Why not cross over to Kowloon side to discover more art? The two not-to-be-missed areas to explore are Tsim Sha Tsui and the West Kowloon Cultural District, where the biggest museums are found. But if you have a few hours to spare (for each district), check out our other suggestions off the beaten path, and be surprised at the wealth of alternative art spaces Hong Kong has to offer. In particular, the Cattle Depot Artist Village and the Jockey Club Creative Arts Center will make you appreciate Hong Kong art at its grassroots level.
TSIM SHA TSUI
Hong Kong Museum of Art
The Hong Kong Museum of Art* is the first and main art museum of Hong Kong, and reopened in late 2019 after a four-year $400m expansion and renovation. It is located in between the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and K11 MUSEA, and is easily accessible via the Star Ferry as well as MTR. The museum’s art collection of over 17,000 items includes paintings, calligraphy and sculpture from mainly Hong Kong and China; it also features a museum shop, restaurant and café. Since the reopening, we’ve been enjoying its new innovative programming and fresh curatorial direction. Admission is free for permanent exhibitions and take note that the museum is closed on Thursdays.
With a name inspired by the Muses in Greek mythology, K11 MUSEA* is an art, culture, shopping and dining destination located in Victoria Dockside. Filled with art from the biggest names in the industry – such as Zhang Enli, Katharina Grosse, Do Ho Suh, Yayoi Kusama – find paintings, sculptures and installations both within the mall and outdoors facing the harbour. Don’t forget to visit the Art and Cultural Centre on the 6th floor where special exhibitions are staged, and why not visit the outdoor gardens for more art experiences?
L’ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts
While you’re at the K11 MUSEA, pay a visit to L’ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts on the 5th floor too. The Parisian School of Jewelry Arts is supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, and made its Hong Kong debut in 2014. After three successful traveling editions, it has now found a home in K11 MUSEA, its first outpost outside Paris. Presented as a place of learning about high jewelry, it is also an exhibition venue where exhibitions of the highest caliber – all related to the art of jewelry – can be found.
Having moved to K11 Atelier from Central in 2020, Perrotin* continues to show its commitment in showcasing the most promising artists. Founded by Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris in 1990, the international gallery’s roster of artists includes Bharti Kher, Claire Tabouret, KAWS, Sophie Calle, and Takashi Murakami. The coveted collectible toys and figurines that the gallery promotes have made their artists wildly popular amongst art collectors, old and new alike. Please note that entrance to the gallery is from the Atelier building.
f22 foto space
On the other side of Salisbury Road, visit f22 foto space at its space in The Peninsula Arcade, inside the iconic 5-star hotel. The gallery was established in 2017 with a focus on photo-art, contemporary artists and creative design, following the opening of the F11 Foto Museum in Happy Valley three years earlier. The gallery organises successful exhibitions featuring photographers such as Jing Huang, Simon Go, Michel Eisenlohr, Yan Kallen, Bee Lau, Palani Mohan, Elliott Erwitt, and Wing Chan, to name a few.
The name on everyone’s lips, M+* is the new museum of visual culture in Hong Kong, as part of West Kowloon Cultural District, which focuses on 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and moving image. Newly-opened in late 2021, the museum is home to the Sigg Collection, recognised as the most significant collection of Chinese contemporary art from the 1970s to the present. In early 2021, M+ also received a major donation from William and Lavina Lim, which comprises a significant selection of works from prominent as well as promising Hong Kong artists. The opening of M+ was the most anticipated event of 2021 art calendar, and to date its programmes have been stellar.
Hong Kong Palace Museum
Also located within the West Kowloon Cultural District, the Hong Kong Palace Museum* is a museum exhibiting classical antiques and artefacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum. Construction had begun in 2017, with a much highly-anticipated opening in the summer of 2022. With many never-seen-before antiquities and works of art on display as part of its permanent collections, this is a must-see museum for all lovers of classical Chinese art.
In addition, if you’re in the area during auction season, pay a visit Phillips‘s new headquarters in the WKCDA Tower in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District to view highlights of the pre-auction exhibitions. Located next to the world-class museum M+ and adjacent to the Hong Kong Palace Museum, the new Asian headquarters spans more than 50,000 square feet and six floors, and it will be the first auction house in Hong Kong to have permanent, dedicated exhibition space. Though a fairly recent newcomer to the Hong Kong auction scene, Phillips is emerging to become one of the big players, with record-breaking sales for their 20th Century and Contemporary auctions.
Osage Gallery was founded in 2004, and has since established itself as a major interdisciplinary platform for Asian and international contemporary art. It is well-known for exhibiting dramatic installations and performance artworks, often with challenging and critical subject matters. As the gallery keeps irregular exhibition hours, remember to call ahead before your visit.
If you have time, head over to visit Sun Museum, a non-profit private museum promoting Chinese arts and culture. It strives to facilitate general understanding of how the art world in Hong Kong is enlivened by a diversity of cultures, and how the local community is enlightened by a wealth of Chinese traditions. The museum organises thematic exhibitions, talks and guided tours.
MA TAU KOK
Cattle Depot Artist Village
Cattle Depot Artist Village was originally a pre-war slaughterhouse built in 1908. In 1999, it was renovated and developed into the present village in 2001 for an artist community (originally occupying the former Government Supplies Department Headquarters at Oil Street, North Point). With its five distinctive red-brick buildings, it is a Grade II historical site. The Village is filled around twenty different artists and art groups, including 1a space, Videotage, On & On, Zuni Icosahedron, H Queen, and Play Depot, to name a few.
SHEK KIP MEI
Jockey Club Creative Arts Center (JCCAC)
The Jockey Club Creative Arts Center (JCCAC) opened in 2008, and is the first art village and centre in Hong Kong revitalised from a whole factory building. An affiliate of the Hong Kong Baptist University, JCCAC is a vertical art village with a nine-story building, and is an operating base for nearly 140 artists and cultural groups, providing affordable studios and facilities. The special feature of the Art Village is that nearly a quarter of the studios is reserved to cultivate potential artists. There are also two floors of exhibition halls, tea art houses, coffee shops, and creative craft shops around the central garden. Tours are even offered for interested parties.
*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.