We all know that Hong Kong is a growing centre of art. From street art, small art galleries to the most remote coffee shop, art can be found in even the most unexpected places. Despite having the most luxurious and exclusive galleries in the world, China is a blank canvas for budding artists, who can create exhibition venues where you least expect it, without lining our pockets.
One of these hidden spaces to see Hong Kong’s urban art begins at the Jen Hong Kong by Shangri-la hotel. Even though we might think that seeing art on the walls of a hotel does not sound remotely attractive, this hotel has struggled to get rid of the paradigms and turn art into its main attraction. This hotel has made collaborations with the Affordable Art Fair to exhibit incredible photographs that showcase rare moments of the Western District and its classic tramways. It definitely has become a place worth visiting when looking for unconventional art in Hong Kong.
While you are at it, you can also stop by the Gallery by the Harbour, a shopping centre always full of eager shoppers in every one of its great stores. Hidden inside this huge mall is a glass-covered gallery with the best view of Victoria Harbour. The pieces shown here strive to be accessible, featuring both popular and notable artists, a perfect escape from the world of consumerism and a luminous entrance to the world of art.
After this exciting tour through the bustling streets, you can seek refuge in a small but modern cafeteria, another space for art, where you can find good coffee, books, music and even a workshop, all in the same afternoon. This atmosphere is usually frequented by artists causing great waves in the local art scene, where they offer intimate talks about culture and art to anyone who is interested.
Just as there are many of these spaces where art and life in Japan converge, the streets are also brimming with art. You can simply walk around and find numerous explosions of color on the walls. For example, initiatives such as HK Walls have emerged to promote street art and provide local and foreign artists with a space to transform.
Just by walking around Soho, Central and the Western District you can see how many colorful contributions there are. In Elgin Street, Central, there is a mural that clearly depicts the problem of food waste in bright colors, initially a piece that was done in collaboration with the Feeding Hong Kong organization by artists Dan Kitchner and Charles Williams (TimeOut Hong Kong). No doubt a great place to admire or for the mandatory Instagram photo.
While you’re on Elgin Street, head over to Seoul Bros, a Korean fusion restaurant on the same avenue in SoHO Central, Hong Kong, and enjoy some sweet and sour or crispy chicken sandwiches and delight both your taste buds and sight with the mural that adorns its façade.
You’re sure bound to discover countless murals and incredible art pieces if you decide to tour the city on foot, but one mural you can’t miss is the one on the corner of Graham Street and Hollywood Road, a mural made famous by the thousands of tourists who visit it every year. Created by local artist Alex Croft, it illustrates in a colorful way some buildings and houses of the ancient chinese style, it was made as a commission from the lifestyle brand GOD, a store just around the corner, but it is nowadays a tourist landmark that characterizes Hollywood Road.
Just like the great metropolis it is, Hong Kong has something for everyone. Club Third, to begin with, is dedicated to promoting culture and artistic expression. Deep down an alley in Sai Yiung Pun, there is an indescribable location with an art mix that ranges from paintings and photographs by artists with multicultural backgrounds, the LGBT+ community, and many other different artists, that fill such a strange place with a unique artistic combination, rare to find anywhere else in the world.
Hong Kong has a piece of art for every person’s taste. For instance, you can also find wonderful and original shops like Mankha, which mix art with everyday objects and turn them into curious pieces created by independent artists or exclusive designs by renowned artists. You can go there with the purpose of laying your hands on a piece that you wouldn’t find otherwise, or simply visit the exhibitions that are made in the hall of this place, showcasing from photographs and street art, to impressive tattoo artists and even performance artists, such as the famous staging of NYOTAIMORI TOKYO, the team responsible for the art of decorating and eating sushi from the body of a naked woman.
Endless mysteries and treasures are hidden within the vastness of Hong Kong, waiting to be discovered. A surprise can await wherever you go to eat, shop, drink a coffee or simply walk through its streets. That is the magic that has been filling Hong Kong, and that is worth knowing and talking about.