Kowloon is the area to the North of Hong Kong Island. It is believed to be one of the most densely populated areas in the whole world!
Seemingly less tourist-friendly than the island, Kowloon is a must see part of Hong Kong. Why? ‘Kowloon’ in Chinese means 9 dragons after 9 mountains that overlook the area. The Lion Rock is one of the most famous and is definitely worth seeing. In Kowloon you will find Mong Kok - a vibrant neighborhood with restaurants and shops, all local. Tsim Sha Tsui – a more or less touristic area with hotels and other attractions including gigantic shopping malls (very popular among the shoppers from Mainland China who arrive to Kowloon and Central on the weekends). Moreover, a new major contemporary art center M+ to open in Kowloon as a part of the West Kowloon Cultural District. We promise to get back to you about M+ in 2019, stay tuned!
The Museeum team headed to Kowloon to explore local museums. Most of them are located there, not on the island, such as Hong Kong Museum of Art, Science Museum, Museum of History, Space Museum and more. Interested in the activities of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, currently closed for renovation, we wanted to learn more about its location and outdoor space. We explored the open public space, wall-less exhibition and community area the Salisbury Garden and Art Square by the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Space Museum. The Hong Kong Museum of Art has a long history of relocations and renovations.
It was established in the early 1960s to present Chinese arts and crafts and was called a City Hall Museum and Art Gallery. In 1991, the museum was moved to its present location in Kowloon’s Hong Kong Park. The museum occupies the premises near the Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Since 2015 it has been closed for extensive renovations aimed at expanding the current space and premises. According to official sources, it will reopen in 2019.
Art Square at the Salisbury garden was opened in 2014. It is situated in-between the Museum of Art and the Space Museum. The space features sculptures, public art installations, fountains, alleys and resting areas. Noteworthy is the panoramic view of the Hong Kong island from Kowloon waterfront – very impressive! It is also one of the best vantage points for taking pictures not only among tourists but locals too as It boasts a fascinating view of the shore and skyline.
The open public space was created to support the existent cultural and historical landscape and expand the museum’s functionality. Because of this, there is now much more to do in the area other than taking photographs of the waterfront. Even though only Space Museum functions these days, Art Square is a must-visit in Kowloon. It displays local art and serves mainly as a platform for cultural events. Moreover, it is a relatively quiet area, probably the most quiet in the whole Kowloon. Art Square has already changed the vibes of the neighborhood: it has resting areas for visitors and public art that adds vibrant colors to the whole ensemble. The expansion and renovation of the neighborhood is still in process, and it’s incredibly interesting to watch how the art institutions transform the public space and vice versa.
One can argue what comes first: is it the location of a museum that shapes the renovation project, or is it the demand for larger, better and more convenient art spaces to engage audiences and bring people together. It is for you to decide. Meanwhile will keep an eye on the Kowloon’s Art Square transformations as it promises to become one of the most unusual art venues in Hong Kong.