queen's, 7/F & 8/F

Image courtesy of Whitestone Gallery

Founded in the heart of Tokyo in 1967, Whitestone Gallery has been a pioneer gallery in Japanese art scene. For the purpose of creating more dialogues between art and region, they opened Karuizawa New Art Museum in Karuizawa in 2012 as a rare example of private museums in Japan. Then, in the viewpoint of local and global, they set up two operations in Hong Kong, the most stimulus center for art in Asia; firstly, Whitestone Gallery Wong Chuk Hang Road, and consecutively, Whitestone Gallery Hollywood Road. 

Galerie Ora-Ora 
H Queen's, 17/F
Ora-Ora began in Hong Kong in 2006 with globally-sourced artists who are thought-driven innovators. Their artists interpret history and philosophy to bring new perspectives to our modern world and the lively dialogue of east and west.

Tang Contemporary Art 
H Queen's, 10/F
Tang Contemporary Art was established in 1997 in Bangkok, later establishing galleries in Beijing and Hong Kong. Tang Contemporary Art produces critical projects and exhibitions to promote Contemporary Chinese art regionally and worldwide and encourage a dynamic exchange between Chinese artists and those abroad.


Independent Organisations + Artist-Run Spaces 

 

Image courtesy of Asia Art Archive

Asia Art Archive  
11/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan
An independent, non-profit organization launched in 2000, AAA is dedicated to documenting and making recent art histories within the region accessible to all. AAA makes their vast collection of primary and secondary sources available to the public through their website and onsite library in Hong Kong.  

Asia Society Hong Kong Center 
9 Justice Drive, Admiralty
Asia Society Hong Kong Center is one of the 12 global centers for the New York-based educational organization dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding and partnerships. Housed in a former explosives magazine site of the old Victoria Barracks, Asia Society hosts a wide range of programming, from exhibitions to lectures to film screenings. 

Para Site 
22/F, 677 King’s Rd, Wing Wah Building, Quarry Bay
Para Site is one of Asia’s oldest active art organizations and holds a fundamental position as a centre for art in Hong Kong. Founded as an artist-run space in 1996, ParaSite has evolved to produce exhibitions, publications, discourse, residencies and educational programs that are always ambitious and always relevant.

Tai Kwun Contemporary
10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Image courtesy of Tai Kwun 

Tai Kwun is the Centre for Heritage and Arts, a place of inspiration, stimulation, and enjoyment for all Hong Kong people. Tai Kwun aspires to offer the best heritage and arts experiences, and to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of contemporary art, performing arts and history in the community.

It is situated in the restored Central Police Station compound, one of the most significant revitalization projects in Hong Kong, comprising three declared monuments—the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison.
 

Form Society
186 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong 
 

Image courtesy of Time Out

Tai Nan Street in Sham Shui Po has become the stomping ground for many hipsters in recent years. Form Society, for example, often displays illustrations, multimedia and animation works by emerging local talents, and also hosts intimate artist talks.

 


 

Download the pocket version of our Hong Kong City Art Guide.
Click here for more City Art Guides!  


Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. 



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