Two world-class arts fairs, Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central, WestK FunFest’s family-oriented activities and Art@Harbour 2024’s spectacular illuminations are among the many attractions on offer during Arts in Hong Kong on Victoria Harbour’s waterfront.

6 eye-catching Arts in Hong Kong highlights along city’s iconic Victoria Harbour

  • For the first time, Hong Kong Tourism Board’s annual platform aims to entice visitors to a huge range of waterfront art fairs, exhibitions and events hosted both in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island
  • Attractions include WestK FunFest’s 150 family-oriented activities, Art@Harbour 2024’s spectacular illuminations, exhibitions to honour wuxia novelist Jin Yong, and world-class art fairs Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central
In partnership with:Hong Kong Tourism Board

The iconic waterfront of Hong Kong will take centre stage this month as the backdrop to Arts in Hong Kong – the year-round promotional platform of the city’s diverse and vibrant arts scene, run by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) – which kicks up a gear with unique activities and experiences to attract the attention of both tourists and residents.

Spectacular local and international arts and cultural attractions are being staged in the coming weeks and months at various locations lining both sides of Victoria Harbour’s waterfront in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island. Reporters from global and mainland Chinese media companies have been invited to a press day so they can experience the attractions first-hand and write articles and social media posts to promote them to global audiences.

To further entice visitors, many airlines and travel agencies have also introduced special travel packages, which include the cost of accommodation and admission to the various art experiences. Check out six highlights from Arts in Hong Kong you will not want to miss.

1. Spectacular illuminations light up both sides of Victoria Harbour

Giant luminous coloured ovoids, some floating out across Victoria Harbour, form the ‘teamLab: Continuous’ exhibition which is part of Hong Kong’s Art@Harbour 2024 from March 25 to June 2.

Imagine looking at hundreds of giant luminous coloured ovoids – some floating on the harbour waters and others stretching over the lawns at Tamar Park and along Central and Western District Promenade – which constantly change colour and sound in response to visitors’ interactions while interconnecting with lights on the nearby trees.

The “teamLab: Continuous” exhibition’s egg-shaped display forms part of Art@Harbour 2024 – showcasing the harbour – running from March 25 to June 2, which is a collaboration between the government, international art collective teamLab, art charity First Initiative Foundation, innovative lifestyle brand K11 Group and property developer Sino Group.

Another exhibition, Science in Art, featuring two interactive art installations, the Harbour Cup and Schrödinger’s Bed, created by the Hong Kong art group LAAB Architects and local artist Dylan Kwok – based on nature and the properties of light to reflect the harbour’s energy – will also be on display at Tamar Park, and Central and Western District Promenade.

Two interactive installations, Harbour Cup and Schrödinger’s Bed, form the ‘Science in Art’ exhibition, which will be on display at Central and Western District Promenade during Art@Harbour 2024.

You can expect to see light installations featured on both sides of the harbour, too, including Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower, K11 MUSEA promenade and the Sino LuminArt Façade on the Kowloon side.

2. Next generation of Asian talent takes centre stage

Art Central, an annual international art fair founded in Hong Kong in 2015, which showcases the next generation of talent from Asia’s most innovative galleries alongside distinguished global artists, has now established itself as a global platform for helping to push boundaries in contemporary art and experimentation.

Artworks from about 90 galleries, a new sector named ‘Neo’ for first-year exhibitors, large-scale installations and a dining terrace will feature during Art Central 2024 on Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront.

The latest edition, Art Central 2024 – the largest and most dynamic in its history – is being held from March 28 to 31 at the Central Harbourfront, Central, on Hong Kong Island.

Art Central, in partnership with HKTB, presents a group exhibition providing international exposure to six Hong Kong artists, whose work captures the historic trading city’s unique diversity and versatility, with its East-meets-West blend of business, arts and culture.

Additionally, HKTB will present “Arts in Hong Kong Newsstand”, an installation created by Guangzhou paper artist Chen Fenwan, known for merging traditional intricate paper-cutting techniques to create maximalist – brightly coloured, patterned and layered – 3D artworks.

She was invited by HKTB to create a dynamic composition, titled Hong Kong Delights, blending her vibrant style with iconic elements she has seen in the city’s daily life, such as transport, food and architecture, to showcase its special energy and residents’ dynamic and adaptable “Hong Kong spirit”. Chen’s installation will also display specially designed limited-edition postcards of all the artists featured in the group exhibition.

3. Top global contemporary art galleries come to Hong Kong

Art Basel Hong Kong, Asia’s largest annual contemporary art fair, will be back at its expansive, pre-Covid-19-pandemic levels from March 28 to 30, featuring artworks from 243 of the leading galleries in Hong Kong and around the world at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Among the highlights are 16 large-scale artworks in the curated Encounters sector, and an off-site installation by award-winning Australian artist Daniel Boyd at Pacific Place. The Kabinett sector will showcase 33 projects, emphasising solo presentations from Asia. The public can enjoy free Conversations and Film programmes in a dedicated auditorium, while the Conversations programme will also tour mainland China.

