Thursday, 26 November 2020

An insider’s guide to Hong Kong’s artsiest neighbourhood

Previously a grey industrial district on the south side of Hong Kong Island, Wong Chuk Hang has transformed into an artsy enclave and one of the city’s most happening parts of town. We reached out to several local experts for the best places to check out.

Wander into cool art galleries

Back in June 2012, Swiss gallerist Dominique Perregaux decided to move his gallery Art Statements, from Central to Wong Chuk Hang. “I was looking for a much larger space and to also get back a certain pioneering energy,” he says. “Central was becoming overcrowded with new galleries. Wong Chuk Hang was the perfect place to find a sense of an art community that could develop.” By the end of that year, some 20 new galleries had opened in the vicinity.

Perregaux says art lovers should ensure they make a stop at Rossi & Rossi, which shows both contemporary Asian and modern Italian artists. “Visitors can discover interesting regional artists and build up their knowledge of international art.” Other galleries worth stopping by include Pékin Fine Arts, Blindspot, Floating Projects and de Sarthe Gallery.

In 2017, non-profit organisation HKwalls organised a street art festival that invited local and international artists to paint across Wong Chuck Hang’s building facades, metal shutters and concrete walls. Look out for Bangkok-artist Jecks’ work on the back façade of E-Tat Factory Building and Jakarta-based artist Tuts’ pair of Roosters on the Reliance Manufactory Building.

Pop into these unique shops

Perregaux also regularly visits Angry Lane, which makes leather jackets and motorcycle accessories. “Their space, mixing machines and craft leather, fits perfectly with the Wong Chuk Hang spirit,” he says.

To explore other options in the world of fashion, step into Float Captain, a Hong Kong-inspired surfing lifestyle and apparel shop, or wander into Edit, a contemporary womenswear brand, founded by Genevieve Chew and Jacqueline Chak. Hula, known for preloved designer products, also has a warehouse space set up in Wong Chuk Hang.

Next, wander over to Casa Capriz, a stunning showroom filled with vintage and retro furniture from Europe. You can find everything from knickknacks to stylish sofas. Ellermann Flower Boutique, a favourite for lush flower arrangements, is also worth a visit. They offer workshops on how to create everything from beautiful hand-tied bouquets to stunning centrepieces.

Take a break at these cafes

Sensory Zero is a sprawling artisanal coffee shop with large windows and a minimalist aesthetic. Along with all-day dining, beer and cocktails, they are known for intriguing coffee concoctions. Co-founder Alvin Hui recommends the signature drink, a ginger sparkling Americano. “It’s made with our homemade caramelised ginger syrup, sparkling water and speciality espresso,” Hui says.

Another option for your daily caffeine fix can be found at Africa Coffee & Tea. Hidden away in a commercial building, the African-themed café displays colourful tribal art and serves coffee produced out of ethically sourced beans from across the continent.

Enjoy a meal at these restaurants

Sensory Zero’s Hui also recommends stopping by Dine Art, an art gallery and wine cellar that offers private dining experiences. “They have a collection of fine art, from Australian painter Fred Williams to the Chinese artist Zao Wou-Ki,” he says.

For everyday dining, Hui likes the Nam Long Shan Cooked Food Market. “It’s the place I hung out at with my business partner Dixon [Ip] every day during the building of Sensory Zero,” he says. “I recommend the very local Hong Kong-style casual meals offered there, such as a corn and rice dish, or Thai food [from Thai Co Co Nut] on the ground floor.”


Grab a drink at these bars

Young Master Brewery is considered one of Hong Kong’s most popular craft breweries. They use a great mix of local ingredients and offer semi-regular Saturday tours.

Adeline Ooi, Art Basel’s art director, is a fan of the Ovolo Southside hotel’s rooftop bar, Above. “It’s a mainstay in Wong Chuk Hang – one of those places I remember from day one, meeting with artist friends for a drink,” Ooi says.

A version of this article was originally published in the March 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post An insider’s guide to Hong Kong’s artsiest neighbourhood appeared first on SilverKris.

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