Hike down Hollywood Road in Hong Kong to find new art and design hotspots!
By Darryl Wee
Liang Yi Museum
If you’re visiting Hong Kong this summer, make sure to set aside some time for a leisurely jaunt down Hollywood Road, where a couple of recently launched art and design initiatives have been drawing savvy city slickers to this picturesque — if treacherously sloping — area.
The Liang Yi Museum, a new private museum dedicated to Ming and Qing furniture that opened to the public earlier this year by appointment only, is based on the collection of veteran collector Peter Fung.
Housed in a sensitively refurbished building with a spacious open plan and double height airwells, Fung’s ample collection sprawls over some 15,000 square feet across three floors. The meandering stretch of Hollywood Road that leads there is also the long-standing home to many of the antique and furniture dealers where Fung apparently got his own start as a collector.
Make an appointment to see Fung’s handsome collection of luminous, blond-hued huanghuali furniture from the Ming dynasty, or the darker zitan wood pieces that later came into favor during the Qing period.
Also currently on view alongside Fung’s core collection is “Shanghainese Deco: Vanities in the Roaring Twenties” — a sharp juxtaposition that shows off the shared aesthetic links between European designers and their Chinese counterparts during the golden-age 1930s. Here, you can see how venerable fashion houses like Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron and Cartier looked eastwards to be inspired by the arduous, painstaking handicraft of Shanghainese artisans.
While you’re here, don’t miss the eclectic mix of other art attractions that have already clustered in the area. Many of Hong Kong’s top contemporary art galleries and nonprofit spaces, like Para Site, the Asia Art Archive, Sin Sin Fine Art and Cat Street Gallery are also nestled within this neighborhood.
Make sure to trundle up and down some of the little side alleys that line Hollywood Road, like Sai Street, Tung Street, and Po Yan Street, which are home to chic boutiques like Konzepp and Aesop, and small, intimate eateries like the nouveau dim sum outlet Man Mo Café.
From there, it’s just a short skip away to another recent addition to this buzzing Hong Kong neighborhood — the design complex Police Married Quarters (PMQ).
Housed in a heritage building originally built in 1951 and earmarked in 2009 for conservation and reuse by creative industries, PMQ hosted a soft opening during this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong in mid-May, and is gradually opening in phases.
PMQ’s outdoor courtyard hosts a towering installation made up of more than 8,000 crystals by London design duo Fredrikson Stallard. Meanwhile, British street artist D*Face (a.k.a Dean Stockton) recently unveiled a fresh new mural on the façade of one of the building’s elevator shafts in early June.
The other hotspot in PMQ that is sure to appeal to itinerant foodies is Aberdeen Street Social, the third and latest collaboration between serial restaurant impresario Yenn Wong and Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton. The open-plan, “social” venue designed by Shanghai-based design practice Neri & Hu is encircled by a verdant garden terrace — the perfect backdrop for Atherton’s mod British pub grub, small plates, playful cocktails, and decadent desserts.
But the real draw at PMQ is its rotating calendar of design- and lifestyle-related events and exhibitions. Currently on view through July 30 is an exhibition called “Kokochi: Sense of Comfort”. This extensive showcase of Japanese product designer Naoto Fukasawa shows how the deceptively simple interfaces of his products belie the rigorous design processes that underlie them.
Visitors can look forward to seeing a range of his household items, appliances, and electronics created for Muji and ±0 (Plus Minus Zero), some of which are now part of the collection of the MoMA in New York.
If you want a couple of pieces of this coolly minimalist Japanese design for yourself, don’t fret — also recently opened at PMQ is the first Good Design Store outside of Japan. Operated by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP), these stores have been winning over devoted design fans in new markets outside of Japan.
Here, you’ll find everything from Marutohasegawa’s utilitarian, industrial-strength cutters and stepladders by Chiaki Murata to soy sauce decanters and Fukasawa’s own sleek series of molded “Hiroshima” furniture.