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Arts Month Returns to Hong Kong

By Sophie Pettit 13 March 2016
[masterslider id="201"] An explosion of creativity and excitement is washing over the urban jungle, with the return of the much anticipated Hong Kong Arts Month. Internationally acclaimed artists, up-and-coming stars, and a wealth of homegrown talent will come together in an inspirational spectrum of events. From avant-garde to street art, opera to ballet, there’s something to suit all tastes — whether you live for art or simply dabble in the scene. Here is our pick of the ones not to miss.

Art Basel | Art Central | Above Second | Asia Contemporary Art Show Affordable Art FairHong Kong Arts Festival | HK International Deaf Film Festival HKwalls Street Art Festival | The Hong Kong French Theatre Festival M+ Sigg Collection | Michael Kistler and Pazu Chan Michael Wolf Presents: Informal Solutions Sotheby's Presents: Next Destination - Hong Kong

Sotheby's Presents: Next Destination - Hong Kong

  What better way to kick off the most creative month of our city's calendar than with a celebration of homegrown artistic talent? Over 50 pieces will deck out Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery in its premier, large-scale showcase of Hong Kong's creative stars. A selection of works from William Lin's private Living Collection will shine the spotlight on prominent leaders from the last decade of our city's contemporary art movement, including Chow Chun Fai, Yeung Tong Lung, and Au Hoi Lam. Accompanying these rarely-seen pieces is the Selling Exhibition of Contemporary Hong Kong Art. Inspired by Lin's artistic eye and impressive collection, Sotheby's has curated 40 works by 16 local artists, including Wilson Shieh Ka Ho (pictured), Kwan Sheung Chi, and Lin Xue. With Hong Kong quickly establishing itself on the international art scene, the chance to admire the unique style of these local artists is one you simply cannot miss. When: Runs until March 10, (Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm; Saturday, 11am - 5pm) Where: Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery, 5/F, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway How much: Free [su_custom_gallery source="media: 84261,84262,84263,84264" link="custom" target="blank" width="280" height="186" title="never"][su_custom_gallery source="media: 40656,40650,40649" limit="3" link="image" target="blank" width="200" height="200" title="never"][/su_custom_gallery]  

 Hong Kong Arts Festival 

hkarts festival Hong Kong Arts Festival is celebrating it's 44th year in style, bringing to the stage over 100 performances over a five-week period. From opera to ballet, music to dance, the festival presents leading local and international artists in all genres of the performing arts, including Bavarian State Opera, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Shakespeare Company, and National Theatre of China. A diverse range of "Festival PLUS" activities will also be on offer in community locations to enhance the engagement between artists and audiences, including masterclasses, workshops, backstage visits, and guided tours. With a show-stopping schedule of spectacular events aimed at enriching the city's cultural scene, this festival is not to be missed. When: Runs until March 20, (times vary) Where: Locations vary How much: Ticket prices vary Click here for more information

The Hong Kong French Theatre Festival

HKFTF Adding a touch of je ne sais quois to Arts Month is the annual Hong Kong French Theatre Festival. From hilarity in Pyjama pour six (A Pyjama for Six), to romance in Le medicine malgre lui (The Doctor in Spite of Himself), it's no wonder tickets have been selling like hot cakes for this celebration of French theatrical talent. A series of four plays, performed by three French theatre companies, including Les Enfants Terribles, will take to the stage over the course of four days, courtesy of the French children's charity, Pour un Sourire D'enfant. All profits from the festival will go towards supporting the organisation, which has saved and educated thousands of Cambodian children. If you're not fluent in the language of love then don't panic, as English subtitles will accompany each performance. When: March 9 - 12, (8pm) Where: French International School Auditorium, 34 Price Road, Jardine's Lookout; or Chinese International School, 1 Hau Yuen Path, Braemar Hill, Tin Hau How much: $250 per show for adults; $150 per show for students Click here for more information

Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival

deaf film Returning for the sixth year, the two-day Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival will showcase the talents of Deaf directors and actors from Ireland, Macau, and Hong Kong. The festival provides a platform to "voice out" the thoughts and feeling Deaf people who strive to break the limitations of education, resource, and discrimination. From comedies to cartoons, and mini movies to lengthy films, a whole spectrum of cinematic magic will be projected onto the big screen over the course of the festival. And contrary to popular belief, not all Deaf films are silent, as many feature soundtracks and dialogue. When: March 11, (8pm); March 12, (2.30pm, 5pm, and 8pm); March 13, (2.30pm and 8pm) Where: agnes b Cinema, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai How much: Free Click here for more information

