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Your ultimate guide to gallery-hopping in Central

By Tommy Yu 7 April 2022

Header image courtesy of Villepin

Aside from its towering offices and bustling streets, Central is also the centre for a host of creative and cultural hidden gems. A great number of art galleries are spread across the business district, with several international names interspersed with local artistic endeavours. Whether you are a casual gallery-hopper or an art aficionado, here are our favourite art galleries in Central for you to dive into the vibrant, artistic realm.

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Photo: Opera Gallery
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Opera Gallery

Opera Gallery is committed to building an art space that connects the old masters with emerging artists. Counting Shepard Fairey and Andy Denzler amongst its portfolio of exhibitions, the gallery is the proud representative of several essential names in the contemporary and modern art world. Spanning three storeys at a premium Central address, the luxurious, iridescent façade is well-matched with the exhibitions inside.

You can find a vast array of high-value masterpieces across different mediums, such as paintings, installations, and sculptures. Representing artists worldwide across genres, eras, and styles, its Hong Kong outpost has even recently mounted an exhibition of Keith Haring, the American pop artist and world-famous LGBT activist.

Opera Gallery, Shop G08–09, The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central

Photo: JPS Gallery
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JPS Gallery

Located in the heart of Central District, JPS Gallery is committed to exhibiting contemporary artists and their passionate spirit in a digital world. From comic strips to installations, the Hong Kong gallery playfully engages with vibrant pop culture, recreating an art space that expands beyond the norm or sometimes defies the spatial bounds of our imagination.

JPS Gallery has mounted exhibitions of local artist Afa Annfa and international star August Vilella. Out of many notable exhibitions is “Following My Path” by Cope2, in which a graffiti-painted train was installed to encapsulate the street culture in New York City.

JPS Gallery, Shops 218–219, 2/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central

Photo: Simon Lee Gallery
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Simon Lee Gallery

Located in the iconic Pedder Building, Simon Lee Gallery was founded in London and opened its first overseas outpost in Hong Kong. Its artwork collection runs across different generations and mediums, from paintings and photographs to videos and sculptures.

With world-renowned artists packed into its exhibition, the Hong Kong gallery featured the artworks by famous photographer Daidō Moriyama, whose works are collected by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Additionally, the gallery has regularly organised past exhibitions and curated group shows that aim to capture the perpetual dynamics of the contemporary art world, and provides an excellent opportunity to consolidate your artistic learning.

Simon Lee Gallery, Shop 304, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central

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Photo: Pearl Lam Galleries
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Pearl Lam Galleries

Established in 2005, Pearl Lam Galleries is a gem hidden inside the historical Pedder Building. Presenting museum-quality artworks by Chinese and international artists, the spacious gallery is mainly focused on contemporary art, featuring a diversity of mediums.

Offering culturally sophisticated and forward-thinking exhibitions, the Hong Kong gallery has displayed the artworks of notable figures like Sinta Tantra, Dale Frank, and Mr Doodle. Pearl Lam Galleries can be your springboard to dive into the psychic, sublime world of art, either for a casual, metaphysical release or a more serious, formal artistic learning.

Pearl Lam Galleries, Shops 601–605, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central

Photo: David Zwirner
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David Zwirner

Boasting unparalleled status in the art world, David Zwirner represents about 80 artists across different genres and styles, including Yayoi Kusama, the famous Japanese artist known as the “princess of polka dots.” Its publishing arm, David Zwirner Books, has also contributed significant titles, such as Two Cities by Cynthia Zarin, Oh, to Be a Painter! by Virginia Woolf, and Chardin and Rembrandt by Marcel Proust.

David Zwirner holds five to six exhibitions a year in Hong Kong, taking up two storeys in H Queen’s. From installations and paintings to films, it presents some of the best creative talents worldwide and instills the commercial district of Central with a refreshing energy.

David Zwirner, 5/F & 6/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central

Note: David Zwirner may be temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Photo: Hauser & Wirth
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Hauser & Wirth

Founded in 1992, Zurich-based Hauser & Wirth set up its first Asian outpost in Hong Kong in 2018. In its collection of artworks over the past 30 years, there are quite a number of historically significant modern pieces. It occupies two storeys in H Queen’s and has a long shelf of publications to further advance your artistic learning.

Featuring artists from across the globe, the Hong Kong gallery mounted the exhibitions of Louise Bourgeois, who was given a retrospective by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and Jean Arp, a world-renowned Dadaist and abstract artist. From paintings and sculptures to poetry readings and films, the exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth are created and curated using varied creative mediums, making a statement to promote that the means for individual expression can be limitless in the modern era.

Hauser & Wirth , 15/F & 16/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central

Note: Hauser & Wirth may only accept visits by appointment only due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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Photo: Whitestone Gallery
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Whitestone Gallery

Founded in Tokyo, Whitestone Gallery extended its operation to Hong Kong, introducing Japanese artists while welcoming an exchange of dialogue on a global scale.

As its first overseas operation, the two-storey Hong Kong outpost is located in H Queen’s, overlooking the hustle and bustle of Queen’s Road Central. Focusing on post-war artists and movements in Japan, the art space exhibits artworks across different genres, including paintings, sculpture, mixed art, and photography. It presents a surrealist, abstract vision which feels like an extraterrestrial journey into a magical world. For art enthusiasts, the all-white walls and aesthetic, simple layout distil the viewing experience.

