One of the fastest-growing cities in the World, and definitely one of the booming contemporary art hubs in Asia, Hong Kong is the perfect destination for every artsy traveler. Over the last decade, the city has placed itself among the best destinations for contemporary art not only in Asia but globally. With a strong network of galleries and institutions, international art fairs, as well as museums, and artist-run spaces, Hong Kong has something for every palate, every taste, and every age. 

From high-end galleries to local artists, from mega museums to independent spaces, the contemporary art scene of Hong Kong needs more than just a brief guide. Here are four spaces where you can start your exploration.

contemporary art hong kong museum of art
Wpcpey, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hong Kong Museum of Art

The Hong Kong Museum of Art, or HKMoA, is the first and main art museum of Hong Kong. A public museum owned and managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Government, the HKMoA has two locations, one in Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, and the other one, the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, situated in the Hong Kong Park in Central.

It is the first public art museum and one of the oldest museums in Hong Kong since it was first opened in 1962. At the time, it was known as the City Museum and Art Gallery, which got split in 1975 into the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

It has a very rich collection of over 17.000 works, mostly paintings, calligraphy, and sculptures both from the region and Greater China. The museum does not focus primarily on contemporary art, but rather on art and artists from Hong Kong and China and thus it is the perfect location to start your exploration. Come here to get a glimpse of all the historic movements and influences that local artists have experienced over the years and nowadays. 

At the Hong Kong Museum of Art contemporary art is mostly shown through temporary exhibitions and on the occasion of the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial Awards. Established in 1975, the biennial features the work of contemporary Hong Kong artists and aims to “conduct a periodic survey of local art and to give due recognition to talented artists for their achievements”. 

Hong Kong Museum of Art
10 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Info, tickets and opening hours

‘Confidential Records: Overwrite’ by Vvzela Kook | Exhibition view | Photo Courtesy Para Site


Founded in 1996, Para Site is the first Hong Kong’s artist-run art space and contemporary art center. It was launched by a group of local artists, including Patrick Lee, Leung Chi-wo, Phoebe Man Ching-ying, Sara Wong Chi-hang, Leung Mee-ping, Tsang Tak-ping and Lisa Cheung, and soon became the major exhibition venue for local artists and their promotion both locally and internationally. 

Now located in North Point, the center has expanded its premises over the years, to engage a broader audience and meet a richer program. As of now, it hosts around 10 exhibitions every year, as well as residencies, conferences, and educational initiatives that aim to develop a critical understanding of local and international contemporary art. Working with both local and international artists and curators, Para Site is one of the leading and oldest institutions not only in Hong Kong but in Asia in general. 

Its rich program features the International Art Residency Programme, as well as a residency program for curators, plus a series of talks, screenings, performances, and guided tours to help visitors understanding and getting closer to the cutting-edge artists presented. 

Para Site
22/f, Wing Wah Industrial Bldg., 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

Info and opening hours:

K11 Art Foundation 

Younger but equally as important on the local scene, K11 Art Foundation was established in 2010 by Adrian Cheng, a Hong Kong businessman, art expert, and billionaire. 
The K11 Art Foundation (KAF) is a non-profit art institution hosted inside the K11 Art Mall, a luxury shopping center owned by the same company.

KAF is “dedicated to fostering the development of the contemporary art scene in Greater China by creating opportunities for the production, presentation, and critical appreciation of works of art”. The foundation hosts an Artist-in-Residence Programme, as well as exhibitions, screenings, and talks. They also collaborate with international museums and institution, such as the Royal Academy of Arts, Serpentine Galleries, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, and Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris; Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí in Figueres; and the New Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1 in New York among others. 

The ultimate goal of the foundation is supporting emerging Chinese artists in furthering their practices with a global perspective, provide platforms for showcasing ideas and inspire conversation around the creative process. Definitely one of the best places to discover contemporary art in Hong Kong, before indulging in some shopping or fine dining.

K11 Art Foundation
Chi Art Space, 8/F New World Tower 2, 18 Queen’s Road, Hong Kong

Info and opening hours:

Wpcpey, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

M+ and M+ Pavillion

Last but not least, a little bit of anticipation and something to look forward to in 2021. M+ has been around for almost a decade, since it was founded in 2012. It is a museum and cultural center dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving images, and Hong Kong visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Though the museum is not open yet, it aims to be Hong Kong’s major cultural center, much like Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in London, or MoMA in New York. To do so, the museum board commissioned the construction of a new building entirely dedicated to it. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the building is currently under construction in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong and it is scheduled to open in 2021.

The name itself, M+, is meant to convey the message that this is going to be more than a normal museum, hosting not only visual art but also insights on design, architecture, film, video games, and animation. The mission of the museum is, in fact, to focus on “20th and 21st-century visual culture, broadly defined, from a Hong Kong perspective and with a global vision. With an open, flexible and forward-looking attitude, M+ aims to inspire, delight, educate and engage the public, to explore diversity and foster creativity”.

As of 2021, the museum has a rich collection of over 2500 pieces, comprising a broad spectrum of media by Chinese and international artists alike. When it will be completed, M+ will be one of the largest museums in the world and a focal point for art in Asia. 

While we wait for the museum to open its main location, we can still enjoy its collection at the M+ Pavillion. Opened in 2016, it serves as a temporary space for exhibitions and events, which will later be turned into an independent center for exhibitions.

M+ and M+ Pavillion
Art Park, West Kowloon, Hong Kong

Info and opening hours:

What are you looking forward to visiting in 2021? Comment below and let me know!
Are you looking for more articles on destinations in Asia? Check this page here.
Or are you looking for tips to organize an art trip? Check my guides here.

Cover image by Sébastien Goldberg on Unsplash