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    Where To See "Real" Hong Kong Art?

    Hong Kong may aspire to be Asia's art hub, investing millions in arts and cultural infrastructure and mounting large-scale events like ARTHK in recent years, but at the moment it can be hard for visitors to find work by local artists.
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Lifestyle

    City Aspires To Become Asia's Art Hub, After Becoming Auction Superpower#

    Hong Kong may aspire to be Asia's art hub, investing millions in arts and cultural infrastructure and mounting large-scale events like ARTHK in recent years, but at the moment it can be hard for visitors to find work by local artists. So what are some of the best places to see top-quality local artwork in Hong Kong? This week, The Diplomat takes us on a tour of some of the city's hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems:

    As you might expect, the Hong Kong Museum of Art has a large collection of work by local artists. The curators maintain close relations with local art societies and universities. Some of the artists whose works are included in the collection, including my tour guide and gallery artist Chung Tai Fu, also teach at the Chinese University of Hong Kong or the University of Hong Kong. A fan came up to Chung Tai Fu, while he showed me around, and told me about Tai Fuʼs work in the Hong Kong Cultural Center. Tai Fu is so modest—he never told me, but we headed over that way and I saw a huge work installed over the main doorway.



    After we finished our touring, we headed straight to the restaurant near the Cultural Center to feast on some delicious dim sum. Over lunch we talked about one area in particular where you can see the work of many Hong Kong artists, especially at a certain time of the year.



    In January 2011 is the Fotanian open studio event when you can see work from artists who live in the Fo Tan area of Hong Kong. 'Fotanians,' as they call themselves, are a group of artists who live and work in Fo Tan's industrial buildings that were once warehouses and factories. There are all-round benefits of having such a community: The artists get cheap rent here, the vacant buildings get used and Hong Kong gets a place that bursts with creativity.



    Last January, almost 6500 people attended the January open studio event in Fo Tan and close to 200 artists participated in the 2 weekend period when most studios in this area opened their doors. Now, the Hong Kong government has plans to make some of the buildings available for offices, but there is hope that the conversion of the buildings in the area will be minimal. Iʼd like to see Hong Kong officials recognize the value the artists provide and further develop this part of the city as an art area, rather than use the buildings for more office spaces.

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