Heads up art lovers and culture vultures: these are the up-and-coming Hong Kong neighbourhoods you need to put on your radar next time you're in the city...
Got a thing for art galleries, wall murals and good design? Then you might want to craft your next Hong Kong itinerary around seeing the hidden, artsy side of this bustling East Asian city. If that (and going off the beaten track) sounds right up your alley, save this guide and explore Sham Shui Po, Fo Tan, and Aberdeen – three hip cultural districts that’ll intrigue any art enthusiast.
Sham Shui Po
Take it from local illustrator Jonathon Jay Lee (famed for his comic-inspired illustrations of Hong Kong’s urban landscapes), who says that Sham Shui Po is one of those areas that’s very untouched and “raw”…
If you want to learn more about Sham Shui Po, there’s no better way to do it than to visit its longstanding streetside and alleyway shops – ones that feature shutter art. Part of the HK Urban Canvas initiative, these visual masterpieces that cover storefronts were created by various artists and reflect the personalities of the skilled locals that run these businesses. Interested in going on a self-guided tour? Download the HK Urban Canvas mobile app and you’ll have access to all the stories behind each work of art.
Situated in the middle of the New Territories, Fo Tan may be home to clusters of warehouses, but hidden within this industrial region are art studios such as Joy Art Club, which holds workshops for creative types throughout the year.
And even though you might have just missed Fo Tan Open Studios on 31 March 2018, fret not, because this annual event just keeps getting better. Put it on the agenda for a Hong Kong jaunt next year (or beyond) to attend this special event that lets visitors meet and greet local artists.
Aberdeen isn’t just great for its picturesque harbour, slow sampan rides and lively seafood markets. Once a thriving fishing village, the laid-back neighbourhood is now an up-and-coming arts and culture hotspot thanks to numerous art galleries, particularly in the Wong Chuk Hang area. Hit up places like Gallery Exit for contemporary pieces and thought-provoking installations, or swing by The Empty Gallery, a venue known for its focus on Hong Kong’s underground art scene.
Don’t get too caught up in gallery-hopping though: be sure to keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of street art. Wall murals near the E Tat Factory Building on Heung Yip Road and on Ovolo Southside are definitely worth marvelling at (and Instagramming, of course!).
Next time you find yourself in Hong Kong, get out and explore a different side of the city!
Visit Discover Hong Kong for more information on the city’s buzzing arts scene.
This article is sponsored by Hong Kong Tourism Board