Art fairs and gallery shows may be bringing in the big guns during this hectic yet vibrant week in Hong Kong, but there are also endless ways to check out art even when you’re not stepping into another white cube. During your lunch, your cocktail hour, or your weekend stroll in between shopping dates, here’s where you can check out amazing art pieces around Hong Kong.
When: 23–31 March
The yearly landmark street art festival lands in Hong Kong once again with a quirky and incredibly talented array of artists set to splash colour on our neighbourhood walls. Always aimed at celebrating older parts of Hong Kong, HK Walls this year will take place in Wan Chai, with headquarters at “The Clubhouse,” a pop-up venue and gallery space located in a Grade III heritage tong lau on 6 Stewart Road. When you’re not exploring newly completed walls and shop gates (see a map of works here), visitors to The Clubhouse can explore exhibitions, have their items of choice painted by Rosalio Vargas (aka sign up for “The Rosalio Experience”), as well as make art together with professional artists or take part in workshops — all available for registration on the HK Walls website. Some of this year’s artist highlights include large scale muralists ZMOGK, FLUKE, Yopey, Priscilla Yu, Muro, Jaba and more; painter Vivian Ho, known for her magical realism dreamscapes of Hong Kong; and even “Plumber King”, known for his calligraphic strokes advertising plumbing services, now rendered as an eclectic art form.
The Clubhouse, 6 Stewart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
When: Through end of March (TBC)
Instead of staring at your shoes as you wait for the H Queen’s elevator, take a gander around to find a spectacular collection of artworks conceived by Hong Kong- and Shanghai-based curator David Chan Ho-yeung. “If the moral function of art is to bring about new social awareness, then the presentation of art should not be confined solely to an art-specific setting,” says Chan. “Exit Strategies” fills the tower’s most transient spaces with intriguing art that confronts the viewer’s present moments of uncertainty and escape. From Tsang Kin-wah’s text-based installation “I LOVE U” on the ground floor to a commissioned multi-media piece by Linda Lai and the Floating Projects Collective on the 15–17th floors, all of the works investigate varying examples of delusion and escapism from the everyday city bustle. Other artists featured include Silas Fong, Chloë Cheuk, Lee Kit, Tamás Waliczky and architect duo MAP Office.
H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
When: Through 14 April
Giant incandescent mushrooms have bloomed at Pacific Place mall, transforming the Garden Court into a whimsical oasis (think Alice in Wonderland meets Burning Man). These gargantuan art pieces are by none other than American art collective FoldHaus, which specialises in interactive works that are designed to be touched and played with. The pair of 5.5m- and 4.4m-tall origami mushrooms “Shrumen Lumen” and the 4.5m-tall “Blumen Lumen” flower are made to move when visitors stand on the footpads under the giant shrooms — sure to be a great family-friendly attraction. Indeed, the group is well acquainted with the trippy desert art for the masses, first debuting at Burning Man in 2010, and continuing to tour worldwide ever since. Every night at 7:30pm and 8:30pm, Pacific Place will dim the lights so visitors can enjoy the glowing artworks in all their glory.
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2844 8988
When: 21–25 March
Every Art Month, Lan Kwai Fong also gets decked out with art, notably rendering California Tower into a vertical gallery of works by street art stars and auction house favourites last year, and also offering spectacular art-inspired menus at participating restaurants for the “Savouring Art” campaign. This year, LKF has invited Japanese calligraphy artist Mami to showcase her live painting at Loft22. Pioneering her own unique blend of hip hop-infused calligraphy and graffiti (which she refers to as “Calligraf2ity”), Mami’s performances see her dressed in traditional kimono garb while executing dance-like gestural strokes of ink. Whether you’re stretching your legs after a decadent business lunch, or en route to happy hour, you’ll want to make sure you take a detour just to see Mami’s large scale completed works.
Loft22, 22/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2453 7950
Sevva x Gert Voorjans
When: All month
The lounge at Sevva is always flush with colour and vibrancy, and even more so during Art Month. Founder Bonnae Gokson has teamed up with artist Gert Voorjans (who also notably has curated a collection of luxury rugs at Joyce this month) to redecorate the restaurant. Whether you’re there for afternoon tea or an after-work tipple, you’ll be swathed in gorgeously photogenic upholstery depicting tropical gardens, accompanied by whimsically coloured animal sculptures and a bold array of textiles — a collaboration with Jim Thompson in exotic, colour-contrasting hues. Be sure to order one of the special art month Gin and Tonics, a pink floral concoction celebrating art and femininity all month.
