Once thought of as a culture for only the sophisticated art critics, art and its presence is surfacing on the minds and interests of Hong Kong’s youth. Hong Kongers, particularly the youths, are adapting a taste for the aesthetic appreciation of satire, rhetoric and the city’s multi-dimensional culture and heritage.
I interviewed a reputable Hong Kong-based cultural critic, whom for this article I shall refer to as Ms.J, earlier this month on the essentiality of art and culture in Hong Kong. Which led me to reflect on the development of the art scene in Hong Kong over the last five years.
She said, “It’s essential to any city; it’s essential to anyone in modern day life. Art is part of culture; it reflects the way we think, the way we live, our heritage, and why we’re different from other people. And it’s what makes us interesting, why it makes the world interesting. Hong Kong is not just a financial center, it’s not just another Chinese city, it has a unique historical background, a unique composition of people and unique development, so our culture is different from any other cities in the world. And to maintain Hong Kong as Hong Kong, we need to emphasize the importance of culture and art is one of the many ways to express culture”
You might recall the painted streets of Admiralty and Causeway Bay during the Autumn of 2014, the make-shift movable art being pushed along the roads by student protestors, or the Lennon Wall at the Central Government Complex, not to mention the torrent of creative designs in tribute to the Umbrella Revolution. Art is obviously growing as an outlet for youths in Hong Kong to express themselves.
From Joan Cornella’s solo exhibition, which went viral among the city’s youth, to Art Basel, exhibitions at PMQ and the HK Street walls in which local and international artists collaborate on transforming the walls of Sham Shui Po into a gallery of street arts. The city is witnessing an inspiring rise in creative expressions and a hopeful growth of creative hubs and platforms across town that cater to its diverse groups of art enthusiasts. Besides the exclusive fine and contemporary art exhibits for those enthusiastic collectors, there is a myriad of free exhibitions, street art, and initiatives like the Cultural Journalism Campus that empower and train students in the field of Art and Culture.
“As a creative person, you need to be true to yourself otherwise you cannot call yourself creative”, said Ms. J. With that, I infer that creativity is not limited to your abilities with a paintbrush or a mold. Creativity comes in all forms. And Hong Kong is abundant with mediums of expression and sources of inspiration, and it is where art is least expected where it is absolutely created.
If you’re looking into taking up an interest in art, of any forms, or you already are an Art enthusiast looking for your next muse, here’s a few current and upcoming exhibitions relevant to Hong Kong culture which I recommend you check out