Hong Kong has long established itself as a world-class art hub, with its flourishing art scene from local artists and influences from all over the world. This is the spotlight every March for the city’s annual Arts Month. Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) lets you in on this year’s exciting events not to be missed.
With 1,600 outstanding international and local artists in 129 performances, the 45th Hong Kong Arts Festival ongoing until March 18, revolving around the idea of being “in the moment,” which will reflect in every part of the festival from the operas to the youth programs.
Highlights of this year’s performances include the Dream of the Red Chamber, for the festival’s opera section, which will be seen for the first time in an Asian city after its September 2016 premiere in San Francisco. In the section of jazz music, singer and actress Jane Birkin will bring her Gainsbourg Symphonic tribute to Hong Kong, celebrating Serge Gainsbourg’s legacy. The renowned Bayerisches Staatsballett (Bavarian State Ballet) makes its ﬁrst full-company visit to Hong Kong to open the dance section of the festival with their lavish production of La Bayadère.
Several plays will make its way to the festival’s theater section, from USA, Ireland, Norway, and more. In the music section, guests can enjoy the Hong Kong Odyssey concert, which features more than a hundred musicians and artists in a celebration of poetry, music and song that has been inspired by Hong Kong history and culture.
For the past four years, Hong Kong has been hosting a show of the world’s premier Modern and contemporary art through Art Basel. Staged in Basel, Switzerland and Miami Beach, apart from Hong Kong, Art Basel holds art exhibits and cultural events from leading galleries, both local and international. Their Hong Kong shows are where you can see the latest developments in art across Asia as well as the best from the West. Art Basel Hong Kong show, happening from March 23 to 25, will feature 242 premier galleries from 34 countries and territories.
For the first time, Art Basel will introduce the Kabinett sector to the Hong Kong show, with 19 curated mini exhibitions and projects ranging from solo shows to thematic group presentations from galleries within their own booths; apart from the usual sectors such as Discoveries, for emerging artists, and Encounters, for large-scale works.
Catch the Kukje Gallery booth which will feature the works of Dansaekhwa artists who spearheaded the avant-garde movement in Korea, alongside the works of contemporary Korean and international artists. The David Zwirner booth will showcase Belgian artist Luc Tuymans, who has been widely credited for contributing to the revival of painting in the 1990s. Galerie du Monde, the longest running and established contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong, will also be participating in Art Basel Hong Kong. The gallery will present important early works between the 60s and 70s by Fifth Moon members - a group of Chinese artists who were at the forefront of the modern art movement in Taiwan from the 1950s.
Happening simultaneously is Art Central at the Central Harbour front from March 21 to 25. The fair will bring together hundreds of galleries from all over the world, with 75 percent hailing from the Asia-Pacific. Catch the thematic street art presentation featuring Invader, Cleon Peterson, Hikari Shimoda, and Jerkface, and the mixed media textile works by Mehwish Iqbal, whose works are influenced by her experiences in her birth country of Pakistan and her current home in Australia.
Art Central will highlight representations of galleries from the Americas and Europe, including photography, experimental art, and rising artists. See the works of Juana Gomez, a Chilean artist who embroiders the central nervous system over photographs of the human body; and Lee Yanor’s video installations, emulsion and holograms made with experimental techniques interweaving art, dance, music, sound, and technology.
Numerous art exhibitions and events will also take place in the city during Arts Month. Walk along Hollywood Road, Hong Kong’s center of art and antiques, and be sure to stumble upon exhibits that will catch your fancy. Another go-to area for viewing contemporary art is the South Island Cultural District (SICD), comprising more than 22 local and international galleries and artist studios spread from Wong Chuk Hang to Ap Lei Chau, Tin Wan, and the emerging Aberdeen street. Take a break from your exploring here and check out the many hip restaurants and chic designer shops that Aberdeen Street has to offer. While here, do not forget to head towards PMQ for a vibrant burst of street art in every corner.
For a fuss-free and sure way to explore Hong Kong’s art scene is to sign up for one of the many art tours in the city. Check out the Soho Gallery Walk for a closer look at the city’s modern art, or Pedder Building Gallery Tour to learn more about contemporary Asian art in this historic building’s many galleries.
Allocate time to catch The Super Pool, a gigantic computerized installation fusing light, sound, technology and human interaction, which will be present to dazzle guests of all ages.
The whole city will be buzzing with color and creativity for the whole month of March. Do not miss out on these highly anticipated events, only in Hong Kong.
For more information, log on to discoverHongKong.com/best.
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