The south side of Hong Kong island has been increasingly popular with galleries looking to move away from Central to larger spaces with higher ceilings. Located within industrial buildings, the Aberdeen galleries possess an unspoken charm that also appeals to audiences looking for something other than the conventional white cube. Be prepared to be surprised by the sights, sounds and smells of the warehouse buildings – an experience in itself!
Since the Wong Chuk Hang MTR station opened a few years ago, the area has become very easily accessible via the South Island Line. Because of the volume of traffic on Wong Chuk Hang Road and flyover, access to buildings tends to be friendlier from the rear entrances. Do your due diligence to make sure you have your visit mapped out beforehand to avoid getting lost – this area can be a little tricky to navigate around!
Try to visit these galleries on a Saturday, especially during #SouthsideSaturday on the first Saturday of the month. An initiative of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association, galleries host events ranging from interactive tours and talks to readings and recitals. Check out www.southsidesaturday.com. If you plan to visit on a weekday, call ahead to make sure they are open to receiving visitors.
WONG CHUK HANG
Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Start your gallery-hopping in the Wong Chuk Hang area of Aberdeen with Axel Vervoordt Gallery* – named after its founder, the renowned Belgian interior designer. Enter from the rear of the building on Yip Fat Street, where cars are able to stop and unload passengers, and which is only a stone’s throw from the MTR. Established in Hong Kong in 2014 after 3 years in Belgium, the gallery is run by Axel’s son, Boris. Having moved to Aberdeen after 5 years in Central, the gallery space extends over two floors and embodies the Axel Vervoordt minimalistic aesthetic that less really might be more. Their diverse roster also encompasses many Asian artists celebrated for their unique philosophies, such as Shen Chen, Kimsooja, Ryuji Tanaka, and Tsuyoshi Maekawa.
Rossi & Rossi
After your visit, take a 1 minute walk along Yip Fat Street to Rossi & Rossi*, also on Wong Chuk Hang Road. Established in London by mother-and-son duo Anna Maria and Fabio in 1985, the gallery is not only a well-respected name in the classical and antiquities field, such as Himalayan Bronzes and Tibetan thangka; but in contemporary art as well within recent years, representing the likes of Mit Jai Inn, Rasheed Araeen, Elisa Sighicelli, and Billy Apple. There are two galleries in the Southside Hong Kong Art District : de Sarthe is also in the same building!
Within the same building, drop by to see DE SARTHE* as well! The gallery was founded by Pascal de Sarthe in Paris in 1977 and in Hong Kong in 2010. With a robust advisory for 20th century art as well as Asian contemporary art, the gallery also established an artist residency programme in 2017, demonstrating its commitment to nurturing young talent. There are always great installations and ground-breaking exhibitions to be found here.
Pékin Fine Arts
As you leave Rossi & Rossi, walk along Yip Fat Street to visit Pékin Fine Arts* in Union Industrial Building, entering from the rear. Established in Beijing in 2005, director Meg Maggio’s dynamic and diverse roster of artists include ink master Mao Lizi, abstract expressionist artist Aniwar Mamat, contemporary artist Lin Jing, and industrial designer Arik Levy. The gallery also collaborates with other art spaces to organise pop-ups.
Ben Brown Fine Arts
The next gallery on your itinerary is Ben Brown Fine Arts*. Continue walking along Yip Fat Street to visit The Factory, also on the same street – not hard to miss as its exterior wall is covered in graffiti. Joining the Wong Chuk Hang neighbourhood in 2021, the gallery was first founded in London in 2004 by art dealer, Ben Brown. Established in Hong Kong in 2009, the gallery is known for their depth of expertise and inventory in 20th century European and American art, with famous names such as Lucio Fontana, Les Lalanne, Alighiero Boetti and Gerhard Richter.
Next door, pay a visit to Mou Projects, a contemporary art gallery based in Hong Kong. Established in 2019, the gallery proudly represents a group of young innovative artists exploring the current social sphere, experimenting with and redefining aesthetic narratives. Here, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the debut exhibitions of many Hong Kong and Asian artists, which offer new artistic experiences.
Denny Dimin Gallery
Next, turn around the corner of Yip Fat Street towards Remex Centre to find Denny Dimin Gallery. Founded in New York in 2013, the gallery initially specialised in showcasing young and emerging artists. With Hong Kong as its new Asia base, it now focuses on developing a diverse roster of contemporary artists around the world, showcasing upcoming talents to their Asia audience.
Move on to the 2nd group of galleries in Wong Chuk Hang by walking west along Heung Yip Road to cross Nam Long Shan Road. Visit A Gallery established by Michael Leung in 2007. In its expansive space where the gallery has been located since 2018, the art space showcases young and emerging contemporary artists from the Asia region. Two of our favourite names from this gallery include Mitsuru Watanabe and Li Yueling.
Next door, Blindspot Gallery* is a must-see for all lovers of Hong Kong contemporary art as well as photography. The gallery was founded by Mimi Chun in 2010, and is a strong supporter of local talent, showcasing the likes of Angela Su (who represented Hong Kong for the 2022 Venice Biennale), Pixy Liao, Leung Chi Wo, Sara Wong, and Trevor Yeung. It is known for staging ground-breaking exhibitions and installations, providing a platform to bring local artists to the international stage.
