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ArtWalk is predominantly held in Central and Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island – a fragile heritage area of street markets, back lanes, old traditional shops and artisans – and home to many art galleries and art spaces.
However, the area is undergoing gentrification and is continuing to evolve as an area of leisure options. The historically important former Victoria Prison and Central Police Station (opening in 2015) and the Former Police Married Quarters (PMQ opening April 2014) will be a further magnet for the arts. This amalgam is made richer by the close proximity of Hong Kong’s central business district (CBD) and its shops, restaurants, bars and late-night clubs.
However, as the area changes, it is also under great development pressure. As some of you are aware, the debate over the last few years to preserve Hong Kong’s older areas (Central, Mong Kok, To Kwan Wan etc.) is also a battle about preserving Hong Kong’s special ambience; it is our unique low-rise streetscapes, street markets, back lanes and street activity that best articulates our history: these tightly packed streets and lanes were the beginnings of a Hong Kong that has evolved into one of the world’s great trading and financial centres.
Hong Kong is also a place of passionately defended freedoms: of expression, religious, artistic, political & of intellectual beliefs. These old Hong Kong streets saw China’s Republican movement grow through Sun Yat-sen’s powers of persuasion and tactical maneuvering – and led to the eventual formation of modern China. And, it is here in Hong Kong, that harmony, tolerance and vigorous debate is the result of freedom of expression and the rule of law – the perfect place to freely view art.
You can contribute to the debate about better urban planning and heritage preservation by keeping abreast of planning proposals.
The following links are useful:
- Central & Western Concern Group
- Designing Hong Kong
- Town Planning Board
- Civic Exchange
- Pound Lane Concern Group