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Best art galleries in Hong Kong

Payal Uttam CNNGo.com 12/19/2011 20:47
Best art galleries in Hong Kong - Hong Kong - culture

Hong Kongers are a tough crowd. Every second person I meet protests that we have no real art scene and pronounces the city barren of creativity. But, come on. In recent years, the Hong Kong gallery scene has evolved significantly. Dealers are bringing in big name artists like Damien Hirst and Zhang Huan for solo shows. Alternative spaces devoted to new media and subculture art have cropped up. A slew of international dealers such as Larry Gagosian, Ben Brown and Sundaram Tagore have opened outposts.

Famed London gallery White Cube has a space under renovation and rumor has it that Marlborough and Pace Gallery are next.

Admittedly, we don’t have a bona fide gallery district like Beijing's 798 or Shanghai's Moganshan Lu, but buried among the bars of Wyndham Street, the knickknacks of Hollywood Road and the depths of high-rise buildings, are a spate of galleries worth the visit.


Para/Site Art Space

Best art galleries in Hong Kong - culture - Hong Kong
Para/Site: Pushing it.

Para/Site is perhaps the most boundary-pushing art space in Central.

Located on Po Yan Street, Para/Site is a non-profit organization known for its highly conceptual exhibitions. Think quirky performances and disorientating installations.

Set up in 1996 by a group of artists, the tiny venue has matured into one of the most important exhibition spaces in the city.

Last year Para/Site set up video monitors and screened a Skype conversation between Ai Wei Wei, the enfant terrible of contemporary Chinese art scene, and Vito Acconci, the celebrated American artist and architect.

This month, Romanian-born curator Cosmin Costinas flew in a group of artists to transform the gallery space. Among them was Malaysian-born artist Heman Chong who covered the floor with thousands of black name cards, forcing viewers to wade through a sea of paper.

G/F, 4 Po Yan St., Sheung Wan, +852 2517 4620 http://www.para-site.org.hk/


Gagosian Gallery

Best art galleries in Hong Kong - culture - Hong Kong
Damien Hirst brought to us by Gagosian Gallery.

One of the most powerful dealers in the art world, Larry Gagosian has had his eye on Hong Kong for years. After opening an office in 2007, he finally set up a gallery space in Central last January.

While Gagosian’s presence spans from New York to Athens, this marks the empire’s first outpost in Asia. Housed on the top floor of Pedder Building, the gallery is among the most sophisticated art spaces in the city.

Following Gagosian’s arrival, several big collectors have been spotted passing through the premises.

Nick Simunovic, Gagosian’s managing director in Hong Kong says their goal is to expose the local audience to museum quality exhibitions. This year alone, they’ve hit the public with shows by international heavyweights Damien Hirst, Zeng Fanzhi, Richard Prince and Roy Lichtenstein.

7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St., Central, +852 2151 0555 http://www.para-site.org.hk/

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