Hong Kong Art Week: What to See and Where to Eat

It started with just Basel, but today Hong Kong boasts a whole host of city-wide arty events every March. But with such a plethora of fission-hot happenings it really is hard to choose where to peruse, so we’ve rounded up the best of the Art Week offerings. Bring on the canvases, champagne and chin stroking...

Art Basel: The main art-traction

Now in its fifth Asian edition, big-hitter Art Basel draws droves of the art world’s movers n’ makers to the vast waterside Convention and Exhibition Centre. This year’s event will host some 242 galleries from 34 countries around the globe; over half of these players already have Asia-Pacific spaces, but this year will also see 29 first-timers, plus the first appearance of the Kabinett sector where galleries will display curated thematic exhibitions and solo retrospectives.

23-25 Mar; vernissage 21-22 Mar. Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai. artbasel.com

Art Central: For new talent

If you’re looking to make a savvy investment, discover Asia’s next gen of cutting-edge creatives at Art Central. Sprawling across a bespoke pavilion at Central Harbourfront, the showcase features a wide program of exhibits including Yuri Suzuki’s mechanical, interactive crystallophone installation created in collaboration with Swarovski, and Tobias Gutmann’s Face-o-mat portrait sessions. Performance art and a series of talks and panel discussions will also take place, and when the hunger fairy strikes, there’s stellar eats at the on-site Street Food market.

21-25 Mar; VIP preview 20 Mar. Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Rd, Central. +852 2174 0322, artcentralhongkong.com

HKwalls: Art alfresco

Rather something with a bit of an urban edge? Homegrown street art collective HKwalls is set to transform industrial-hip district Wong Chuk Hang into an outdoor visual festival with murals, print pieces, open studios, talks, screenings, workshops, oh, and a graffiti battle.

18-26 Mar. Throughout Wong Chuk Hang. hkwalls.org

Sm-art Stays

Many of the city’s hotels are also upping the art ante with exclusive showings and events. Harbourside doll The Peninsula is at the he-art of the action, with the return of its Love Art at the Peninsula programme matched with curated dining. This year, the hotel is hosting acclaimed talent Sir Michael Craig-Martin – known as the Godfather of Brit Art – who will unveil a new sculptural installation, “Bright Idea 2016”.

Meanwhile, the Mandarin Oriental goes pop with Warhol in China, a free exhibit of over 200 photographs taken by Andy Warhol during his trip to Hong Kong and China is 1982. Andy bedded at the MO when he was in town; look closely and you might even spot the hotel in some of his pics.  

After Art Eats

All that canvas scrutinising is hungry work, so, if you’re over at Art Central, be sure to swing by the event’s outdoor Street Food market where some of HK’s hippest eateries (incl. Mexican Brickhouse, Sino bunster Little Bao and fusion Asian Mrs Pound) will be dishing-up tasty snacks.

For Basel bites, Wan Chai has a feast of options. Beeline for sky-high Italian at Pirata followed by hefty Spanish-style tipples downstairs at The Optimist; or sail over to 22 Ships for Jason Atherton’s tasty tapas (Ham & Sherry’s vibey back bar is just across the street). And for sustenance with style, newbie no-res Italian pasta perch Pici is perfect for in-between appointment carb-loading.

- Published 17 March 2016. A version of this article originally appeared on PenCities Hong Kong.

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