Hoping to make art experience more accessible, Accidental Art hosts regular guided art tours that can be enjoyed by all
H Queen’s, Opera Gallery and Bamboo Scenes are some of our favourite art destinations among the growing number of art galleries in Hong Kong. And if you’re fond of weekend exhibitions and small-group guided art tours, then you’ve probably heard of Accidental Art. Set up as an unconventional art platform dedicated to bringing art into everyone’s daily life, founder Candy Hou hopes to gather like-minded art enthusiasts together. We chatted with her about making guided art tours more accessible in Hong Kong and her vision for Accidental Art.
An interview with Candy Hou from Accidental Art
Hi Candy, thanks for sitting down with us. Can you tell us about your life prior to Accidental Art?
Even though I was an economics and finance major at the University of Hong Kong, I took lots of their courses from the art history department. My first job was at a bank, but I was completely bored. I knew I would change but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. I then worked in a merchandising company for a luxury brand, which is somewhat art-related, and I kept my old hobby of visiting galleries during the weekend.
When did you start hosting guided tours and establish Accidental Art?
Back in 2015, I was thinking… if I was visiting galleries and exhibitions by myself, why not ask more friends to join me? So that’s how an interest group for art enthusiasts was started. When people started to sign up on the Internet, we would research all these exhibitions ourselves and show them different galleries and cool places.
We found out that people don’t get this information frequently, and even if they do know, they are often intimidated to walk into galleries, as they’re almost always empty, and people are worried they might get forced into buying expensive things. By the end of 2016, we established Accidental Art as a company to extend our art tours and achieve more goals.
What is the aim of Accidental Art?
Art should be brought into everyone’s daily life. We aim to bring people physically into the art world and educate them on how to appreciate art. As an unconventional platform, we curate art exhibitions for the local community and create dialogues between artists and art lovers. Art shouldn’t just be in the museum!
What do you think is the most essential quality for an artist?
It’s all about originality and ideas. If you only excel in techniques, it’s not the most important thing because everyone can be trained. You have to be unique in style and express something that others cannot.
Through what medium did you locate these artists?
We actually went to many of their graduate shows. Students are very open-minded and they’re open to exposure. It’s actually very sad that of all these art graduates every year, there are only less than 10 per cent that continue in the art profession.
Can you tell me more about the inspiration behind artists Chuntao Lau and Yiyi Wang’s work?
Chuntao’s work is usually inspired by the complexity of human relations. It’s quite melancholic and such originality is going to keep long with him; whereas Yiyi’s ink painting depicts the struggle of her cultural identity as a mainlander once studying in Hong Kong and she also excels in using ink on wood. It’s amazing how she interacts with different materials and between objects, you really have to grow out of your environment to do that.
What do you want to bring to Hong Kong?
Even though Hong Kong is the world’s third largest art market, art was only a rich person’s game up until now. Even with Art Basel, people pay so much money to get inside and see what rich people are buying. We don’t want people to interact with art only once a year; we want to bring art into normal people’s lives. People need art as a channel to start taking care of their emotions and inner world.
Find out more about the curated exhibitions and art tours at Accidental Art