Sevva, 25/F, Landmark, Prince’s, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2537 1388
When: 22–31 March
Ever since Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck floated into Victoria Harbour in 2013, Hongkongers have been waiting for more skyline-altering pieces to take a dip in our waters. A collaboration between AllRightsReserved, Hong Kong Tourism Board and Asia Miles is making that a reality this month, as legendary street artist Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS, prepares to unleash his latest kraken-level installation in Hong Kong. Featuring his 37m-long Companion, KAWS’ signature character and the largest monumental installation he has created to date, KAWS:HOLIDAY will be seen floating serenely in the harbour during Art Week. The best vantage point will be from the deck at Tamar Park, but anybody on the Central and Western district promenade should be able to see the x-eyed giant from miles away. Inevitably, bath toys, stuffed toys, t-shirts and other collectible merchandise are also available for purchase starting 22 March 2019, 9pm.
Central and Western District Promenade
Wang Xin: #METIME
When: 14 March–5 May
We had a blast at Wang Xin’s 2017 exhibition at De Sarthe Gallery, a pink wonderland that also served as a soapbox to proclaim the lack of infrastructural support for virtually unknown artists in the world. This time, K11 has worked with Wang to bring a similarly hypnotic pink art exhibition looking at the notion of “me” in the millennial age. Interactive installations, imagery, VR stations and “ME TIME WORKSHOP” events all aim to create an atmosphere of playful exploration, where the lines between artist, curators and visitors are all blurred.
K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Hong Kong
Ovolo Hotels x Mars Gallery
The recently re-launched Ovolo Central has partnered with the award-winning Melbourne-based Mars gallery to curate some spectacular artworks in its premises, starting with a commissioned piece by John Aslanidis for the terrace space at vegetarian bar and restaurant Vega. The multi-media artist is known for his fascination with sound and vision through painting, so his work is sure to be a conversation starter when you’re chowing down on avo toast or enjoying a post-work cocktail. Head inside and you’ll also see a video work by Stephen Haley, with scenes featuring virtual sculptures of a simulated film set, all created using 3D modelling — essentially, a meta film of a film set created to look like a film set. Other works — some risque, others awe-inspiring — will showcase inside the public spaces of the hotel.
Ovolo Central, 2 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3755 3000
Roth Bar & Grill Pop-up
When: 25–31 March
The original Roth Bar & Grill is located at gallery giant Hauser & Wirth’s Somerset space in the UK: it’s part world-class gallery, part free-range farm in the rural southwest of England. Pairing contemporary art with culinary experimentation without the stuffiness that tends to come with refined art menus, this pop-up kitchen is sure to be a treat for any enthusiasts of both food and art. The husband-and-wife duo of Steve and Jules Horrell, who head the original kitchen, will be in town for a week, stationing at the COBO House restaurant venue, and will craft a bespoke European menu with distinct flavours and ingredients that call Somerset home. A collaborative presentation with K11 and Hauser & Wirth, pieces from K11 founder Adrien Cheng’s private collection as well as from gallery-represented artists will be showcased at the space, including works by Mark Bradford and Zhang Enli.
Roth Bar & Grill Pop-up Kitchen at COBO HOUSE, G/F & 1/F, 8-12 South Lane, Sai Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2656 3088
Floristry at M&L: Overgrown
When: 29–31 March
Rounding off art week with a bang, Sheung Wan florists Floristry at M&L have curated a pop-up exhibition that celebrates inspirations that come from the wild. Showcased are embroidery, photography, illustration and ceramic art by four women artists — each telling a story of the raw beauty found in nature; whether through delicate forms of foliage or the visceral quality of nude bodies and landscapes. It’s gentle yet fierce and totally breathtaking, perfectly matching with Floristry by M&L’s floral products.
Floristry by M&L, 18 Bonham Strand West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Arts Train
When: Through 27 March
Despite the recent MTR test crash debacle, here’s something that might soothe sore spirits: The resounding enthusiasm for art in Hong Kong is so wide-reaching that now, even our commute can be infused with art. Behold the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Arts Train, which brings local street art, heritage and modern western masterpieces to our transportation. Some of you may have already noticed the colourful change since its launch on 7 March, where five train cabins have been transformed into moving art galleries. The highlight? The Street Art themed gallery featuring commissioned work by local collective Parents Parents. You can also scan available AR codes to see the artwork subjects come to life.
MTR Island Line (limited service hours)