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Header image courtesy of The Shophouse
If you take a closer look at the contemporary art scene in Hong Kong, you will find that a slew of independent art spaces and boutique galleries have popped up the city in various cutting-edge venues. Many of them are on a similar mission to support young artists and foster local creatives in a bid to help them thrive. Explore what the home-grown creative scene has to offer with the best independent art spaces to check out in Hong Kong.
Before it was transformed into an art and lifestyle concept space and opened to the public in May 2020, this five-storey tong lau (唐樓; tenement building)—which is also a Grade III historic building that dates back to the 1930s—had multiple identities. It was a family home, design studio, auto repair shop, and beauty salon until its latest redevelopment.
Nestled in the laid-back neighbourhood of Tai Hang, The Shophouse strives to become a meeting point where artists and creatives from various disciplines can connect and happenings between art, culture, and the minutiae of everyday life are woven together. Community socialising will also be hosted occasionally on their rooftop garden.
Besides the building’s unique “Shanghai plaster” façade, the wrought iron window framings on the ground floor offer passers-by a peek of its minimalistic interior and current display of artworks. Visitors can also explore details of the building’s glorious past while they appreciate the exhibition programme undertaken on different floors. The Shophouse is open from Mondays to Sundays by appointment only, so planning ahead is required.
The Shophouse, 4 Second Lane, Tai Hang
You probably wouldn’t imagine finding a gallery around Hong Kong’s famous “Goose Neck Bridge” (the Canal Road Flyover) in Causeway Bay, but that’s where the co-founders of this contemporary art gallery state that they are located. Instructions to reach the venue are only provided once a request to visit is confirmed through email.
Founded in 2021, Property Holdings Development Group (PHD Group) occupies a rooftop space that was once a private social clubhouse back in the 1970s. The gallery focuses on critical engagement with emerging and mid-career artists and cultural practitioners in Hong Kong in the hope of nurturing a sense of collective artistry in the local creative community.
Rather than diving into a full-on renovation, the architecture and characteristics of the original venue have been retained, with the raw concrete walls serve as the backdrop of different artworks. Selected furniture pieces from the clubhouse are preserved in their art viewing room. PHD Group is open from Wednesday to Saturday by appointment only.
Property Holdings Development Group (PHD Group), Causeway Bay
Sham Shui Po has witnessed the rise of a booming arts scene with an influx of creatives, including Current Plans, which was formerly known as Present Projects. Hidden in Tak On House—a dilapidated tong lau rooted in this kaleidoscopic precinct—this independent art space is devoted to curating contemporary exhibitions across disciplines with emerging artists and creatives from Hong Kong and abroad. Visitors can either enter through a gloomy staircase at the entrance of the building to reach the art space or access it through a spiral stairway inside a modern café that sits right underneath Current Plans.
Current Plans, 2/F, Tak On House, 13 Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po
Founded in 2017, this exhibition venue is run by three independent Hong Kong artists seeking to offer a non-commercial, non-institutional platform for local creative talents to practice their vision. “Hidden” away in an industrial building in Kwai Hing, the gallery is nevertheless not devoid of the spotlight, as it established an annual “Hidden Space Award” in 2018 as an effort to support graduating students from the Bachelor of Fine Arts programme run by RMIT University and the Hong Kong Art School. Winners of the competition are granted a solo exhibition at Hidden Space and receive mentorship from the founders! Do note that the gallery is only open during exhibitions, so advance planning is required.
Hidden Space, Unit 6, 16/F, Block A, Wah Tat Industrial Centre, 8–10 Wah Sing Street, Kwai Hing
An independently run gallery situated in Tai Nan Street—which is also known as the “Young Artists’ Street”—Parallel Space was founded in 2018 and has hosted many art shows and creative workshops in collaboration with a wealth of local artists, including designers, photographers, illustrators, and craftsmen. In this creative space, which occasionally serves as a concept store or a venue for experimental cultural projects, experimental art shines.
Parallel Space, 202 Tai Nam Street, Sham Shui Po
Opened in late 2021, Feyerabend is an independent art venue driven by the desire to offer an exhibition space to struggling artists to showcase their works and support the development of the local art scene. Named after an Austrian philosopher, the gallery is nestled in the Tai Kok Tsui neighbourhood and covers a compact area of 700 square feet.
Feyerabend does not promote much on social media as the co-founders believe that seeing art in person with a physical presence has a greater impact, which the internet simply cannot replicate. Feyerabend is open from Wednesday to Saturday by appointment only.
Feyerabend, Boundary Street, Tai Kok Tsui