Whitestone Gallery, 7/F & 8/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central

Photo: Tang Contemporary Art
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Tang Contemporary Art

Tang Contemporary Art is a must-visit if you are cruising into the contemporary Chinese art scene. Committed to promoting the creative dialogue between China, Asia, and the world at large, the gallery has a selection of significant tycoons in the market, including Ai Weiwei, whose artworks boast international reverence, and Yue Minjun, who is amongst the most influential and internationally recognised Chinese artists in the modern era.

Overlooking the concrete jungle, the gallery is cemented in the centre of the city’s art scene—H Queen’s. From paintings and installations to sculptures and photography, Tang shows its vast collection to claim a progressive spot in the modern art world.

Tang Contemporary Art, 10/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central

Note: Tang Contemporary Art may only accept visits by appointment only due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Photo: Tai Kwun
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JC Contemporary

Tai Kwun’s glamour extends far beyond its glitz as an Instagrammable spot and its distinctive nineteenth-century architecture—it is just as much about enjoying the visual feast and advancing your artistic learning. Besides being a long-standing monument in local history, Tai Kwun also commissions local artistic endeavours and homes in on their creative perspectives, making a crucial contribution to the city’s position as an Asian art hub.

From performing arts and public programmes to live music, Tai Kwun offers a variety of arts experiences and captures the imaginative spirit of the city. Its three-storey museum building houses two art galleries and one book library and showcases artworks by commissioned artists, including Nadim Abbas, Gaylord Chan, and Lawrence Weiner. Five to eight exhibitions are held annually for local and travelling visitors to revel in the power of creativity and explore the infinite possibility of creative expression.

Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central

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Photo: 10 Chancery Lane Gallery
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10 Chancery Lane Gallery

Behind Tai Kwun, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery abuts on the century-old prison wall. A few steps from the historical building will lead you to this subtle art spot that has mounted iconic artworks. Established in 2001, 10 Chancery Lane focuses on contemporary artwork from the Asia-Pacific region. From photographs and sculptors to paintings, it covers exhibitions across genres and styles and sometimes steps out of the line of human imagination.

Out of many notable exhibitions is Xiao Lu’s avant-garde “15 Shots, From 1988 to 2003” exhibition, a series of self-portraits where the artist presents herself as both the shooter and victim in an emotional discharge of her previous relationship. After viewing the incredible collection at Tai Kwun, drop by the gallery as an extension of your artistic journey.

10 Chancery Lane Gallery, G/F, 10 Chancery Lane, Central

Photo: @lagaleriehk (via Instagram)
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La Galerie Paris 1989

If you have an eye for the photogenic, you will find your artistic cravings satisfied at La Galerie Paris 1989. It features a spectacular combination of Western and regional Asian art scenes while searching for a modern angle to represent our local culture and history.

Located on vibrant Hollywood Road, the gallery is dedicated to photography—from fine art photographs to press photographs—presenting internationally reverent masterpieces and new artworks by emerging artists. Its roster of artists includes Giraffe Leung Lok-hei, a local artist who prints his photographic vision on Hong Kong coins, and Camille Levert, a French-born expat artist interested in the corner houses of Hong Kong.

La Galerie Paris 1989, G/F, 74 Hollywood Road, Central

Photo: Villepin
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Villepin

Villepin sits modestly amongst the kaleidoscopic storefronts along Hollywood Road, but it shines through as an international art gem, supported by the curatorial vision of Dominique and Arthur de Villepin. Established in 2019, the gallery organises exhibitions focused on collectors, accompanied by an introspection into the life stories behind each artist. Besides presenting amazing works of art, previous bilingual publications include original essays and curatorial research, pursuing a scholarly discourse on art pieces.

Exhibiting world-recognised artists, Villepin has presented Zao Wou-ki, the influential Chinese-French painter, and Georges Mathieu, who is widely considered as a founding father of European lyrical abstraction. Situated close to the buzzing Soho district, Villepin is where to go to spice up your itinerary and spend quality time after lunch.

Villepin, 53–55 Hollywood Road, Central

Note: Villepin may only accept visits by appointment only due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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Recommended routes

Main route (Red):

From Central Station (Exit D1), make a stop at Simon Lee Gallery and Pearl Lam Gallery in Pedder Building first. Afterwards, venture along Queen’s Road Central and continue in the direction of Central Market, and you will soon arrive at H Queen’s, which houses David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, Whitestone Gallery, and Tang Contemporary Art. From here, take the Mid-Level Escalator and visit JC Contemporary at Tai Kwun.

From Tai Kwun, exit through the Footbridge Gate for Hollywood Road. Head in the direction of Soho, where you will find La Galerie Paris 1989 and Villepin.

Alternative route 1 (Green):

From Tai Kwun, Exit through Blue Gate and walk up Old Bailey Street and turn into Chancery Lane, where you will pass 10 Chancery Lane Gallery.

Alternative route 2 (Yellow):

From Central Station (Exit D1), and turn onto Queen’s Road Central. Head in the direction of Landmark Atrium for JPS Gallery and Opera Gallery a few blocks down the road.

Many more galleries are located around Central for you to visit. See their locations marked on our map (above) to plan your own bespoke gallery-hopping route in Central.

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Tommy Yu

Writer

​​A free, intuitive, and mischievous spirit, Tommy loves travelling, fortune-telling, any kind of arts, or paranormal stuff. You will find him binge-watching every episode of Kangsi Coming, improvising a few lines from Wong Kar-wai movies, or finally getting someone’s zodiac sign right after guessing it wrong for the eleventh time.

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