HKwalls Street Art Festival 

HKWALLS-STEPS-01 Take to the streets and watch in awe as a talented team of international and local artists splatter Hong Kong's walls with creativity and expression. Returning for its third consecutive year, the week-long HKwalls Street Art Festival is an alternative addition to the Arts Month schedule and will see Sham Shui Po get an edgy facelift. Community spirit is at the very heart of this urban celebration, which has partnered up with 'Off the Wall' shoe brand Vans and local property owners to transform walls into giant canvases. With diversity in its blood, and quirks lying around every corner, the participating artists will not have to look far for inspiration in this vibrant neighbourhood. When: March 21 - 27 Where: Sham Shui Po (Cheung Sha Wan Road to Lai Chi Kok Road / Boundary Street to Nam Cheong Street) How much: Free Click here for more information

Read more! Check out Creatively Cool Cocktails for Arts Month.

Art Central

art central feature Hong Kong's most stylish and cutting-edge art event is back for round two. Over 100 exhibitors from 21 countries, including 30 up-and-coming names never before seen in Hong Kong, as the fair showcases the next generation of talent alongside established names from across the globe. Large-scale installations, engaging talks, and performances promise to lure more art lovers than ever before through the doors of the architecturally designed gallery at Central Harbourfront. New additions to this year's fair include the Media X Mumm, an exhibition of digital, new media, and performance art, as well as Screen x Experimenta, which will screen experimental and narrative filmmakers for one hour every day. Highlights include the 12-metre mixed media mural, Growth, by Indonesian born Dwi Sentianto, and Gallery Hyundai's selection of Dansaekhwa Korean monochromatic works by masters Park Seo Bo and Lee Ufan. Don't forget to grab a bite to eat from the outdoor Street Food area, and don't miss our exclusive offer for Localiiz readers (below).

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[su_note note_color="#eae9e8" radius="0"] Art Central Exclusive Ticket Offer – Over 50% Off Art Central is offering friends of Localiiz the opportunity to purchase general entry tickets from 23 to 26 March at over 50% off! Click here to find out more. [/su_note] When: March 21 (First Night: 5pm - 9pm) 22 (VIP Preview: 10am - 6pm) 23 - 24, (Public: 12 noon - 7pm); March 25, (11am - 7pm); March 26, (11am - 6pm) Where: Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central How much: $230 for adults; $50 for students; free for children under 12

Art Basel

basel1 Back for the the fourth year, the prestigious Art Basel presents over 4,000 artists, ranging from paintings to sculptures, and films to large-scale installations. With at least half of all the pieces on display hailing from the Asia-Pacific region, the Hong Kong edition of this global art show is totally unique to the Miami and Basel shows. Renowned for pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation, it is no surprise that Art Basel 2016 is taking to the great outdoors. The towering International Commerce Centre (ICC) is getting a Basel-makeover, courtesy of internationally acclaimed Japanese artist, Tatsuo Miyajima. His light installation, entitled Time Waterfall, will cascade down the iconic building, illuminating the night sky. Well you didn't think Art Basel would be understated, did you? When: March 24 - 26, (times vary); Time Waterfall, March 21 - 26, (7.20pm - 10pm) Where: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai How much: $250 - $850 Click here for more information

Asia Contemporary Art Show

IMG_8115 With over 3,000 stunning works of art on display at the Conrad Hotel, the Asia Contemporary Art Show promises to round off Hong Kong's most artistic week with a colossal bang. Over 100 artists hailing from 15 countries around the globe will deck out the prestigious 5 star hotel with their finest pieces. Guests can browse stunning originals and limited edition works scattered across four floors, in the company of the artists themselves. The chance to meet these creative talents, and hear first-hand what inspires and shapes their masterpieces, is an amazing opportunity not to be missed. Don't forget to check out the event website to carry on shopping after this bi-annual show comes to a close. When: March 24 - 27, (times vary) Where: Conrad Hotel, One Pacific Place, Queensway, Admiralty How much: $220 (bring a friend for free!)

