3 amazing places to discover art in Hong Kong like a local

Everyone has their favorite part of Hong Kong. It could be Mongkok or Kowloon for shopping; it might be Lan Kwai Fong, SoHo or Wan Chai for nightlife and dining; or perhaps it’s the natural beauty of Sai Kung or Lantau Island that keeps them coming back. While you will inevitably revisit all your usual hangouts, should you find yourself in Hong Kong in the next few weeks, you have a unique opportunity to discover three up-and-coming parts of the city during Hong Kong Arts Month. Here’s what you can expect.

Fo Tan

Located just north of Lion Rock Country Park, Fo Tan has been a nondescript industrial area for most of its modern history. In recent years, however, it’s been attracting artists with its lower cost of living compared to other parts of Hong Kong. Painters, potters, calligraphers, sculptors, filmmakers and illustrators all have studios in the area and they’ll be welcoming visitors for Fo Tan Open Studios on Mar 31. Stop by to chat with the artists and watch them at work, and you might even get the opportunity to try your hand at their crafts.

Sham Shui Po

If you’re the kind of traveler who seeks out authentic and unfiltered districts wherever you go, you might already know about Sham Shui Po. Described as a “true and raw slice of Hong Kong” by Jonathan Jay Lee, an artist who lives and works in the neighborhood, Sham Shui Po is a place where time often stands still. Known for its humble street stalls, textile shops and cha chaan teng eateries, it’s fitting that Hong Kong Arts Month celebrates these local businesses with street-level “shutter art”—murals painted by local artists on shop shutters that tell stories of the shop owners and their community. You can explore the area on your own with the help of an augmented reality (AR) app.

South Island Cultural District

The attractions of Hong Kong Island’s southern coast are no secret—names like Repulse Bay, Shek O and Stanley bring to mind stunning seascapes and a way of life that can be ultra-luxe or down-to-earth, depending on where you look. Wong Chuk Hang and Tin Wan might not be household names just yet, but under the banner of the South Island Cultural District, they’ll soon become destinations on the mind of every art aficionado. The district is home to more than 20 galleries and studios with a focus on contemporary art. These art spaces will open their doors for South Island Art Day on Mar 29 with a lineup of performances, openings and talks. If you’d like to check out the area on your own, a helpful map is available on the district’s website.

Want to find out more about the local arts scene? Check out this video on the A to Z of Hong Kong Arts:

For more information, visit the Discover Hong Kong website.