January 2, 2013

The Artsy Guide to Hong Kong: Fotanian 2013

artist at Fotanian using chinese ink printmaking block
When you move to a new city it can be hard to find pockets of cool creative people and fun alternative things to do. When I first moved to Hong Kong two years ago I thought it was a cultural wasteland, I hung out in Lan Kwai Fong and I was so unhappy.

Obviously I was wrong, Hong Kong isn't a cultural wasteland it actually has a very vibrant creative scene, you just have to look a bit deeper and I was about to get a taste when a Couchsurfing friend suggested I visit the Fotanian Open Studios.

This January the studio will again open to the public during the weekends of the 5th to the 20th (2pm to 7pm). You should go and get inspired, especially if your New Years resolution is to live a more creative life, who knows you just might make a few new analog camera toting hipster pals.
 
lush green trees and building under construction at Fotan, Shatin
Nestled between the lush hills of the New Territories, Fotan is mostly an industrial area but with many factories moving north to China the buildings have been reconverted to spacious studios to local artists. While not technically legal, a lot of the artist also make their studios their home sweet home, so in addition to seeing some cool art it's also a real treat to check out the artists' living spaces as well.

After visiting all the printmakers, painters and artists, I'm sure you'll be feeling most inspired, but more urgently really hungry, so grab some dinner at the Dai Pai Dong down on Shan Mei St. and fill up on chicken congee, octopus mouths, Tsing Tao beer and fried oyster pancake.

printmaking at fotanian 2011
mooncake moulds fotanian

There are over 250 studios open this year, it'd be insane to see them all (or maybe you're just insane enough to try) so in order to make your visit more enjoyable I've compiled a list of some must see artists for FOTANIAN 2013:

'sincerity' 'courage' wilson shieh paintings at Fotanian 2013
1980's costumes of Anita Mui poster by wilson shieh at Fotanian 2013
·  Wilson Shieh
Wilson Shieh is a painter whom often works in a modern reinterpretation of gongbi. This year the artist is giving out an extremely cool free posters for visitors to his studio featuring costumes worn by the late Hong Kong music superstar Anita Mui in the 1980s.

The Perfect Circle Au Hoi Lam at Qiang studio Fotanian 2013 poster
·  Au Hoi Lam and Qiang Studio
Qiang is a multidisciplinary studio featuring 5 women artists. This year they have also invited artist Carment Ho (何寶容) to exhibit alongside them.

·  Rental United

·  Drawing installations by Cath Brophy

·  Painter Wong Chun Hei, Steven

Special thanks to artist Sarah Lai for helping me with this list.
Photos 1-4 taken by me on a Minolta SRT-303.
Photos 5-7 are courtesy of the respective artists.

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