Art Museums and Galleries
Whatever your poison: be it contemporary, urban, Asian, abstract or photography, visual art lovers will be excited by the number and diversity of art galleries and museums to be found all over Hong Kong.
The Asia Society Hong Kong Center is located in a historic 1.3 hectare site across from the British Consulate General. The former explosives magazine of the colonial-era Victoria Barracks has been converted into a sleek multilevel campus that hosts talks, films and art exhibitions. Its outdoor roof garden with stunning views of Admiralty is a popular site for private events. The site is open to the public, with English-language tours available on a regular basis. There is even a Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant, Ammo, should you get hungry during your visit.
Hong Kong Museum of Art
In Tsim Sha Tsui, the Hong Kong Museum of Art is the oldest public art museum in Hong Kong, with a 17,000-item collection that encompasses Chinese antiquities, painting and calligraphy, and modern and Hong Kong art.
Liang Yi Museum
Hong Kong’s largest private museum, on Hollywood Road, includes superb collections of Chinese antique furniture as well as European clutches, compacts and powder boxes. The museum is both more intimate and interactive than most: the items are presented in an open display format; visitors can touch the antique wooden furniture; and curators are on hand to provide context about the pieces. Viewings are by appointment only.
Scheduled to formally open in 2021, M+ in West Kowloon will be dedicated to visual art, design and architecture. M+ is intended to be the foremost collection of 20th- and 21st-century art in Asia, and a rival to the Tate Modern in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. M+’s cornerstone will be the Sigg Collection, a part-donated, part-purchased acquisition from Swiss megacollector Uli Sigg (said to have the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of contemporary Chinese art). At the time of writing, M+ is holding exhibitions at the M+ Pavilion (pictured), a smaller space nearby in the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Para Site has been a leader in the contemporary art scene in Hong Kong since its founding in pre-handover Hong Kong in 1996. Today it runs an international art residency program and produces exhibitions, publications and educational projects from its site in Quarry Bay.
Contemporary art lovers will find the ideal playground in H Queen’s. This purpose-built, 24-story complex in Central houses five international galleries (including gold-plated names like David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth); exhibition space for local arts nonprofit Hart; and several fine-dining restaurants and a rooftop bar.
Here are some more of our favorite galleries on both sides of the harbor. You can also visit the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association’s website for up-to-date listings of gallery exhibitions around town.
Kowloon and New Territories
Artist Studio Visits
Hong Kong has at least two significant clusters of artists’ studios that are open to the public for visits:
- Cattle Depot Artist Village
- Fotan Open Studios (annual open days usually held in January; read more)
Events, Festivals and Fairs
Art Basel Hong Kong, launched in 2013, may be the most famous art festival in Hong Kong, but it is by no means the only one.
The Affordable Art Fair is an accessible version of the more high-profile art fairs in the city. Anyone contemplating a new piece for their home will find artworks from local and international artists on display here at wallet-friendly prices.
Art Basel Hong Kong
Every March is art month in Hong Kong, with Art Basel — the prestigious global art exhibition founded in Basel, Switzerland and launched in Hong Kong in 2013 — at the center of it all. Held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the show features hundreds of galleries with contemporary artwork from all over the world.
Asia Contemporary Art
The Asia Contemporary Art Show is a bi-annual event held at a hotel downtown. Here you can find paintings, photography and sculptural works by the finest artists from all over the globe.
Fine Art Asia Fair
Fine Art Asia Fair (FAA) is a leading international art fair with a focus on fine Asian art. Held annually in October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the fair features notable Asian art, sculpture, antiques & artifacts, furniture and jewelry from all over the world.
Fotan Open Studios
Since 2001, a community of sculptors, photographers, painters and calligraphers have set up studios in a refurbished factory building in Fo Tan, Sha Tin. Every year in January, this community hosts the Fotan Open Studios, which sees the artists opening their studio doors to the public with the aim of sharing ideas and creative techniques.
Every March the nonprofit HKWalls organization takes over a different Hong Kong neighborhood and adorns it with street art. Visitors can join tours or attend talks about graffiti and street culture, or just wander from installation to installation, watching artists at work.