Hong Kong’s art gallery scene has soared since I first arrived back in 2013. Art galleries here are so close together in each district, it is easy and accessible for anyone. However, for some, it is not the first activity that springs to mind on how to spend their weekends. Fair enough – there is a lot of weird stuff put on show. I have assembled here some of my favourite art galleries in Hong Kong. In my opinion, each present engaging shows with a welcoming space and staff.
- Sundaram Tagore
Sundaram Tagore Gallery is without a doubt my favourite. The gallery is devoted to examining the exchange of ideas between Western and Non-Western cultures. Their scope of artists merge techniques or mediums from both cultures, creating thought-provoking work. Such an amalgamation of artistic traditions adds an entire different dimension to the artwork. Each artist distinctively demonstrates their own signature traits and personality through their art. Miya Ando, Kim Joon and Golnaz Fathi and Sebastião Salgado are a few personal favourites. From photography to abstract to figurative, there is something for everyone.
Address: 4/F, 57-59 Hollywood Road, Central
- Galerie du monde
This gallery may have the friendliest gallery staff here in Hong Kong (so far). It is one of the oldest art galleries established in Hong Kong, exhibiting works of art on canvas, paper, sculpture and photography. They often exhibit contemporary Modern and Contemporary Chinese ink masters. It is a genre I particularly enjoy, being of fan of abstract art. Their space is commodious and welcomes you to sit down, read or contemplate the art displayed. The gallery staff is always enthused to explain the art on show but know when to leave you alone to “soak it all in”.
Address: 108 Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central
- De Sarthe
De Sarthe gallery satisfies my love for Modern Chinese Masters. It showcases important artworks of Impressionist and Modern Masters including living artists. I particularly adore Zao Wou Ki and Chu Teh Chun among their represented artists. These two Chinese painters practiced in Paris, fusing Western and Eastern techniques. As a result, they created impactful abstract designs. The gallery also represents a new generation of Chinese contemporary artists such as Lin Jingjing, Ma Sibo, Wang Guofeng, Wang Xin and Zhou Wendou.
Address: 8/F Club Lusitano Building, 16 Ice House Street, Central
- Pearl Lam Galleries
It isn’t just the gallery I admire but also the woman behind it all. Pearl Lam, with the trademark “pouffy” purple hair is an art expert icon. Her distinctive taste of East-meets-West has made her a pioneer in the Chinese art world. Her galleries play a vital role in stimulating an international dialogue on Chinese and Asian contemporary art. This results in engaging and stimulating exhibitions as her roster of artists re-evaluate and challenge perceptions of cultural practices from the region.
Address: 6/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central
Soho branch: Shop No. 1 G/F & 1/F, SOHO 189, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan
- La Galerie (Paris 1839)
You may have walked past it many times on Hong Kong’s party street that is Hollywood Road. But, this little French gallery is worth a visit. It is one of the first art spaces in Hong Kong focusing on high standard art photography and print. They often exhibit captivating photographs by famous and emerging French and Asian artists. Their display window is always nice to gaze at showing impressive black and white photography. My particular favourites are Almond Chu, Peter Turnley and Juan Sea.
Address: G/F – 74 Hollywood Road, Central
- Ben Brown Fine Art
When climbing the art tower in Central, known as Pedder Building, I always make Ben Brown Fine Art one of my stops. Their expertise is in 20th century Italian art and UK artists. But their Hong Kong branch offers a programme of Western and international art exhibitions tailored to the Asian market. So far, they have presented stimulating shows with leading artists. Vik Muniz, Simon Birch, Ori Gersht, Tseng Kwong Chi and Candida Höfer are few examples of stellar exhibitions.
Address: 3/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central
- White Cube
This space is far from small! White Cube’s exhibition space is of 550m2, set over two floors with a ceiling height of over 4,4 meters. With fresh white walls and evenly spaced artworks, it allows each work to shine. It also enables the viewer to “absorb” the art with ease. The large space is not the only reason I enjoy this gallery! It is also due to their great scope of established artists, resulting in exciting exhibitions. Since its establishment in 2012 in Hong Kong, the gallery has hosted a varied programme of shows including Gilbert and George, Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst, Cerith Wyn Evans and Beatriz Milhazes. They recently held a grand solo show of YBA artist Tracey Emin. The exhibition introduced her recent body of works of intimate self-portraits.
Address: 50 Connaught Road, Central
- Blindspot Gallery
It may be quite a taxi/bus ride away, but Blindspot’s exhibitions are worth a mention. Located in Hong Kong’s industrial district in Wong Chuk Hang, the gallery focuses on contemporary photography and image-based works amongst other media in contemporary art. They represent emerging and established artists from Hong Kong and the region as well as beyond. Additionally, their exhibition interior is one of the largest space in Hong Kong, covering 7000 square foot. Their space is not only airy but also welcoming. The venue allows natural light to beam through as well as an area for visitors to sit and read up on the art on the walls. Their shows mostly explore artistic experiments in photography (in Hong Kong and beyond), not to mention trending social and political issues.
Address: 15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang