Central is the main business and financial hub of Hong Kong. With the most prestigious addresses, it is also where most of the largest names in the art gallery world can be found. Located within commercial buildings, the galleries are easily located and easily accessible – it’s hard to get lost. Pedder Building and H Queen’s are the two main ‘art buildings’, and other galleries are all within close proximity. Two international auction houses also call Central home, hosting pre-auction viewings at the galleries inside their offices.
Galerie du Monde
Start by paying a visit to local powerhouse Galerie du Monde* on Duddell Street. The gallery was established in 1974 and operates under the directorship of Fred Scholle and Kelvin Yang, showcasing modern and contemporary works by internationally-established Chinese artists in its expansive space, such as Wang Gongyi, Wu Chi-Tsung, and Fung Ming Chip. The gallery also offers a highly-regarded bespoke framing service for clients.
While you’re on the same street, why not check out the latest exhibition going on at Duddell’s. The destination is Hong Kong’s popular one-star Michelin dining and social club with a vibrant art programme, with curated exhibitions and art lectures throughout the year.
Fun fact: take note of the granite steps by the Duddell Street cul-de-sac, constructed between 1875 and 1889. According to records of the Hong Kong and China Gas Company, the four gas lamps flanking the steps are the sole surviving working gas street lamps in Hong Kong since 1967!
Across Queen’s Road Central at the Landmark, JPS Art Gallery presents works of emerging and established artists. Established in 2014, it is dedicated to exploring the art and pop culture of today’s society, focussing on multi-media works that embody today’s pop aesthetics. Think art toys, collectibles, performances, and fun cross-over collaborations!
If you have time, pop into Woaw Gallery on Ice House Street next to the Landmark. Established in 2019, it specialises in cutting-edge contemporary art, introducing a wide variety of works by artists around the globe with a fresh perspective, and translating them for the Asia Market. The cosy art space is the gallery’s second location after Wanchai.
A few doors down, Opera Gallery is an international art space founded by Gilles Dyan in 1994, showcasing modern and contemporary art globally. With locations in over ten countries, Opera Gallery is a constant presence at international art fairs, focussing mainly on the secondary market. In Hong Kong, its new location on 9 Queen’s Road Central since 2021 has given it more presence and visibility.
Next, head north along Ice House Street to find LGDR*. Occupying a visible ground floor space in St. George’s Building, the gallery was established by Dominique Lévy and Brett Gorvy in 2019, both of ex-Christie’s fame. Dealing primarily in the secondary market, it has a rich programme devoted to the fields of postwar and contemporary art. Its recent name change (from Lévy Gorvy) is due to a new partnership with Amalia Dayan and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn.
Auction powerhouse Christie’s, which also has an art gallery, is in Alexandra House across Chater Road. Besides Chinese ceramics, paintings, jewellery and contemporary art, Christie’s also holds regular auctions for luxury handbags! In additional to regular in-house exhibitions, Christie’s holds its impressive large-scale pre-auction preview at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre twice a year.
Next, exit Alexandra House and walk west until you hit Pedder Street. Visit the international galleries in Pedder Building, a Grade II historial building in the Beaux-Arts style.
Designed by Palmer and Turner Architects in 1923, it is the last surviving pre-WW2 building on Pedder Street – one of the grande dames of Central!
Gagosian* is situated on the 7th floor of Pedder Building and needs no introduction. Founded in LA in 1980, it represents some of the world’s most influential artists and estates of the 20th and 21st centuries – Jeff Koons, Jenny Saville, Anselm Kiefer, Taryn Simon, and Zeng Fanzhi, to name a few. Their exhibitions are always well-curated and highly-anticipated, with the security detail to match!
Pearl Lam Galleries
Pearl Lam Galleries*, named after its Hong Kong founder, is on the 6th floor, and the only Asian gallery in the building. Founded in 2005, it plays a vital role in stimulating dialogue and cross-cultural exchange between East and West. With a sister gallery in Shanghai, it is one of the most influential local galleries in Hong Kong. To date, our favourite exhibitions have been those by Chun Kwang Young, Zanele Muholi, Yinka Shonibare CBE, and Su Xiaobai.
Simon Lee Gallery
Simon Lee Gallery* is on the 3rd floor of Pedder Building. It was founded in London in 2002, and represents artists of diverse generations whose practices explore a wide range of media, from sculpture and painting to video and photography, and who share a broad interest in an exploration of the conceptual. Despite the comparatively smaller space, the gallery has attracted huge audiences.
Next, head to H Queen’s on Queen’s Road Central next to the iconic steps of Pottinger Street. Designed by Hong Kong architect and art collector William Lim’s firm CL3, the building was completed in 2017. Home to several high-end restaurants and luxury brands, it is also known for being an ‘art building’, housing many international galleries. Hart Hall on the ground level is a pop-up space showcasing a diverse programme of art, innovative retail and design – worth checking out if you have the time.
Hauser & Wirth
Start from the top on the 15th-16th floors with Hauser & Wirth*. Named after its founders and established in Zurich in 1992, the world-renowned gallery has built a reputation for its dedication to artists and the support of visionary projects worldwide, from major 20th century modern masters to leading figures in contemporary art. A commitment to education underpins all Hauser & Wirth exhibitions, with lectures, interactive seminars, innovative workshops, and special events developed for a range of target audiences. The Hong Kong gallery interior was designed by renowned architect, Annabelle Selldorf.
Next, head down to the 12th floor to visit Pace*, another leading gallery which operates several spaces around the world. Founded in 1960 in Boston, the gallery is a vital player in the art world in presenting rich programmes that shape the history, creation and engagement with modern and contemporary art. Notable artists represented include Yoshitomo Nara, Mary Corse, Zhang Xiaogang, and Loie Hollowell.
Tang Contemporary Art
Next, pay a visit to Tang Contemporary Art* on the 10th floor. Founded in Bangkok in 1997, the gallery is committed to producing exhibitions and projects, especially producing critical projects and exhibitions. The gallery promotes experimental contemporary art regionally as well as worldwide, and has shown the likes of Ai Wei Wei, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Nam June Paik, and Zhu Jinshi in Hong Kong.
The interior of Whitestone Gallery* on the 7th and 8th floors was designed by world-renowned architect, Kengo Kuma. Founded in Tokyo in 1967, the gallery’s zen aesthetics provide a serene viewing experience in the promotion of Japanese and Asian talent worldwide. The gallery is also known for being a platform to showcase Gutai and post-war art, as well as emerging contemporary art of the region. Memorable exhibitions in Hong Kong include presentations by Yoshitomo Nara, Dale Chihuly, Florentijn Hofman, and Philip Colbert.
Lastly, visit David Zwirner* on the 5th and 6th floors – the New York gallery founded by the German-born gallerist in 1993. Influential for representing the biggest names in the industry, and for promoting contemporary art globally for the past thirty years, the gallery reported in 2018 an annual revenue of USD500 million. Taking the gallery’s world renowned artists, estates, and exhibition programmes as the starting point, David Zwirner Books is the publishing arm of the gallery, and is dedicated to publishing the highest quality art publications from monographs, artist books, collected writings and interviews. A visit here would complete your tour of the H Queen’s galleries.
Lastly, walk north towards the harbour to 50 Connaught Road Central, where you will find White Cube*. Founded by Jay Jopling in 1993 in London, its Hong Kong space is its first international gallery outside the UK, and is located over two floors. The international powerhouse has been instrumental in promoting household YBA (Young British Artists) names, such as Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and Gavin Turk, to name a few. Its minimalistic space also houses a library of catalogues.
*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.