Cover The gallery’s inaugural exhibition is Taiwanese contemporary artist Hung Yi’s first solo show in Hong Kong (Photo: Mike Pickles for Tatler Hong Kong)

Artspace K founder Chen Kok-choo has created a contemporary art gallery in The Repulse Bay for everyone to enjoy

Between the joyful painted steel creations of Taiwanese sculptor Hung Yi—stacked multi-coloured pigs and pandas intricately painted in a folk art-inspired design—Chen Kok-choo wanders around her new gallery Artspace K while ebulliently introducing the artworks. Flanked by palm trees and the ocean, in the historic former hotel The Repulse Bay, it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.

Artspace K is a new home for established and emerging artists to exhibit their work and one that pays close attention to the visitor experience. “There’s no pressure to buy or understand it,” she says of the space. “We just want people to know that art is actually a very beautiful part of life, which cannot be replicated.” The hope is to promote art as more than just objects that can be admired in museums or bought, but as one-of-a-kind creations to be enjoyed by all.

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Since 2003, Chen has sponsored and operated a number of heritage building museums in Taipei, including Taipei Story House, Futai Street Mansion and Museum207, sharing her belief in and passion for art through exhibitions that have attracted visitors from all over the world. Today, she continues this journey in Hong Kong with Artspace K. Exhibiting artists who share its philosophy, the gallery will encourage public appreciation through a variety of new exhibitions, lectures and a host of educational art activities.

The inaugural exhibition by Hung Yi, titled Winter Joy, features 15 surreal, never-before-seen animal-themed artworks that invite visitors to find happiness in the present moment. The work is warm and filled with hope and joy, which is much needed in 2020.

Although Hong Kong, with its well-developed infrastructure and key location within Asia, is one of the major international art markets behind New York and London, art and cultural events are still not as much a part of some people’s lives as they could be. “Even with these kinds of resources coming to Hong Kong”, says Chen, “art sometimes seems only available to collectors and connoisseurs.”

Artspace K hopes to make art accessible to everyone because Chen believes some people are missing “a very rich part of their lives because they do not yet have enough contact with art,” she says. “Some even find it a little bit boring or a little bit daunting, which it’s not.”

Discover more at artspacek.org

Artspace K, G105-106, The Repulse Bay Arcade, 109 Repulse Bay Road, Hong Kong, +852 2898 8118; Email: k@artspacek.org; Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11:00-19:00 (Closed on Monday)