Arts by the harbour

Arts by the harbour

If there’s one thing about Hong Kong that’s more iconic than anything else, it would be Victoria Harbour. As tightly squeezed as it may be, our glistening waterfront consists of more than just office towers and shopping centres. It also plays host to innovative art institutions, architectural gems, and international art events such as Art Basel and Art Central. Not sure where to look? Follow this route to some of the most interesting art and cultural hubs along the harbour and kick-off your journey as a bona fide culture vulture.

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A splash of art by the harbour

A splash of art by the harbour

With various artistic events lining both sides of Victoria Harbour all year round, there is no shortage of excitement within Hong Kong’s art scene. From the one-of-a-kind architecture of Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Xiqu Centre to beloved tourist attractions such as the Avenue of Stars, the art hubs that host some of these events are a captivating sight to behold. Add to that the glamorous international events, such as Art Basel and Art Central, bringing world-class artworks to our shores this May and it’s easy to see why Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s leading art hub has been firmly cemented.

Born in Basel, Switzerland in the 1970s, Art Basel holds annual large-scale art fairs in its home town as well as Miami Beach in the US. In 2013, Art Basel came to Hong Kong for its first-ever art fair in Asia. “For most of us in Asia, everybody looks to Hong Kong as a great city that we all want to be in,” says Adeline Ooi, Director Asia of Art Basel. According to Ooi, Hong Kong’s inherent attributes make the city the perfect location. And the role of the art fair to act as a bridge for different cultures between the East and the West fits perfectly with Hong Kong.

Born in Malaysia, Ooi started out as Art Basel's VIP relations manager for Southeast Asia before she was appointed her current role in 2014. Having lived in Hong Kong for over six years, Ooi sees past the concrete jungle perception. Whether it’s the bustling sounds and textures of the city, or the sweeping views of Victoria Harbour from Lugard Road on Victoria Peak, there is so much to love about Hong Kong. “The possibilities are endless here,” she enthuses. Ooi recommends looking beyond international fairs to discover creative hubs such as the Hong Kong Museum of Art (HKMoA), sitting prominently against the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront.

Although the past year has proved to be challenging for the art world due to rapid changes and difficulties from the onset of the pandemic, according to Ooi’s observations, the art community quickly adapted to the circumstances and found ways to push through by using online platforms for engagement, whether it be social media, websites, webinars, or online viewing rooms. “We all came together and found ways of working together. That’s something we can all be proud of in the art community,” shares Ooi. “It also speaks to the spirit of Hong Kong — standing together and supporting each other through thick or thin.”

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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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