Hong Kong de­lights art lovers with a ra of emerg­ing gal­leries.

Belle - - Belle Promotion - Pho­to­graphs CHRIS­TIAN SCHAULIN Words KRISTINA RADERSCHAD

Hong Kong seems to go from strength to strength and has amaz­ing pow­ers of rein­ven­tion. Now it’s added the man­tle of art hub – right in step with its cool per­sona.

Con­stantly de­vel­op­ing, al­ways chang­ing and ul­tra cos­mopoli­tan, Hong Kong is a dy­namic and beau­ti­ful city – and an emerg­ing art hub, with Art Basel Hong Kong tak­ing place for the fourth time this year. A fas­ci­nat­ing me­trop­o­lis, Hong Kong has more than seven mil­lion in­hab­i­tants crowded into a dense ur­ban area. Since the han­dover of sovereignty from Great Bri­tain to the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China in 1997, the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” sta­tus ap­plies, cov­er­ing a pe­riod of 50 years – a con­di­tion that strength­ens Hong Kong’s role both as an im­por­tant player in the busi­ness and nan­cial sec­tor and as a glit­ter­ing shopping des­ti­na­tion.

Each year Hong Kong be­comes the focus of the art world: since 2013 the off­shoot of Art Basel has taken place here with great suc­cess. Not only have the most im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional gal­leries for mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art, such as WHITE CUBE and GAGOSIAN GALLERY, es­tab­lished branches here, but Art Basel Hong Kong has also proved to be a cat­a­lyst for the lo­cal art scene, with ex­cit­ing emerg­ing gal­leries such as PEARL LAM and HANART TZ pro­mot­ing lo­cal tal­ent. At this year’s event, 239 of the world’s lead­ing mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art gal­leries dis­played paint­ings, draw­ings, sculp­tures, in­stal­la­tions, prints, pho­to­graphs, lm, video, and dig­i­tal art by more than 4000 artists.

Apart from the main venue in the Hong Kong Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, the top gal­leries and art and de­sign hubs such as PMQ POLICE MAR­RIED QUAR­TERS, and arty restau­rants like BIBO, DUDDELL’S (de­signed by Ilse Crawford) and MOTT 32 in and around Cen­tral, CHAI WAN, a for­mer in­dus­trial area around a cargo han­dling basin in the east of Hong Kong Is­land is the place to go. Gal­leries such as AO VER­TI­CAL, PLAT­FORM CHINA and 10 CHANCERY LANE present works in semi-derelict pro­duc­tion build­ings and empty ware­houses.

Par­al­lel to Art Basel Hong Kong, the lo­cal arts fes­ti­val Chai Wan Mei of­fers an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore artists’ and de­sign­ers’ stu­dios. “This two-day event opens the doors of Chai Wan’s in­dus­trial cre­ative spa­ces,” says Ig­na­cio Gar­cia, one half of de­sign duo TANGRAM, head­quar­tered in the area. Span­ish ar­chi­tect Ig­na­cio and his wife, Columbian tex­tile de­signer Paola Sin­is­terra, moved to Hong Kong in 2010. “We were thrilled by the dy­namic of the city, and we ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing close to the tex­tile pro­duc­tion in China as well as the sur­round­ing na­ture.”

In­deed, Hong Kong is much greener than you would think – with hik­ing trails and dense forests just be­hind the ur­ban jun­gle, which can be dis­cov­ered in all its beauty from Vic­to­ria Peak. Take the Peak Tram from Cen­tral up to the top and en­joy the breath­tak­ing view, and the rush of high-rise style. From here you can look across Vic­to­ria Har­bour which has di­min­ished in size over the past few years as land has been re­claimed for, among other de­vel­op­ments, the new West Kowloon cul­tural district where the M+ mu­seum for vis­ual cul­ture, fo­cus­ing on 20th- and 21st-cen­tury art, de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture is tak­ing shape, de­signed by Swiss ar­chi­tects Her­zog & de Meu­ron and sched­uled for open­ing in 2019.

Non-pro t art space SPRING WORK­SHOP’s founder and di­rec­tor MIMI BROWN says she came to Hong Kong for ad­ven­ture, with her hus­band who is from Is­tan­bul, and baby. “Spring Work­shop opened in 2012 in the Wong Chuk Hang area, where there are still tra­di­tional mar­kets, tem­ples and a shing com­mu­nity, and now a new metro, ho­tels and shopping malls. The gallery is com­mit­ted to an in­ter­na­tional cross-dis­ci­plinary pro­gram of artists and cu­ra­to­rial res­i­den­cies, ex­hi­bi­tions, mu­sic, lm and talks, adding to Hong Kong’s rich cul­tural land­scape.”