This year, HKTB teamed up with the fair to open the “Cha Chaan Teng” – a Hong Kong-style tea restaurant – at the fairground, which will not only offer local delicacies and drinks, but also serve as an exhibition space highlighting Hong Kong’s rich cultural history.

Art Basel, founded in 1970 by gallerists, is a leading global platform connecting collectors, galleries, and artists in Paris, Miami Beach and Hong Kong.

4. Centenary of wuxia novelist Jin Yong’s birth

This year’s 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr Louis Cha, the legendary wuxia – martial arts and chivalry – novelist known by his pen name Jin Yong, will be marked by a series of cross-media collaborations.

Cha, who died in 2018, aged 94, wrote 15 martial arts stories – including the novel Book and Sword, Gratitude and Revenge – between 1955 and 1970, involving more than 1,400 characters, which have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into 14 different languages.

A series of Hong Kong museum and public art exhibitions, under the theme ‘A Path to Glory – Jin Yong’s Centennial Memorial’, will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr Louis Cha, who wrote wuxia novels under the pen name Jin Yong, and died in 2018 aged 94. Photo: SCMP/Oliver Tsang

A series of museum and public art exhibitions in the city, encompassing culture, art, creativity, heritage, and education, under the theme “A Path to Glory – Jin Yong’s Centennial Memorial”, will pay tribute to the author and his fiction now running into October.

“The World of Wuxia” exhibition, featuring 10 sculptures created by artist Ren Wen of Jin’s iconic characters, is at Edinburgh House, Central, while the “Sculpted by Ren Zhe” exhibition, with another 22 of Jin’s characters sculpted by Ren, is at Hong Kong Heritage Museum, West Kowloon Cultural District. Other exhibition locations are at Shun Tak Pier, and Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. These exhibitions will later tour mainland China.

This memorial event was curated by Ren, digital art and entertainment design consultant Victor Wong, fashion consultant William Chang, cultural consultant Benny Li, film score composer Tomy Wai, musician Scarlett Chan, and the cartoonist Lee Chi-ching.

It has been co-organised by the Hong Kong Mega Arts and Cultural Events Fund, HKTB and Leisure and Cultural Services Department. HKTB was involved in launching a digital “Jinyong Harbour Tour Guide”, which will help residents and visitors to visit the different harbour venues where the sculptures are displayed.

5. Arts in HK Harbour Tour and ComplexCon among other highlights

The Arts in HK Harbour Tour, from March 24 to 31, will allow visitors to take a spectacular trip around the city’s skyscraper-flanked Victoria Harbour aboard the authentic red-sailed Dukling Chinese junk boat, while appreciating the many waterfront art installations. Organised by HKTB, the journey starts from the Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui, then passes West Kowloon Cultural District, Central, Admiralty, and ends in Wan Chai. The trip covers the various art events and showcases the art installations created by internationally renowned artists and the world-class art fair and venues.

Hong Kong will also host the first Asia edition of ComplexCon Hong Kong, an international pop culture festival from tomorrow to March 24 at AsiaWorld-Expo. The event, founded in Los Angeles, in the US, combines fashion, art, music, food, and fun in a unique and immersive experience. It features an international line-up of music talent and more than 200 trendsetting brands, artists, and creators. Full weekend packages for the experience were sold out in just four hours after going on sale on January 30, and single-day tickets are likely to run out quickly.

For more details about Arts in Hong Kong and other unique experiences you can enjoy around the city, go to HKTB’s Arts in Hong Kong website.

6. WestK FunFest offers 150 family-focused activities

The city’s 40-hectare (100-acre) hub for arts and culture, West Kowloon Cultural District – home to M+, the cutting-edge, contemporary visual culture museum, Hong Kong Palace Museum, and Chinese opera venue Xiqu Centre – is also the place where the public can go to enjoy the spectacular open space of the harbourfront.

The immersive family-friendly art installation Ephemeral will offer visitors a chance to explore a dazzling world of giant bubbles during WestK FunFest at West Kowloon Cultural District.

WestK FunFest, now running until April 7, organised by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, will offer a variety of family-oriented activities at various venues across the hub. They include 150 arts programmes featuring performances, interactive experiences, workshops, installations, storytelling and dance parties.

Highlights include the award-winning immersive art installation, Ephemeral, by Atelier Sisu, along the Waterfront Promenade, where you can explore a dazzling world of numerous giant, rainbow-hued bubbles, and also enjoy pop-up performances. The Hong Kong set-up for the world-touring show – exploring the transient nature of life and the fragility of the world around us – includes a new element called Colossal, featuring customised lighting and audio effects, specially designed to complement the venue’s panoramic harbour view.

It also features the first international performance of the storytelling spectacle, Pram People, by Australia’s Polyglot Theatre, and the Asian premiere of musical and technology-fused wonderland adventure ZOOOM by Patch Theatre, also from Australia, and Cantonese opera workshops and performances.