If you want to experience Hong Kong in an artsy way, then the month of March is the best time to explore this bustling city. For the entire month, Hong Kong’s arts scene will host an array of arts events planned in various neighbourhoods across the city.
Be it world-class art happenings downtown and performing arts programmes from around the world, to unique and exciting arts offerings in local communities, there will be something to suit all tastes during the Hong Kong Arts Month.
The Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) will be the premier event to kick-off the Hong Kong Arts Month. Starting Feb 23, the 46th HKAF will feature over 1,700 international and local artists in 130 performances until March 24.
This year’s highlights include Whipped Cream, by the American Ballet Theatre, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, by the National Theatre of Great Britain, and Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande, staged by the legendary Welsh National Opera.
Another highlight is Art Central Hong Kong, which will be staged in the Central Harbourfront Event Space from March 27 to April 1. The fourth edition will return with 30 galleries participating for the first time and over 100 international galleries, over 75% of which are from Asia-Pacific, making it the largest edition in scale by far.
Art Central Hong Kong’s week-long programme also includes interactive installations, performances and a panel discussion.
Art Basel in Hong Kong, now in its sixth edition, will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 29-31. The international art fair will feature 248 leading galleries from 32 countries and territories, with 28 of them from Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas participating for the first time.
Art Basel will offer an expansive view of its diverse arts vision, historical materials and cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists.
Authentic arts happenings in local Hong Kong neighbourhoods are also hidden gems to be discovered. Sham Shui Po, a local neighbourhood which offers one of the most heritage-rich experiences in Hong Kong, is one of the highlights in this edition of Hong Kong Arts Month.
The HK Urban Canvas community art project, organised by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, has brought talented local artists and students together to create 10 shutter artworks that tell the stories of the local shops in the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood.
Visitors are encouraged to join weekend tours from late-March to mid-April to learn more about the art project and the neighbourhood.
If you are visiting Art Basel, then make time for some gallery hopping in Wong Chuk Hang. The South Island district, which includes Wong Chuk Hang, has been an upcoming art hub in Hong Kong. On South Island Art Day on March 29, around 16 art galleries and studios in the South Island Cultural District will open their doors to host exhibitions and performances.
Hidden within industrial buildings in the New Territories is Fo Tan, another up-and-coming art neighbourhood that is lesser known to visitors. Since 2000, it has been transformed from a predominantly industrial district into a vibrant artistic community, given the more affordable rents in the area.
On March 31, Fotan Open Studios will offer an opportunity for those who are interested to meet and exchange ideas with the local artists. From pottery, sculpture and Chinese calligraphy to contemporary art pieces, visitors can always find something of interest in the neighbourhood.