Many factors have gone into the creation of modern day Hong Kong. With its mixture of ancient Chinese culture and over a century of English colonial rule, the result is an eclectic global city like no other.
It’s just that kind of contradictory, yet surprisingly harmonious background that makes Hong Kong so fascinating. The result – a flourishing arts scene, where creative expression manifests itself in the form of jazz ensembles, orchestras, film festivals, street market operas, ancient and modern sculpture, and even wall art painting.
Like the various art forms, Hong Kong also hosts an exciting array of arts festivals throughout the year.
Annual events such as Art Basel may run for a short time (2018 season is 29-31 March), but the diverse collection available here make it one of the biggest events on the arts calendar.
Despite its name, over half the participating galleries hail from the Asia-Pacific region, with the show providing a platform for international galleries.
Dating back to 17th century Qing Dynasty, few art forms can compare to the creative expression of Chinese opera. Showcasing the mystique of ancient China, the heady combination of elaborate sets, costumes and makeup, mixed with music, singing, martial arts, acrobats and acting make for a captivating performance.
Once the exclusive art form of ruling dynasties, Chinese opera was commercialised in early 20th century. You can now find the extravagant performances in opera houses and theatres around the world; even the street markets of Hong Kong.
For a different tempo, professional dance troupes bring to life modern productions reflecting contemporary China’s landscape and culture.
City Contemporary Dance Company boast some of Asia’s best performers, with a wide-range of shows from the classical, to the avant-garde and electrifying.
Hong Kong Arts Month, held each March, highlights the city’s flourishing arts scene in venues across the city with exhibitions, seminars, film festivals, operas and much more.
Be sure to visit these arts venues during your Hong Kong sojourn.
Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon
Hong Kong has long been a city in love with the magic of cinema, and Broadway Cinematheque is one of the most popular venues in town for film fans to satisfy their appetites for international indies.
The art house cinema opened in 1996 in Yau Ma Tei, a historical neighbourhood that’s no stranger to film crews. It hosts various film festivals, including the Asian Film Festival, Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and Korean Film Festival.
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Comix Home Base
7 Mallory Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
Housed in the first preservation-revitalisation project of the Urban Renewal Authority, Comix Home Base is an elaborate display of local and international comics, with exhibitions, master classes, a comics’ resources centre, artwork launches and seminars throughout the year.
2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
Fringe Club provides an open platform for the arts, including visual arts exhibitions, stage performances and live music. It shares what used to be the Old Dairy Farm Depot with the Foreign Correspondents’ Club.
The brick-and-stucco low-rise structure was built in 1892 and was used as a cold-storage warehouse for ice and dairy products, long before the days of refrigerators.
Hong Kong Arts Centre
2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Arts Centre has been promoting contemporary arts and culture in Hong Kong since its founding in 1977. The self-financing organisation is one of the most respected arts institutions in the city.
Facilities include a digital 3D-equipped cinema, theatres, galleries, classrooms, studios, a restaurant, a café as well as offices occupied by local and international arts and culture organisations. Be sure to visit the Pao Galleries, which house year-round, world-class exhibitions of arts and crafts.
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
On the banks of Tsim Sha Tsui, overlooking the magnificent Victoria Harbour and skyline of Kowloon, is the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. It’s packed with cultural activities, including world-class concerts, operas, dance, drama, theatre and musical productions, film screenings, conventions, conferences and exhibitions.
Yau Ma Tei Theatre
6 Waterloo Road, Kowloon
Built in 1930, the Yau Ma Tei Theatre is the only surviving pre-war cinema building in Hong Kong’s urban area. Dedicated to the art of Cantonese opera, some shows come with English surtitles making it the perfect location for Western visitors to enjoy the charm of Chinese opera.
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