Thousands of art lovers flocked to hidden industrial art galleries

Originally published at shenzhefan.wordpress.com on October 6, 2015.

South Island Cultural District (SICD), a rising Hong Kong art zone, organized its Art Day 2015 event on September 19th, with all member art spaces open to the public to visit.

Map of member galleries at South Island Culture District.

Since its foundation in 2013 by Dominique Perregaux, Swiss owner of Art Statements Gallery, SICD has grown into Hong Kong’s new destination for Contemporary Art, with over 22 local and international galleries, studios and non-commercial art institutions located in huge industrial spaces at Wong Chuk Hang, Ap Lei Chau and Tin Wan, South Island. Following the first Art Day 2014 and the Art Night this March, the Art Day 2015 approximately attracted over 2,000 art lovers and dozens of artists worldwide, said Perregaux, now the Executive Chairman of SICD.

Galleries are hidden in these industrial buildings.

“We have a selection for member art spaces, it is important to have a standard,” Perreguax said,“ from five in 2013 to over twenty-two now, galleries here are much more diversified, with a big variety of art from different countries.”

Dominique Perregaux, Executive Chairman at SICD, posting registration notice.

As for curators and artists, SICD has become “an organic platform of communicating and gathering arts”, said Jessica Wong, manager at Spring Workshop, an early member art space. Their International Artist-in-Residence programme invited artists worldwide to SICD to compose for exhibitions this season. “Today Belgian artist Kasper and Japanese artist Toshie Takeuchi will be leading art lovers to appreciate their works finished here.”

Foreign artists leading art lovers evaluating their work at the Spring Workshop.

“Hong Kong is a good place for genius artists,” said Tenzing Rigdol, a 33-year-old Tibetan artist organizing his exhibition ‘Change is the eternal law’ at Rossi&Rossi Gallery, “My paintings show the idea of settling conflicts between China and Tibet, within which the dialog is vital. In HK, we can express and talk freely, then the solution starts.”

Tibetan Artist Tenzing Rigdol explaining his work.

“We have great ambition, but with no PR, limited budgets and resources,” said Perregaux,“ Next year SICD plans to organize small tours and will aim for more student and university involvement.”

“Fantastic! One day is far from enough,” Jayant, a 45-year-old Indian visiting Blindspot Gallery said, “Say this artist Ho Siu Nam, he shot on Occupy Movement, which I witnessed last year. These pictures bring back lots of memories.”

Children watching art performance at the Art Statement gallery.