The eyes of the art world have turned to Hong Kong.
The eyes of the art world have turned to Hong Kong last week week as colour, creativity and vibrancy descended upon the city for the arts and culture scene. Headlined by large-scale fairs Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central, the internationally renowned celebration of arts and culture saw a suite of world-class events, encounters and experiences taking place throughout the city, showcasing Hong Kong’s thriving creative landscape while reinforcing its position as a global cultural hub.
Art Basel Hong Kong (March 23-25) was host to the biggest edition of the international art fair since 2019 which this year featured 177 exhibitors from 32 countries and territories. Taking place concurrently will be Art Central (March 22-25), Hong Kong’s homegrown art fair that has established itself as one of the region’s most significant platforms for emerging artists. These two world-class art fairs have helped Hong Kong become firmly established as one the world’s foremost hubs for international arts and cultural exchange.
In particular, Hong Kong Tourism Board teamed up with Art Central in launching an “Arts in Hong Kong café” to invite visitors to walk into the contemporary art gallery like café and see the collaborative works of local and overseas artists.
Show-stopping installations, must-see exhibitions across Hong Kong:
As Hong Kong’s stock on the global arts stage continues to go from strength to strength, a host of opportunities for artistic encounters could also be discovered around town.
Harbour City was home to large-scale work ‘GIANTS: Rising Up’. The first of French artist JR’s GIANTS series in Asia, this 12mx12m installation depicts a larger-than-life high-jumper in graceful mid-flight backdropped by the iconic Victoria Harbour, and features a nod to traditional Hong Kong craftsmanship with the use of bamboo scaffolding, running from 13 March to 23 April 2023.
Pacific Place hosts the world premiere of ‘Gravity’, a 10-metre-tall work by Los Angeles-based conceptual artist Awol Erizku. The piece is a playful depiction of the figure of King Tutankhamun that invites visitors to take a detour from their usual route, and represents the first-ever offsite activation of Art Basel Hong Kong’s Encounters sector, running until 2 April 2023.
ArtisTree this month has unveiled ArtisTree Selects: Urban Rocks, a solo exhibition featuring brand-new sculptural works by Hong Kong-based French artist Polo Bourieau. The 12 stone sculptures, made in the intimacy of the artist’s Tuscan workshop in 2021, are inspired by Chinese scholars’ rocks, and examine humanity’s indelible mark on the planet, running until 9 April 2023.
Clouds, Power and Ornament – Roving Central Asia is now showing at CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) at The Mills. Greater China’s first-ever comprehensive Central Asian textile art exhibition features works by 26 art and culture creators from the landlocked region to explore how artists and designers there use textile as a medium of preservation, response and cohesion. Opening to the public until 21 May 2023.
Street art was in the spotlight with prominent showcases examining the movement from its beginnings to the here and now.
Street art festival HKwalls made a vibrant return to Hong Kong. The eighth edition of the much-loved event once again has transformed neighbourhoods in the Central and Western District into outdoor galleries, and has also invited six internationally acclaimed mural and street artists to create their first pieces in the city.
Another harbourfront highlight was ‘VLTRAPHOTONICS’, a 4,000sqm digital artwork by Spanish street artist J. Demsky that took over the façades of Tsim Sha Tsui Centre and Empire Centre. The site-specific work, a collaboration between HKwalls street art festival and Sino Group, will light up Victoria Harbour each night until 12 April with over 82,000 LED bulbs.
K11 Arts Foundation presented City As Studio, Greater China’s largest ever exhibition of graffiti and street art. Curated by Jeffrey Deitch, the show examines the history of the form from its emergence as counter-cultural expression in 1970s New York to its rise as a global phenomenon, and features works by pioneers Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Fab 5 Freddy, Lady Pink and more.
Throughout the year, Hong Kong plays host to a vibrant and diverse range of arts and cultural events that showcase the city’s creative energy and talent. These events set the stage for even more cultural celebrations, such as the upcoming Le French May.