Hong Kong is much more than simply a soulless skyscraper laden global, financial center. Hong Kongers in fact, live by the motto, ‘Work Hard and Party Harder’. It’s no wonder then Hong Kong’s vivacious nightlife scene is renowned throughout the world. Not just nightlife, Hong Kong also has a well-developed arts arena, and the city is home to numerous creative souls and hosts an especially vibrant arts community.
Hong Kong is a burgeoning Asian hub, and the city’s arts calendar is jam-packed with year-round arts events. These events attract galleries and collectors from all over the world.
Prominent annual Contemporary Art Fairs in Hong Kong include:
Aside from these art fairs, regular auctions of Chinese arts and antiquities are also held at the Hong Kong outposts of major auction houses. Bonhams, China Guardian andTiancheng Internationalare some of the many renowned auction houses that have a significant presence on Hong Kong’s art scene.
Hong Kong is considered to be the main gateway to affluent art buyers and collectors on theMainland. This ease of access to prospective buyers has drawn several famous names in the art world to set up permanent shop in Hong Kong. Big players on the global arts scene, galleries like Gagosian,White Cube, the Opera Gallery have in recent years opened for business in Hong Kong. These various art spaces host traveling exhibitions, which feature world-famous artists throughout the year.
In addition to art fairs, Hong Kong’s arts agenda also features several arts and cultural festivals, concerts and performance art events year round. A listing of all the events scheduled for the year can be found on the Hong KongTourism Board’s website. Some popular recurring arts events in Hong Kong include:
The Chinese Opera Festival
The annual Chinese Opera festival showcases the charm and grace of Chinese-style opera including the UNESCO recognized art form, Cantonese opera. Famous opera stars from Mainland China display their incredible talents during the festival as they delight and enthrall opera-lovers in Hong Kong.
Le French May
Hong Kong is currently home to the second largest French community outside of France. However, Hong Kong’s love affair with all things French started long before this demographic change. For in 1993, Hong Kong began to hosts the two-month long Le French May festival, a celebration of French arts and culture. The event features more than 100 events in its every edition as it provides a platform for the display of various streams of French culture including visual arts, dance, music, cinema and of course fashion. French cuisine is hugely popular in Hong Kong, and it is highlighted in an allied festival held at the same time called Le French GourMay.
The Hong Kong International Film Festival
Hong Kong has long been a center for film production. The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, a charitable, independent, non profit organization, is devoted to popularizing the art and culture of film in Hong Kong. The society’s major annual event is the Hong Kong International Film Festival, which is held in March every year. The festival offers Hong Kongers the opportunity to view and appreciate the best independent oeuvres from around the world. Parties, talks by eminent filmmakers, workshops and seminars all feature as a part of the festival.
Clockenflap is Hong Kong’s homegrown music and arts festival that is held over three days in November each year. The West Kowloon Cultural District has in recent years become the host venue of the Clockenflap festival. The festival features known as well as lesser-known international and domestic artists who entertain the crowds with their musical abilities. The festival also features contemporary art displays and offers various fun activities and events suitable for all ages.
The Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF)
The Hong Kong Arts Festival is Hong Kong’s major arts extravaganza. Held over two months in February and March, the festival features 150 performance art events along with 250 educational events. The grand arttableau features big names from around the world along with a whole host of emerging artistic and creative talents from Hong Kong. Theater, Chamber Music, Dance, Opera are some of the many art forms on display at the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
International Arts Carnival
Hong Kong’s long summers feature hot, humid climates. Hong Kong schools usually shut for summer vacations. The Entertainment Office of Hong Kong’s Cultural and Leisure department hosts the annual International Arts Carnival at various locations around Hong Kong. It undertakes this endeavor to providea form of entertainment for the vacationing youngsters, though it also aims to introduce them to various different art forms. The carnival features a plethora of family-friendly events featuring music, dance, film, puppetry, comedy, magic and more.
In addition to the above-mentioned major arts festivals, Hong Kong regularly hosts concerts and shows featuring au current as well as yesteryear music personalities. Theater productions from the world’s leading stages such as Broadway and the West End also make their way to Hong Kong periodically.
Stand Up Comedy
The art of Stand Up Comedy is gaining much popularity in Hong Kong nowadays.Hong Kongers lead stressed, and busy lives and they seem to relish the chance to let their hair down and relax. As a result, homegrown comedy companies like Take Out Comedy club and the Punchline Comedy Club are becoming increasing popular. These comedy clubs feature local as well as international stand up comedy artists regularly.
Arts Venues around Hong Kong
As Hong Kong is home to such a lively arts community, it’s hardly surprising that the city features myriad performance art venues.
This 1800 square-meter-art space located at the Swire company’s Taikoo Place, in the eastern half of Hong Kong Island regularly hosts visual and performance arts exhibitions.
The Fringe Club
Housed in a heritage building on Lower Albert Road in the heart of Central, the Fringe Club seeks to promote and encourage homegrown talents. The club has an onsite theatre and a year round arts agenda that includes the Hong Kong Fringe Festival.
Broadway Cinematheque located in the Yau Ma Tei district of Kowloon is the Hong Kong’s main art house cinema. The theater hosts several annual avant-garde film festivals like the Asian Film Festival, the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the Korean Film Festival and others along with retrospectives of film greats from all over the world.
The Hong Kong Cultural Centre
The Hong Kong Cultural Centre occupies a prime spot on the waterfront in TsimShaTsui. This imposing structure serves as a host venue for year round cultural activities like film-screenings, operas, dance, drama and theatre productions, conventions, conferences and exhibitions.
The Hong Kong Arts Centre
The Hong Kong Arts Centre is an epicenter for arts and culture on Hong Kong Island. The center is allied to Hong Kong Art School and, features a 3 D Cinema, theatres, art galleries, studios as well as an on-site restaurant and café.
The Hong Kong Institute of Visual Arts, Hong Kong City Hall, Innocentre, the Ko Shan Theatre, the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Para-Site and PMQ are some of the other prominent arts venues in Hong Kong.