Hong Kong’s flourishing arts scene goes wild this month with an inspirational spectrum of arts events planned in various neighbourhoods across the city.
With events ranging from worldclass happenings downtown and performing arts programmes from around the world, to unique and exciting arts offerings in local communities, there is something to suit all tastes during the “Hong Kong Arts Month”. These are the highlighted international events and community programmes not to be missed.
The Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) is the premier event to kickoff the “Hong Kong Arts Month”. The 46th HKAF will feature more than1,700 international and local artists in 130 performances until March 24. This year’s highlights include “Whipped Cream”, by the American Ballet Theatre, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime”, by the National Theatre of Great Britain, and Debussy’s “Pelleas et Melisande”, staged by the Welsh National Opera.
Another highlight is Art Central Hong Kong, which will be staged in the Central Harbourfront Event Space from March 27 to April 1, with a VIP preview and inauguration event to be held on March 26. The fourth edition will return with 30 galleries participating for the first time and more than 100 international galleries, over 75 per cent of which are from AsiaPacific, making it the largest edition in scale by far. Art Central Hong Kong’s dynamic weeklong programme also includes interactive installations, performances and a panel discussion.
Art Basel in Hong Kong, now in its sixth edition, will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 29 to 31. The worldfamous international art fair will feature 248 leading galleries from 32 countries and territories, with 28 of them from AsiaPacific, Europe and the Americas participating for the first time. Art Basel will offer an expansive view of its diverse arts vision, historical materials and cuttingedge works by established and emerging artists.
Authentic and inspiring arts happenings in local Hong Kong neighbourhoods are also gems to be discovered. Sham Shui Po, a local neighbourhood that offers one of the most heritagerich experiences in Hong Kong, is one of the standouts in this edition. The HK Urban Canvas community art project, organised by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, has brought talented local artists and students together to create 10 shutter artworks that tell the stories of the local shops in the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood. Visitors are encouraged to join weekend tours from lateMarch to midApril to learn more about the art project and the neighbourhood. Free guided cultural tours conducted in Cantonese or Mandarin are available on a firstcome, firstserved basis. For details, visit the Facebook page of @HKUrbanCanvas.
If you are visiting Art Basel, consider gallery hopping in Wong Chuk Hang as well. The South Island district, which includes Wong Chuk Hang, has been an upcoming art hub in Hong Kong thanks to the opening of the MTR South Island Line in late 2016. On South Island Art Day on March 29, around 16 art galleries and studios in the South Island Cultural District will open their doors to host exhibitions and performances. Free guided tours are available for reservation at firstname.lastname@example.org, or onsite on the event day. For details, visit www.Sicd.com.hk.
Hidden within industrial buildings in the New Territories is Fo Tan, another upandcoming art neighbourhood that is less known to visitors. Since 2000, it has been transformed from a predominantly industrial district into a vibrant artistic community thanks to affordable rents in the area. From pottery, sculpture and Chinese calligraphy to contemporary art pieces, visitors can always find something of interest in the neighbourhood. On March 31, Fotan Open Studios will offer a great opportunity for those who are interested to meet and exchange ideas with, and be inspired by, local artists. For details, visit www.Fotanstudios.org.
There will be a lot more to explore in key art and cultural spaces, such as the PMQ, the Fringe Club, and various hotels and malls like K11 and Pacific Place. Special mention must be made of Hong Kong’s first international sculpture park — the Harbour Arts Sculpture Park — which will showcase museumquality sculptures at the Victoria Harbourfront until April 11. This admissionfree event will be staged at the Central and Western District Promenade and will feature sculptures by over 18 emerging and renowned local and international contemporary artists. The event offers a unique opportunity for visitors get up close with the art pieces at the edge of the iconic Victoria Harbour.
Another highlight is Notating Beauty That Moves – Music at an Exhibition at the ArtisTree of Taikoo Place until March 29, in which musical scores in the classical and contemporary hands of composers from the past and present, artworks of various forms as well as concerts by topnotch musicians will be presented.
Find out more by checking www.DiscoverHongkong.com/eng/seedo/eventsfestivals/highlightevents/hongkongartsmonth.jsp.