A taste of the arts

A taste of the arts

The vibrant district of Old Town Central is teeming with life and creativity. Hike up sloped pavements to explore art hubs and heritage buildings, and traverse through countless lanes to discover hidden cafes and excellent java. Whether you’re in need of a quick escape from the daily grind or simply looking for a place to rest your feet, one of these locations will provide the perfect sanctuary for you.

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Bask in world-class art at Central’s historical landmarks and modern high rises

Bask in world-class art at Central’s historical landmarks and modern high rises

Old Town Central is one of the oldest districts in Hong Kong, and with the area spread across a sloping landscape with many back alleys and hidden lanes, Hong Kong-based curator Ying Kwok believes that it offers opportunities for locals to interact in an organic and creative way. Kwok especially enjoys visiting heritage buildings within the area such as Fringe Club and Tai Kwun. “The buildings and architecture is a live exhibit in its own right,” she says. “There are various regular and themed exhibitions throughout the year that add to my perfect weekend.”

Tai Kwun, one of Central’s oldest historical is a buzzing hotspot for all types of art happenings. Numerous art shows are held here every year, including its current exhibition The Moon is Leaving Us as part of the fifth Audemars Piguet Art Commission, the first ever to be held in Asia. Created by multidisciplinary local artist Phoebe Hui, working in collaboration with Kwok, the exhibition brings a complicated and delicate masterpiece to Old Town Central’s art hub.

Featuring a large-scale installation, The Moon is Leaving Us explores and interprets the moon’s slow migration away from earth and spotlights how visual representation plays a part in science and in humanity’s understanding of the universe. The artwork is a sight to behold, and the preparation that went behind its creation was no easy feat. “It’s an ambitious and complicated project,” says Kwok. Luckily, she received help from the Switzerland based curator at the Audemars Piguet Contemporary team, and through consultations with a former astronaut, as well as experts from different countries. Though the exhibition is not open to the public due to the ongoing pandemic, art lovers can still have the chance to see the installation by registering for a virtual tour or digital curator walkthrough online.

Kwok finds that Old Town Central differs from other parts of the city as it is one of the most distinct neighbourhoods in Hong Kong where old antique shops, avant-garde designer shops, and a high concentration of renowned contemporary art galleries are all within walking distance from each other.

For inspiration, Kwok enjoys visiting cafes in the neighbourhood and settling down to people-watch when her mind is in need of clarity. Many cafes in the area, such as 15squarestreet and Stain+, are art spaces themselves, offering artfully crafted drinks alongside hand crafted goods and creative workshops. If she is after some excitement, there are many independent shops in the area that Kwok likes to visit, which sell second-hand items, artist books, and designer products. For Kwok, nothing is more inspiring than beautiful things and smart designs.

Art and creativity can be found in every corner when you stroll around Old Town Central. Follow Kwok’s recommendations and bask in the historic ambience and the artistic energy of the neighbourhood!

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Written by Time Out Hong Kong
Information in this article is subject to change without advance notice. The article is compiled with care in order to provide accurate information at the time of publication. The Hong Kong Tourism Board and Time Out Hong Kong Company Limited: ( i ) disclaim any and all liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and (ii) make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information, places or products contained herein. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.
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