Hong Kong Arts Festival, Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central headline Arts Month in Hong Kong. Here are our picks on how to make the most of it
1. Explore Sham Sui Po's urban energy What better way to learn about a country's culture than to explore the areas where the locals live? Sham Shui Po, known as one of the oldest and most authentic districts in Hong Kong, plays one of the hosts to this exhibition, apart from Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok. This community art project brought together students and local artists like Marka Mak and Smile Maker to use 10 shutter doors as their canvases for artwork depicting the various businesses in the neighbourhood. There will be tours conducted Cantonese and Mandarin.
2. Get whipped with ballet If the white cube proves too stale for you, watch the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre perform this highly raved number for the first time in Asia. Following a young boy who escapes to his own fantasy of sweets and whipped cream while in hospital, its music, which will be played by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, was composed by Richard Strauss during World War I, and is one of the two ballet scores that he wrote. Former director of the Bolshoi Ballet, Alexei Ratmansky, also choreographed Whipped Cream.
3. Check out new galleries at Art Basel Already in its sixth edition this year, Art Basel will feature 248 galleries from 32 countries and territories, such as India's Tarq and New York's Miguel Abreu Gallery, with 28 of them taking part in this exhibition for the first time. Expect to get lost in the many sectors, where the Discoveries sector showcases contemporary artists while the Encounters sector places visitors among huge installations and sculptures. Other than the exhibition, take part in Conversations for panel discussions ranging from topics such as how to start collecting art and the different ways organisations fund artists.
4. Get your hands dirty Housed in different areas of the art-rich Fo Tan district, participants can get to learn in a myriad of workshops such as traditional silk screen printing, abstract painting and figure toy making. Master the art of pottery with esteemed potter Alan Lai, where 10 wheels will be provided to mould and sculpt to your heart's content for 30 minutes, after 10 minutes of demontration from Lai. If you're not keen to coat your hands in clay, watch him create pottery as he guides the audience into the creative processes behind it.
5. Stroll through Harbour Arts Sculpture Park Soak up the Hong Kong sun and sea breeze while strolling among sculptures from 18 artists around the world, with names such as Rasheed Araeen from the United Kingdom and Gimhongsok from South Korea. Created by Mori Art Museum's director Fumio Nanjo and Royal Academy of Arts' artistic director Tim Marlow, arm yourself with the event's mobile application by the Hong Kong Arts Centre as information of each sculpture will be provided, including an audio guide in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.