6 Hong Kong Galleries That Focus On Local Artists
While we have plenty of appreciation for the city's international galleries, which showcase some of the most recognised names in art from across the globe, some of the most fascinating artworks are created right here in Hong Kong. Here are some of our favourite galleries dedicated to showcasing local art.
Founded in 2008 with the aim of showcasing progressive, ambitious, and boundary-defying works, as the gallery puts it, Gallery EXIT in Aberdeen regularly exhibits lesser known names—including plenty of local artists. Among these are installation artist Nadim Abbas, who was invited to create an "art bar" for Art Basel in 2014; avant-garde artist Angela Su, who draws inspiration from her background in biochemistry to create her work; figure painter Wilson Shieh, who has depicted Hong Kong skyscrapers as towering women; and award-winning conceptual artist Tang Kwok-hin. The gallery's most recent exhibition is Portraits from Behind, a series of paintings by Chow Chun-fai documenting the Hong Kong protests.
Blindspot Gallery in Aberdeen started out in 2010 with a focus on contemporary photography, but has since grown to encompass various other mediums as well. While the gallery showcases artists from throughout the region, it has a particular focus on local artists—both emerging and established. It represents artists such as the avant-garde Angela Su, who draws inspiration from her background in biochemistry to create her work, and photographer South Ho Siu-nam, who is well-known for his black and white shots documenting happenings throughout the city, from life at public housing estates to the aftermath of typhoon Mangkut.
See also: Art Insider: Mimi Chun
Blue Lotus Gallery
The photography-centric Blue Lotus Gallery in Soho has had "a strong focus on exploring Hong Kong culture and identity" since it opened in 2007, so many of its represented artists are Hong Kong-based or originated and frequently create work related to the city. The gallery represents famed street photographer Fan Ho worldwide and is also the worldwide agent of photographer and film director Wing Shya. Other artists the gallery represents include Michael Wolf, Tugo Cheng, Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze, and Marcel Heijnen. In addition to doing exhibitions, the gallery also sells prints and books.
Located within Cattle Depot Artist Village in Ma Tau Kok, a hub of studios and other art organisations, 1a space is a non-profit, independent art space that was founded by members of the local art community in 1998. The gallery encourages experimental and conceptual art and cultivates cross-disciplinary and community discussion. 1a space also runs incubator initiatives for young emerging artists in the city.
Non-profit art organisation Lumenvisum is located within the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei, and was founded by four photographers in 2007 as a space dedicated purely to photography. Since then, Lumenvisum has worked with over 60 local photographers whose work has commented on a variety of local social issues, from LGBTQ concerns to the lives of migrant workers. Notable names include Almond Chu, who is known for his black and white and conceptual pieces, and Alfred Ko, whose body of work involves intimate shots of the city.
Bamboo Scenes started out as an online platform for Hong Kong-based photographers in 2017 before opening a physical space in Sai Ying Pun. Doubling as a retail space that sells prints, 10 per cent of the gallery's profits are donated to local charities such as ImpactHK. Some of the photographers whose works have graced the space include Insta-famous street photographers Elaine Li (@lielaine) and architect and heritage movement Street Sign HK founder Kevin Mak (@kingymak).