M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art 

To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain Watch in awe as the evolution of Chinese contemporary art unfolds in front of your very eyes at this debut exhibition. Starting as an underground movement during the 1970s, China's contemporary art scene has blossomed over four decades. For the first time ever, visitors can embark upon a chronological exploration of this creative journey courtesy of the M+ Sigg Collection. This world-class, comprehensive stockpile of Chinese art totals 1,150 works - over 80 of which will be on display in Hong Kong for the next month. The diverse mix of paintings, sculptures, and installations trace the influence of the Cold War, globalisation, and urbanisation on the nation's creative minds. The M+ Sigg exhibition also offers a sneak peek into the artistic offerings of the M+ museum - Hong Kong's new hub of visual culture, which will open its doors in 2019. When: Runs until April 5, (11am - 8pm daily, except 11am - 7pm on March 2, 10 and 15, and 11am - 5pm on April 5) Where: ArtisTree, 1/F, Cornwall House, Taikoo Place, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay How much: Free Click here for more information

Above Second

STUDIO NEON This March, Sai Ying Pun based gallery, Above Second, is presenting the work of an exciting selection of global artists as part of Art Basel. The distinctive creations of Montreal based artist, Sandra Chevrier, will be adorning the walls of this venue in her first solo show, Les Cages/ The Echo of Crash BAM PoW . Blending female portraits with comic book illustrations, Chevrier's striking pieces comment on the female struggle against society's gendered expectations. Spanish artist Javier Martin will also be making an appearance, showcasing works from his ten year-long career in Lies and Light. The elusive nature of genuine beauty is the focus of Martin's exhibition, which incorporates unconventional materials including mirrors, lights, and designer Louis Vuitton bags as you have never seen them before. When: Sandra Chevrier, March 22 - May 7, (11am - 10pm); Javier Martin, March 26 - April 2, (11am - 10pm). Where: Sandra Chevrier, Above Second Gallery, 9 First Street, Sai Ying Pun; Javier Martin, Loft 22, 22/F, California Tower, 30-36 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central How much: Free

Michael Wolf Presents: Informal Solutions

michael wolf Award-winning German photographer and Hong Kong addict, Michael Wolf, has taken his love affair with Hong Kong to a new level. In his latest exhibition, which showcases the images in his book Informal Solutions, he peers beyond the sparkling skyscrapers and turns his attention to the ad hoc beauty of the backstreets. These urban alleys are hardly glamorous, with their pungent aromas and cluttered floors - for many of us, they are nothing more than a time-saving shortcut. However, Wolf has swept away these dingy preconceptions, using his natural flair and artistic eye to transform the everyday mundanities of these 'scavenger lanes' into spectacles of curiosity and intrigue. You will never look at a pair of discarded rubber gloves in the same way again - we can promise you that. When: March 24 - June 25, (by appointment only); Open day March 27, (3pm - 9pm) Where: Michael Wolf's Studio, A504 Kailey Industrial Building, 12 Fung Yip Street, Chai Wan How much: Free Check out more of his work

Michael Kistler and Pazu Chan Present: Perfecting the Present

another dimension

Take a look at the city through the lenses of internationally acclaimed Hong Kong photographers, Michael Kistler and Pazu Chan. For the first time ever, these creative minds are joining forces to deck out the stylish lobby of J Plus Hotel with entrancing shots of urban beauty. Showcasing their finest shots, the striking collection of work demonstrates the photographers' skill at recasting everyday mundanities in an exciting light. From Kistler's trademark experimentation with raindrops, to Chan's fascination with past, present, and future, the images promise to reinvigorate the visual excitement of Hong Kong within one of a unique venue that fueses hospitality and art.

When: Runs until May 31st Where:  J Plus, 1-5 Irving Street, Causeway Bay How much: Free Check out the Facebook event page

Read more! Check out our interview with Michael Kistler.

Affordable Art Fair

affordable art fair Everyone can be an art collector, thanks to the Affordable Art Fair. Riding high on its popularity last year, this returning exhibition will showcase the collections of 110 local and international galleries, including The Cat Street Gallery and Affinity for Art. Fuelled by the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to spice up their walls with unique masterpieces, a whole host of works by both global names and emerging talent will be up for grabs, with prices ranging between $1,000 and $100,000. Friendly experts will be on hand to dish out their hints, tips, and advice for purchasing art, making it the perfect place for first-time buyers. With tasty treats, delicious tipples, and hands-on demonstrations, in addition to the visual feast of original art work, the Affordable Art Fair is definitely worth a visit. When: May 13, (12 noon - 9pm); May 14 - 15, (11am - 7pm) Where: Hall 3B and C, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai How much: $150 Click here for more information

Feeling artistic? Get your creative juices flowing at one of these art classes in our directory.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.