ELIS­A­BETH LAU, with her store THE RE­FIN­ERY at de­sign hub PMQ, is another cre­ative who is help­ing to make Hong Kong tick. She ar­rived from Lon­don in 2013, and says “Hong Kong is al­ways chang­ing, there are al­ways new and thrilling things to dis­cover. For me it is an ex­cit­ing des­ti­na­tion cel­e­brat­ing de­sign and cre­ativ­ity.”

FRÉDÉRIC GOORIS (de­signer of Alessi Eyes, Alessi Watches) stud­ied de­sign in Mi­lan where he met his Hong Kong-born wife. The cou­ple and their two daugh­ters moved here in 2010. “Hong Kong is a great place for a Western de­signer like me. For my Euro­pean clients like Alessi it is im­por­tant to have some­one here to over­see the man­u­fac­tur­ing process in the fac­to­ries in China, from the rst pro­to­type to the nal prod­uct.”

Cu­ra­tor of M+ mu­seum, ARIC CHEN, was born in Chicago to Chi­nese par­ents. “This is the world’s big­gest art venue cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion on 40 hectares of re­claimed land. It’s very ex­cit­ing to be a part of this.”

No one has documented the (ephemeral) beauty of Hong Kong as well as pho­tog­ra­pher MICHAEL WOLF, who works in a lofty stu­dio in Chai Wan. His fas­ci­na­tion with Hong Kong – where he has been based since 1994 – has pro­duced many pho­to­graphic art­works that doc­u­ment his dis­cov­er­ies of cul­ture and life in the small back streets. “My favourite is the PING PONG 129 GIN­TONE­RIA – an in­dus­trial space in Sai Ying Pun (the ‘Pren­zlauer Berg’ of Hong Kong), in­fused with Span­ish soul,” he says. Juan Martínez Gre­go­rio opened this bar in the base­ment of a for­mer ping pong club in 2014, serv­ing 70 gins from around the world plus ar­ti­sanal beers. “Hong Kong is a place where you can make things hap­pen,” says Juan.

Clock­wise from top le A view of Hong Kong Is­land from East ho­tel. Ed1­tus o ers mid-cen­tury de­signs. Cu­ra­tor of the M+ mu­seum, Aric Chen. Peren­nial favourite Yard­bird restau­rant. Chill­ing out at Ammo restau­rant. Gallery Hanart TZ. Ig­na­cio Gar­cia and Paola Sin­is­terra of Tangram de­sign­ers. Sliv­ers of sky­scrapers.

Quirky dec­o­ra­tion at Hong Kong restau­rant Ho Lee Fook.

Clock­wise from cen­tre Pho­tog­ra­pher Michael Wolf. His pho­to­graphic art­works on dis­play. Ping Pong 129 Gin­tone­ria serves gins from around the world. Konzepp store oers quirky goods. Fash­ion de­signer El­iz­a­beth Lau at her shop The Reƒnery. The bustling Cen­tral district. PMQ Police Mar­ried Quar­ters is home to de­sign stores and restau­rants.

Clock­wise from top le AO Ver­ti­cal art space in Chai Wan. 10 Chancery Lane Gallery rep­re­sents lo­cal artists. Mimi Brown (cen­tre) and her Spring Work­shop ex­hi­bi­tion space. Chai Wan arts district is in a for­mer in­dus­trial area. Pearl Lam Gal­leries pro­motes con­tem­po­rary art and de­sign. Cen­tral’s Mott 32 restau­rant serves mod­ern Chi­nese food.

Clock­wise from top le Green space – Ad­mi­ralty in Cen­tral. Frédéric Gooris de­signs watches and more for Alessi. Bibo restau­rant – art on the walls and on the plate. Car­bone is a New York-style Ital­ian restau­rant. Friedrich Ku­nath’s ex­hi­bi­tion at White Cube. Plat­form China Con­tem­po­rary Art In­sti­tute is an out­post of the Bei­jing gallery.


AO VER­TI­CAL aover­ti­


PEARL LAM GAL­LERIES pearl­ PLAT­FORM CHINA plat­form­ Home/About

SPRING WORK­SHOP spring­work­ WHITE CUBE white­

10 CHANCERY LANE GALLERY 10chancery­lane­



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