hong kong art spaces travel ideas
Hong Kong's art enclaves. Collage: VICE / Images: Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron, Thy Lab, and 10 Chancery Lane

Next Time You’re in Hong Kong, Visit These Art Spaces

For collectors or novices, get your art fix in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, or Central SoHo.

Hong Kong is a global art destination. It has seen a rise in independent spaces in the humble neighborhood of Sham Shui Po, major transformations in the Central district, and new contemporary art galleries in Wong Chuk Hang. Of course, there’s also the monumental M+ Museum at the West Kowloon Cultural District—a waterfront precinct for art and culture that took over a decade to complete. There was a lot to be missed about the cosmopolitan city during the height of the pandemic and now that it’s starting to open up again, there’s even more to be seen. If you’re into art, below are just some of the places you need to see the next time you visit. 



hong kong art spaces travel ideas

Tai Kwun’s courtyard. Photo: Courtesy of Tai Kwun

In Central’s SoHo neighborhood is Tai Kwun, a former police station and prison that is now a heritage site accessible through the iconic mid-level escalators. The central courtyard is sheltered by red bricks, wooden panels, and a colonial design, which has 170 years of history behind it. “Tai Kwun is becoming the new art hub in Central because it gathers a group of old and new galleries including Kwai Fung Hin, Ora-Ora, and Touch Gallery,” said  Ellen Zhang, a gallerist from 10 Chancery Lane, an art gallery on the quiet avenue of Chancery Lane, just behind Tai Kwun. 

hong kong art spaces travel ideas

LoveInTheDream 20th Anniversary Exhibition. Photo: Courtesy of 10 Chancery Lane 

The gallery has been around for over a decade but is mostly known to serious international buyers and visitors, Paris Hilton for one. It's worth the trek up a hill as an off-the-tourist-track destination for Chinese Contemporary art featuring Xiao Lu, Huang Rui, and Wang Keping. 

hong kong art spaces travel ideas

Installation view of the “Myth Makers—Spectrosynthesis III” exhibition in Tai Kwun. Photo: South Ho

Within the labyrinth of Tai Kwun are JC Contemporary and JC Cube, both a large-scale exhibition space and an outdoor amphitheatre, which draw in the majority of the crowd. For something more intimate, look instead to Touch Ceramics and Gallery, which opened in 2020 in Block 3 of the Barrack Block. Founder Enders Wong features established and emerging Hong Kong artists with rotating exhibitions and ceramics workshops in the art of Kintsugi for more accessible wares to take home.


Wong Chuk Hang

hong kong art spaces travel ideas

Rossi&Rossi Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of Rossi&Rossi

A new guard for contemporary art is the Southside enclave of Wong Chuk Hang, an industrial neighborhood for small-scale and international galleries alike. The closing of borders due to the pandemic led to closer relationships with local talent. Many existing galleries have opened up or moved to new spaces, and there has been a shift from the once concentrated center of Hong Kong to its bordering districts with more affordable rent, like Wong Chuk Hang. This expansion includes Mou Project, L+ / Lucie Chang Fine Arts, and Denny Gallery.

Meanwhile, international gallery Rossi&Rossi is a driving force behind the Southside Saturday events. On the second Saturday of every month, the Wong Chuk Hang galleries (“The Southsiders,” as they are colloquially known) come together to play host to gallery-hopping events like new exhibition openings, film screenings, performances, and artist talks. “It feels like the scene as a whole has been building up energy and momentum,” Charles Fong, gallerist at Rossi&Rossi, told VICE. The gallery, like many others, just opened its doors to a bigger space in Wong Chuk Hang. 

Sham Shui Po

hong kong art spaces travel ideas

“Robert Notva: The Ghost Of The Author” exhibition in the Thy Lab alleyway. Photo: Courtesy of Thy Lab

Sham Shui Po is undergoing a transformation. From its humble beginnings as a neighborhood known for cheap textiles and affordable rent, it is now drawing independent artists and designers who are opening small-scale galleries, cafes, and bars. 


Thy Lab 旲 堂 is one of these hot spots. It's where Alberto Gerosa who runs the space told VICE, “Thy' means yours... it’s ‘your’ lab to anyone who is reading the name, an exercise in shared authorship." It’s an open-air museum on a small street, with art up 24 hours and a small studio space that has hosted DJ sets to the backdrop of black and white film screenings, performative dances, and a free archival project of Hong Kong family images and home movies. Spot it on the corner of Yu Chau Street with a homemade street sign signalling the alleyway entrance. 

A few blocks away is Current Plans, formerly Present Projects, an artist-and-curator-run space on the second floor of a rundown building. Urban decay is a common facade amongst the industrial apartments of the neighbourhood, creating a good balance between the old and new Sham Shui Po.

West Kowloon

hong kong art spaces travel ideas

The West Kowloon Art Park and M+ Museum. Photo: Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron

In West Kowloon, think museums, museums, and more museums. The cultural district is making a name for itself as a re-imagination of the 40-hectare waterfront, transforming it into an open space with two new mega art buildings—M+ and the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Both opened during the pandemic. 

hong kong art spaces travel ideas

Inside the M+ Museum. Photo: Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron

A halo for the waterfront is the M+ Museum for visual culture, which opened in November 2021. Although unseen by most of the outside world in its first year, it has seen over a million (mostly local) visitors. The contemporary space is Hong Kong’s version of London’s Tate Modern or New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its own identity to fit in with the glamour of the city. It lights up the skyline like a silver screen and can be seen from Hong Kong Island across Victoria Harbour. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the upside-down-T-shaped podium tower is billed as Asia’s “first global museum” of contemporary visual culture. It has exhibitions from the Uli Sigg Collection, one of Asia's largest collections of Chinese contemporary art, local talent, and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The mere size of the building will put you into shock and awe, with views over Victoria Harbour as you walk through 17,000 square meters of exhibition spaces. 


Maybe hard to spot behind the shadow of M+ is the Arts Pavilion in the waterfront gardens of the art park. It’s an architectural space that blends into a green hill with glass paneling lining the floating platform. A mirror to the landscape, the courtyard design winds into a pavilion for independent and small-scale exhibitions and events.

hong kong art spaces travel ideas

The Arts Pavillion. Photo: Winnie Yeung @ Visual Voices, courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

What’s on the horizon? Phillips Auction House on the ground floor of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) Tower will open its doors during Hong Kong Art Month in March 2023. Meanwhile, unveiling in 2024, is the Lyric Theatre Complex, a studio theater for performing arts that will sit along the waterfront in the M+ Artist Square.

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This article is supported by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. VICE retains complete editorial autonomy.

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