Cover Liang Yi Museum will be hosting galleries and design retail concepts as part of this new initiative (Photo: Courtesy of Liang Yi Museum)

The new retail concept is a creative solution aimed at bringing together Hong Kong's art and design industry in a time of difficulty

Liang Yi Museum's new community-minded initiative speaks of cultural and social solidarity, bringing together Hong Kong's art and design industry during these turbulent times. Titled, Liang Yi Arts Corridor, the new retail concept will provide opportunities for galleries focusing on design, craftsmanship and heritage to open at a prominent location in Hong Kong and inject new vitality to Hollywood Road as the destination for local and international visitors hungry for an integrated experience of Hong Kong's dynamic art scene.

Hollywood Road is the second oldest street in Hong Kong and has long been a must-visit spot for antique hunters thanks to establishments filled with exquisite artefacts running the length of the street. Liang Yi Museum's own personal connection with Hollywood Road dates back to more than three decades ago when the central collection of the museum—one of the world's largest and best-curated collections of Chinese antique furniture—was sourced primarily from the dealers on this very road, making it the natural choice for the private museum to choose the iconic road as its home when it opened in 2014.

In recent years, Hollywood Road has witnessed rapid gentrification, becoming home to a shorter-lived group of coffee shops and trendy restaurants. The pandemic has also brought its own set of challenges to the street, with many of the newcomers unable to sustain themselves and eventually closed their doors, lending a ghost-town vibe to the neighbourhood. The local community's sustainable development remains an integral part of Liang Yi Museum's long-term strategy and saw an opportunity to create direct social impact on the local community through the Liang Yi Arts Corridor concept.

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The nine street-level retail spaces located underneath the museum have always been the museum's property and with the launch of the new initiative, the museum will reach out to galleries and design retail concepts that share the same core values. It will charge tenants half the market rent alongside a short-term flexible lease. Through this, the museum hopes to alleviate the financial burden of the tenants and allow the galleries and the museum to empower each other to thrive despite the current challenges.

Speaking to Tatler, Liang Yi Museum director Lynn Fung says that the idea for the initiative started off as a business consideration. "But we gradually came to realise that this was also a great opportunity to curate a better and more interesting mix of tenants who share the same passion we have about design, heritage and craftsmanship. With the pandemic, it became clear that gallery owners and other people in the arts are willing to look beyond their traditional neighbourhoods and take the opportunity to branch out," she says.

"We are confident the Corridor will become a destination for art and design lovers in Hong Kong and beyond. In the new space, we aim to foster a dialogue between art and artists from wide-ranging backgrounds, continuing our commitment to presenting inspiring exhibitions," says Fabio Rossi, founder and director of Rossi & Rossi.

Fung echoes Rossi's sentiments. "What Liang Yi Arts Corridor really is: it’s stepping out of our comfort zone, which is letting our retail space to traditional antique dealers and extending the opportunity to join the Hollywood Road community to others we feel would really benefit the neighbourhood. We want to make the Corridor a must-see destination for anyone who loves art and design," she says.

The application to be part of the Liang Yi Arts Corridor initiative is open. Interested parties from the art-related field can reach out to Kathy Leung at kathy@liangyimuseum.com.

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