Sin Sin Fine Art
After visiting Blindspot, hope over next door to Sin Sin Fine Art, named after its vivacious multi-talented founder, Sin Sin Man. Established in 2003, the gallery promotes works that focus on the transformation of raw materials into art, and especially on Indonesian art; artisanal crafts and clothing are also showcased. Warm and inviting, a trip to the gallery is like visiting an old friend’s home.
Schoeni Projects was founded by Nicole Schoeni (of Schoeni Art Gallery fame) in 2020, and is based across London and Hong Kong. A recent art addition to Wong Chuk Hang, it promotes cross-cultural exchange through an innovative series of collaborations, presented in unique creative environments. With many off-site presentations, please call ahead before your visit to make sure the gallery is open before you visit.
Exit the gallery via its main front entrance on Wong Chuk Hang; next to the Caltex gas station, cross to the other side of Wong Chuk Hang Road by using the overhead pedestrian bridge. Time allowing, visit Art Projects Gallery in Vita Tower, which was founded in 2010. The gallery is a contemporary art space as well as an art advisory, established by their founders who are also trained architects.
Then head directly to the next gallery on the itinerary – Cheer Bell Gallery . Established in 2015, it is a small homegrown gallery promoting modern and contemporary ink art in the city, mainly exhibiting emerging young talents and local artists.
Along the Wong Chuk Hung Road, Wamono Art excites gallery lovers who are passionate about contemporary Japanese arts and crafts! Founded in 2016 in Hong Kong and Tokyo, the gallery’s name ‘wamono’ consists of ‘wa = Japanese’ and ‘mono = piece / physical object / oneness’. In accordance with the meaning in its name, the gallery focuses on showcasing emerging and established contemporary Japanese artists, whether through their ambitions, experiences, philosophies or unique aesthetics.
On the same busy road towards the Repulse Bay direction, Art Statements was founded by Dominique Perregaux in 2003. The gallery is active in representing both Western and Chinese modern and contemporary artists, as well as managing art projects. As it does not host regular exhibitions, calling ahead before your visit is a good idea.
Next, a three-minute walk down the street will lead you to the recently-opened SC Gallery founded by Sharon Cheung, which aims to introduce contemporary artists currently at the forefront of Hong Kong’s art scene. From abstract artists to realist painters, the diverse backgrounds and styles come together to celebrate the creativity of Hong Kong emerging artists.
Lastly, visit Lucie Chang Fine Arts. Founded in 2011 by Lucie Chang, the gallery moved to this area from Sheung Wan in 2020, and is known for its group of artists working in the trendy cartoon, street and pop art genres. L+ is a new arm of the gallery representing youth culture, and which seeks to build more connections with the public through its various programmes.
Alisan Fine Arts (Aberdeen)
This area of Aberdeen is not accessible by MTR but is around a 5 minute car ride from Wong Chuk Hang. Start your visit at the Aberdeen gallery of Alisan Fine Arts, which also has a sister (main) gallery in Central. Founded in Hong Kong in the 1980s by Alice King and Sandra Walters, the gallery has been a pioneer in the field of Chinese contemporary art and New Ink Art, focusing on mainland Chinese artists as well as established Hong Kong and Chinese diaspora artists – think Lui Shou-Kwan, Fang Zhaoling, Ming Fay, and Chu Teh-Chun; its Aberdeen gallery focuses on younger and emerging talent. The gallery recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with a series of museum-worthy exhibitions.
Empty Gallery* is a stone’s throw away across the highway and the overpass. Founded by Stephen Cheng in 2015, the gallery boasts a rich programme of pioneering multi-media commissions, performances and music, with a commitment to ephemeral, time-based and non-object-oriented practices. Check out their latest boundary-breaking programmes, which are sure to heighten your senses. We’re always bowled over by their presentations!
Lastly, Gallery EXIT* is another not-to-be-missed local gallery. Established in 2008 with the purpose of exhibiting ambitious works, it also acts as a platform to showcase and promote multi-media works to local as well as international audiences. Their exhibitions are always highly-anticipated and rich in curatorial value, featuring the hottest talents such as Chow Chun Fai, Hilarie Hon, Stephen Wong Chun Hei, Cheng Ting Ting, and Chris Huen.
Lastly, pay a visit to Kiang Malingue* at its new space on the 13th floor upstairs from Gallery EXIT. Founded in 2010 and recently renamed to reflect the directorship of both Lorraine and Edouard, the gallery seeks to bring attention to Asian and other contemporary artists who combine aesthetic concern with conceptual enquiry. Exhibitions in various disciplines are presented, from video and installation to painting and sound. Look out for this gallery’s exciting programmes!
*Our tops picks in the area if you are on a limited time schedule.
Additional information & Disclaimer
Admission to galleries is free, and they are normally open Tuesday-Saturday. However, there are exceptions; please always check their website or call ahead for exact opening days and hours before your visit.